The Future of Truth

UCHI: A Year in Review

Thanks to the generous support of the University of Connecticut Provost’s OfficeGraduate School, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and UConn Foundation, as well as our own grants, we have had quite a productive year so far. We have been able to fund 13 residential fellowships this year, including three visiting fellows, six UConn faculties, and four UConn graduate dissertation fellows. We funded and co-sponsored various events and programs, including a lecture and book signing by celebrated author, Colson Whitehead, presentations by award-winning and celebrated scholars and activities, Annette Vee, Rebecca Traister, and Aruna D’Souza, and the rare chance to see a performance by distinguished flamenco guitar player, Oscar Herrero.

We also welcomed World Poetry Books, the only publisher in the United States dedicated solely to publishing books of international poetry in English Translation, and we kicked off our The Future of Truth initiative with a 2750,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. We work hard to cultivate creativity among scholars of the arts and humanities at UConn, but we also find inspiration in the achievements and successes of our fellows, long after they leave UCHI. 

 

Here is a snapshot of what we have achieved in just a few short months:

 

UCHI Hosts Microsoft’s Nancy Baym Talk on Social Media and Human Interactions

The Relational Affordances of Platforms

By Nancy K. Baym

 

People have been socializing on the internet for nearly fifty years. In recent years, online social life has become increasingly concentrated in a relatively small number of commercial platforms. How can we make sense of the impacts they are having on our relational lives? How can we theorize platforms when they are constantly changing and used in so many different ways? In this talk, Nancy Baym draws on a range of her recent research on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to articulate a model for understanding platforms as the dynamic, unstable entities they are, and to explore their roles in shaping, constraining and opening up new possibilities for relationships in contexts ranging from close romantic bonds to online communities and the ties that connect musicians to their audiences. The talk further considers how these platforms commodify the relational interactions that take place through them, and how their design choices have fostered environments in which relationships become tools for profit.

Join us on Wednesday, February 5 2020, at 4PM at the UCHI Conference Room, Babbidge Library, Fourth Floor.

Co-Sponsored by UConn Department of Communication, and UCHI’s Digital Humanities and Media Studies (DHMS) and The Future of Truth (TFOT) initiatives.

Through the generous gift of her honorarium, Nancy K. Baym is supporting the Humanities Institute’s Digital Toolbox Working Group for the 2019–20 academic year.

 

Nancy Baym headshotNancy Baym

Senior Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research New England
Research Affiliate, Comparative Media Studies/Writing, MIT

Nancy Baym is a Senior Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research New England, where she conducts basic research into how people understand and act with new communication technologies in their relationships. A pioneer in the field of internet research, Baym wrote some of the first articles about online community in the early 1990s. With Jean Burgess, she is the author of Twitter: A Biography (forthcoming 2020, NYU). Other books include Playing to the Crowd: Musicians, Audiences, and the Intimate Work of Connection(2018, NYU), Personal Connections in the Digital Age (2010, Second Edition 2014, Polity), Internet Inquiry: Conversations About Method (co-edited with Annette Markham, 2010, Sage), and Tune In, Log On: Soaps, Fandom and Online Community (2000, Sage). She was a co-founder of the Association of Internet Researchers and served as its second president. She has been recognized with the Frederick Williams Prize for Contributions to the Study of Communication and Technology awarded by the International Communication Association, the naming of the Nancy Baym Book Award by the Association of Internet Researchers, and an Honorary Doctorate from the Faculty of Information Technology at the University of Gothenburg. Most of her papers and more information are available at nancybaym.com.

UCHI-TFoT Co-Sponsors London Conference on Truth, Democracy

London Event Banner with Sponsors

The University of Connecticut Humanities Institute (UCHI), through its latest initiative—The Future of Truth—is co-sponsoring a global conference entitled “Under Pressure: Truth, Trust and Democracy.” In light of the election of Donald Trump in the United States and the ongoing Brexit gridlock in the United Kingdom, this conference, which takes place at the Senate House, University of London on November 28–29, 2019, brings together well known scholars from around North America and Europe to examine two broad themes: “Truth and Bias in Images,” and “Truth, Propaganda, and Public Discourse.” Participants of the conference include UCHI director and UConn Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, Michael P. Lynch. Other sponsors of this conference include: Institute of Philosophy – School of Advanced Study, University of London, and the United Kingdom Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Register for the conference

The Future of Truth Co-sponsor of Three Events on November 5

On Tuesday, Nov. 5, the Science of Learning & Art of Communication program (SLAC) and the UConn Humanities Institute’s The Future of Truth Initiative (UCHI-TFoT) invite you to three special events. Please register for any you are interested in so that we can provide appropriate refreshments.

 

(1) SCIENCE AND IMAGINATION WORKSHOP

  • 3-6pm, UConn Humanities Institute Conference Room, 4th Floor, Babbidge Library
  • Featuring Michael Lynch, Tim Miller, and Susan Schneider from UConn, and Julie Sedivy (U. Calgary) and Mike Tanenhaus (U. Rochester)
  • Flyer attached; see details and register here
  • Dinner with the speakers will follow for a limited number of guests; if you would like to join for dinner, please register here, and we will send you details

(2) CULTIVATING SCIENTISTS AS AUTHORS: REWARDS, CHALLENGES, AND TECHNIQUES

  • 10-11:30am, UConn Humanities Institute Conference Room, 4th Floor, Babbidge Library
  • Light breakfast from 9:30
  • Led by Julie Sedivy (U. Calgary)
  • This is an interactive session for scientists who are interested in writing for general audiences, whether in the form of blogs, articles, books, or other media. We will discuss some of the practical aspects of learning to write for a nonacademic audience and of accessing channels for disseminating your writing more broadly. We will also address some of the obstacles experienced by scientists who would like to invest time and energy into science communication. We’ll explore the supports that scientists need from inside and outside their institutions and the potential payoffs of such investments for individual scientists and their institutions.
  • Please register for this writing workshop here

(3) SCIENCE — THE ENDLESS FRONTIER:  DISCUSSION & WORKING LUNCH

  • 12-2PM, UConn Humanities Institute Conference Room, 4th Floor, Babbidge Library
  • Led by Mike Tanenhaus (U. Rochester, 2018 winner of the Rumelhart Prize)
  • Participants should read the report ‘Science — the Endless Frontier‘ (which led to the founding of the National Science Foundation), in advance of the meeting. Mike’s talk at the Science and Imagination afternoon event focuses on this report (see his abstract here). Our working lunch will give you an opportunity to do a “deep dive” into this report with Mike. If time permits, we will talk about ways we can impact public support for science locally, nationally, and globally.
  • Click here to register for this discussion and lunch with Mike Tanenhaus