2013-2014 HASTAC Scholars
PhD Student, Anthropology/Telecommunications
Project: "Slow Food and Fast Flows: How food connects us in a world of new media technology and where its future leads."
Leigh's dissertation project looks into the uses of new media within food environment. She is researching the communities established and connections made through the through creative audio production, in particular through the Third Coast International Audio Festival's Short Docs Challenge on "Appetite". Her dissertation project will be written for her committee but also presented as short "audio chapters" fit for a broader public. She intends to use the techniques of new digital audio and podcasting to demonstrate the ways that new media can be used to build communities across geography and technical ability and the senses.
PhD student, Folklore
Project: "Cosplay at DragonCon: Media Engagement in Everyday Life"
This project focuses on the art and craft of cosplay as it appears at Dragon*Con, the largest fan-run popular culture convention held in the United States. Cosplay is a portmanteau that joins the words “costume” and “play.” The term describes a performative action in which one dons a costume and/or accessories and manipulates his or her posture, gesture, and language in order to generate meaningful correspondences and contrasts between a given body and a set of mass mediated popular culture texts (e.g. comics, video games, internet memes, film, television programs) from which it is modeled and made to relate. It is a somatic, material, and textual practice. This work examines how media texts are interwoven into the texture of fans’ everyday lives, how they serve as communicative resources that both engender and circumscribe individual creativity and through which fans can express themselves and their identities. This research project combines long-term ethnographic fieldwork (2010-present), textual analysis, and archival methods with digital audio, video, and photography. Each of these media assets will be integrated into both a print-based text as well as an interactive multimedia interface that will extend beyond the limitations of traditional "analog" ethnographic publication formats.
Seyedsasan Hashemikhabir (Sasan Hashemi)
PhD student, IUPUI School of Informatics and Computing
Project: Biological Network Reconstructions Based on Experimental Evidences
Understanding the detailed mechanisms of the inner workings of a cell is the ultimate goal for the researchers in the biomedical sciences as it not only helps in uncovering the contributions of individual components of the cell but to also learn how they are perturbed in healthy and disease states. There are thousands of these components within a cell known as genes that control the cellular activities. The interaction of the genes in a cell can be modeled as a network with the interaction between every pair of the genes represented as an edge in this network. In his PhD project, Sasan will propose computational approaches to construct and analyze these cellular networks in healthy condition and then compare with disease states such as cancer and diabetes to identify the genes and their perturbed interactions. The immediate outcome of this project will contribute to better understanding of cellular blueprint. Moreover, comparison of the same network in the healthy and disease conditions will help us to identify the critical genes that are involved in cell misbehavior. These findings will eventually result in more effective drug design against the critical genes in order to minimize the side effects
PhD student, IUPUI School of Informatics and Computing
Project: Experiencing Mangyan Culture Through Multimedia
Lugao is interested in documenting his heritage, and plans to use this topic as the focus of a project designed to explore the dynamics of how people experience information. Lugao is the son of an anthropologist and a woman from the Mangyan people of the Phillipine Islands. The Mangyan people live in the remote mountains of the Phillipines, and have a distinct culture that includes their own language, their own alphabet, stories, songs, and a robust cultural heritage. Lugao lived with his family in a Mangyan village as a young child, but moved to the United States when his father returned home with the family. He was inspired by the Mangyan folk stories he heard from his mother to learn more about his heritage. He has volunteered with non-profit organizations that work with the Mangyan people on the island of Mindoro, and has access to an archive of photographs and other materials from Peace Corps volunteers and missionaries from the Divine Word Missionaries group. He calls these photo books “The Three Albums”, as they offer a look into Mangyan culture from three very different perspectives. The initial steps of his project will involve digitizing and restoring the photos, including the notations on the backs of many of them. Then he plans to develop a multimedia project that will allow people to experience the photos, along with other media, such as video and recorded stories. The project will involve an exploration of presentation methods, including creative user interfaces for screen based media, and immersive experiences that use projection and physical computer interfaces.
MA Student, Jacobs School of Music
All instruments are limited by their physical acoustic properties. Throughout history instruments have been constantly developed to increase their technical diversity and capabilities. As the trumpet has evolved into its current, mature state there have been no groundbreaking technical expansions of the instrument in recent history. My proposed project is to create a significant expansion of the technical and sonic range of the trumpet by combining the instrument with the power of computers. I will achieve this project by using a Max 6, a graphical programming software that specializes in interactive audio signal processing, to create a digital extension of the trumpet. This program will be idiomatically controlled by the trumpet player. This “extended-trumpet” will not be intended for a single work of music, but rather as an instrument unto itself for composers will write new and forward-thinking works of music.