Arts, amplified

Digital arts in action: Younghoo Cho ’19 took Acoustic Ecology and Sonic Art, taught by music professor Thomas Ciufo, in the new digital music lab in Pratt Hall.

By Sasha Nyary 

Wazhmah Osman of Temple University works in media studies at the intersection of gender, sexuality, race, class and human rights. In particular, she focuses on the political economy of global media industries and the regimes of representation and visual culture they produce. 

Osman, an assistant professor in Temple University’s media studies and production department, will be speaking about the field of media studies and her work as she leads off the first speaker series of the Digital Arts Initiative at Mount Holyoke College. 

The new initiative amplifies Mount Holyoke’s ongoing efforts to transform teaching and learning for 21st-century students in the context of technology, global connection and traditional liberal arts. For instance, a new digital music lab give students the opportunity to create music, regardless of their musical abilities or expertise. 

Osman’s talk, titled “Local Knowledge in the Global Village: Thinking Through Media Studies, Digital Media, and Human Rights,” is slated for Jan. 29 at 4:15 p.m. in 220 Art Building. 

“We’re very excited about the inaugural Spring Lecture Series of the Digital Arts Initiative,” said Robin Blaetz, professor and chair of film studies. “We are bringing some of the most influential scholars and artists working in the digital arts today through this series. These first six speakers will be focusing on various aspects of media studies, an important partner in the Digital Arts Initiative.” 

Blaetz is also co-director of Mount Holyoke’s MEDIAL Project, which is funded by a grant from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation in part to support technology upgrades for the arts, such as production facilities for media and film, and audio and sound. 

In this capacity, she and co-directors Ng Tian Hui, orchestra director and assistant professor of music, and Michael T. Davis, chair of architectural studies and professor of art history, collaborate with more than a dozen faculty and staff to guide the College’s Digital Arts Initiative. 

Their efforts include hosting the new speaker series. On the schedule so far: 

  • Kelsey Cameron, University of Pittsburgh, Feb. 5: "Corporeal Networks: Digital Media’s Marked Bodies”

  • Camilo Diaz Pino, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Feb. 7: “Animexico: Japanese Animation’s Trajectory to and through Mexico City”

  • Hannah Goodwin, Brown University, Feb. 13: “Missing, Altered, Cloned, Fragmented: Spectral Bodies of Digitized Women”

  • Lakshmi Padmanabhan, Brown University, Feb. 15: “Otherness Machines: Postcolonial Feminist Experiments with the Moving Image”

  • Eva Hageman, University of Richmond, Feb. 22: “‘Relatable Meets Remarkable:’ Race and Reality Television.” 

In the coming weeks, more speakers will be announced as they are confirmed. All talks begin at 4:15 p.m. in 220 Art Building and are free and open to the public. 

Other aspects of the Digital Arts Initiative include overseeing and advancing scholarship and work in the digital arts through student microgrants, new and renovated spaces on campus, and the annual Digital Arts Symposium. This event showcases student work in the digital arts and will be presented for the first time on April 20. 

Work in the intersections. Learn more.