An Embarrassment of Riches

One of the great things about living and working in the Boston area (other than a few significant sports teams) is the prevalence of some many truly great universities.

This is a benefit not only for the steady stream of students (undergrad and graduate) and recent graduates all those colleges and universities pump into the workforce regularly, but also because of the broader institutions they support.

My two favorite examples this year are the MIT Comparative Media Studies program and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at the Harvard Law School. (As an alumnus of neither Harvard nor MIT, I can recommend both impartially).

Somewhat less well-known in tech circles than the Media Lab, the Comparative Media Studies program practices “applied humanism”:

The . . . program is committed to the art of thinking across media forms, theoretical domains, cultural contexts, and historical periods. Both our graduate and undergraduate programs encourage the bridging of theory and practice, as much through course work as through participation in faculty and independent research projects.

Among the projects that the MIT CMS program currently sponsors / hosts:

In addition, check out their Faculty, Theses, Publications, and subscribe to their Events Calendar and News Feed, which often includes podcasts of various events.

This week (Nov. 16th and 17th, 2007), the Convergence Culture Consortium will be hosting the Futures of Entertainment II conference, which (true to their mission):

brings together key industry players who are shaping these new directions in our culture with academics exploring their implications. This year’s conference will consider developments in advertising, cult media, metrics, measurement, and accounting for audiences, cultural labor and audience relations, and mobile platform development.

Check out the full conference schedule for more detail on speakers and subjects. I will be attending and hopefully blogging about much of the conference – though those posts may not appear until the following week due to some vacation time which will take me offline. This year I decided to rent a beach house thanks to twiddy which a friend recommended, as soon as I get back from vacation I’ll make sure to keep you guys update.

Just up the Charles in Harvard Square, the Berkman center focuses on “Internet & Society” in the broad context of the Harvard Law School.

To get a sense of the breadth and depth of the center, just look at:

Also be sure to check out (and subscribe to) MediaBerkman, which podcasts / vodcasts many Berkman sponsored events for those not able to make it to Cambridge in person.