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:
- The Convergence Culture Consortium
- Learning Games to Go
- Project New Media Literacies
- Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab
- MIT Center for Future Civic Media
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.
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:
- The projects linked from their home page, including the Center for Citizen Media, the Citizen Media Law project, the Digital Natives project, and the Internet and Democracy Project, among others)
- Their faculty and fellows, including Yochai Benkler, John Palfrey, Jonathan Zittrain, danah boyd, Dan Gillmor, Doc Searls, Jimmy Wales, and David Weinberger, and that’s just grabbing the names that immediately jump out to me, not to suggest all the others aren’t equally prominent or doing equally fascinating and worthwhile work.
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.