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The digital turn: Massimo Riva and Henry Jenkins - Interdisciplinary Italy Summer School

  • 18 Jun 2021 8:29 AM
    Message # 10662375

    Dear Colleagues, 

    We are delighted to invite you to these two online public lectures taking place as part of the Interdisciplinary Italy summer school. 

    Convergence Culture in the Age of Covid-19: A Fever Dream by Professor Henry Jenkins

     (July 2, 17:30-18:30 GMT) 


    Simulating the Past: From Analog to Digital (and Vice Versa) by Professor Massimo Riva

    (July 3, 17:30-18:30 GMT)

    The events are hosted by the Interdisciplinary Italy research team as part of the Second Summer School The digital turn: When, why, and how to embrace it (1-3 July 2021), organised by Prof Clodagh Brook (Trinity College Dublin) and Dr Eleonora Lima (Trinity College Dublin).

    To attend the lectures, please register via Eventbrite at these links:

    Prof Henry Jenkins’ public lecture:

    Prof Massimo Riva’s public lecture:


    Convergence Culture in the Age of Covid-19: A Fever Dream: This talk explores some of the core trends impacting the relationship between mass media and participatory culture during (and we hope, following) Covid-19. What happens when we decrease the volume of mass media and force people to spend more time interacting with each other through screens? What are people doing to entertain themselves and each other? How have entertainment producers, even political parties, sought to embrace a more “participatory” aesthetic to reflect current constraints on their production capacities? What long term trends in media, entertainment, and popular culture may the pandemic have set into motion?


    Henry Jenkins is the Provost's Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts and Education at the University of Southern California and the founder and former co-director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program. He is the author or editor of 20 books on various aspects of media and popular culture, including Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, Spreadable Media: Creating Meaning and Value in a Networked Culture (with Sam Ford and Joshua Green), and By Any Media Necessary: The New Youth Activism (with Sangita Shresthova and others). He has two more books that just came out this spring – Popular Culture and the Civic Imagination: Case Studies of Creative Social Change and Comics and Stuff. He is the co-host of the How Do You Like It So Far? podcast which explores popular culture in a changing world and has run the Confessions of an Aca-Fan blog for more than 15 years.


    Simulating the Past: From Analog to Digital (and Vice Versa): This talk explores how the virtualization of everyday life has ironically made a giant leap during the real-life emergency caused by the pandemic. Among the effects of the lockdown, the closure of galleries and museums has stressed how crucial is the access to our heritage when the institutions meant to preserve it cannot function. This is particularly relevant for a country like Italy that in addition to possessing one of the largest artistic patrimonies in the world also counts on tourism as one of its main economic resources. Having just completed a digital monograph one of whose main topics is “virtual travel” in the pre-digital age (18-19th centuries), Prof Riva will offer some remarks about the challenge posed by simulating the past in digital culture, looking in particular at a peculiar class of analogue devices and popular forms of entertainment (the “mondo nuovo” or cosmorama, the magic lantern, the moving panorama, and the stereoscope) that provided dynamic, immersive experiences which propelled viewers to a “new world,” foreshadowing present-day VR, AR, and XR experiences.


    Massimo Riva (Professor of Italian Studies at Brown University) has published on a wide range of topics, including several authored and edited or co-edited books on literary maladies and national identity in the 18-19th centuries, post-humanism and the hyper-novel, contemporary Italian fiction and the future of literature in the digital age. Since the late 1990s, his pioneering work in the digital humanities has led to the creation of several projects, including the Decameron Web, recipient of two major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Virtual Humanities Lab, also supported by a two-year grant from the NEH, the Pico della Mirandola Project, and the Garibaldi Panorama & the Risorgimento Archive. He is the recipient of several honours, including a Digital Innovation fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. He has recently completed a digital monograph entitled: Italian Shadows. A Curious History of Virtual Reality, a project of the Brown Digital Publications Initiative, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to be published next year by Stanford University Press.

    With all best wishes, 

    Prof Clodagh Brook and Dr Eleonora Lima. 



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