March 2007

From Academic Commons – Blog:

The Institute for the Future of the Book with the support of the MacArthur Foundation and the Annenberg Center for Communication at USC, they have just launched Media Commons project, a project in development with the intention of become a network in which scholars, students, and other interested members of the public can help to shift the focus of scholarship back to the circulation of discourse. This network will be community-driven, responding flexibly to the needs and desires of its users. It will also be multi-nodal, providing access to a wide range of intellectual writing and media production, including forms such as blogs, wikis, and journals, as well as digitally networked scholarly monographs. Larger-scale publishing projects will be developed with an editorial board that will also function as stewards of the larger network. will begin to develop in public.

The site consists of three simple parts:

1) A weblog where founding editors Avi Santo (Old Dominion University) and Kathleen Fitzpatrick (Pomona College) will think out loud and work with the emerging community to develop the full MediaCommons vision.

2) Proposals , a call for “papers”–scholarly projects that engagingly explore some aspect of media history, theory, or culture through an adventurous use of the broad palette of technologies provided by the digital network. These will be the first round of texts published by MediaCommons at the time of its launch.

3) In media Res–an experimental feature where each week a different scholar will present a short contemporary media clip accompanied by a 100-150 word commentary, alongside which a community discussion can take place. In Media Res is presented as just one of the many possible critical activities that MediaCommons could eventually host. With this feature, they are also making a stand on “fair use,” asserting the right to quote from the media for scholarly, critical and pedagogical purposes. Currently on the site, you’ll find videos curated by Henry Jenkins of MIT, Jason Mittell of Middlebury College and Horace Newcomb of the University of Georgia (and the founder of the Peabody Awards). An open invitation has been issued for more curators.

Out of this site, the real MediaCommons will eventually emerge. The launch is planned for 2007, as early as Spring and as late as Fall, depending on community response. Already there are some quite interesting conversations taking place within, including a fascinating exchange about YouTube’s potentially-stifling role in the emerging landscape of media criticism.



From the New York Times, by Somini Sengupta, March 26, 2007:

In the article India Attracts Universities From the U.S , at the New York Times, it is describe the drive of American Universitiesfor setting up satellite campuses in India as was done in China, Singapore or Qatar. The article focus on the interest of business schools in the United States to establish links with India, in order to participate in the current drive to train executives and business managers in India.

“The Americanization of Indian education is following a variety of approaches. Champlain College, based in Burlington, Vt., runs a satellite campus in Mumbai that offers degrees in one of three career-oriented subjects that college administrators have found to be attractive to Indians: business, hospitality industry management and software engineering. A 2005 study commissioned by the government found at least 131 foreign educational institutions operating in India at the time, a vast majority offering vocational courses.”

Another aspect is that though the colleges degrees in most satellite campus been established in India, are not recognize by the Indian government, this does not seem to constitute an hindrance for students looking for jobs in the private sector. The article offers a brief list of some of the American institutions participating in this drive for investing in the private sector of Indian Higher Education System: California State University, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell University and Rice University


The best part of the article is found at the end, when the rational of a student attracted to this programs supported by American Higher Education Institutions is revealed:


The applicants on the recent evening in Chennai were eager to please the gatekeepers from Pittsburgh. They addressed them politely with a series of “yes, sirs.” Asked what they could contribute to Carnegie Mellon, some of them became flummoxed. One young man said he wanted to develop software designed for the “global citizen,” by which he meant a way to transfer money across continents using a mobile phone.

Mr. Muddana, who had a bachelor’s degree in information technology and had spent the past eight months as a software developer for an Indian firm, said he saw the program as a cost-effective ticket to an American degree and a chance to work for a few years in the United States.

The rational scarcely as something to do with education, or the quality of the programs, but is imagine as a ticket to participated in the global market of labor in the United States, so much for the idea of a global citizen, aside of commercial considerations.

His father, he said, failed to grasp his ambitions. Why would he quit a secure, well-paying job to go back to school, his father wanted to know. Mr. Muddana said his father taught at a government school in a rural district in neighboring Andhra Pradesh State. He earns today roughly what his son makes fresh out of college. Mr. Muddana said his father was bewildered by his dreams and by how much it would cost to get a master’s degree.

“He’s presently thinking only of the investment,” Mr. Muddana said, “not the outcome.”

Link to the article:

  1. Our regular blog posting will be interrupted until the end of this Week in order to solve some technical problems.

This G8 in collaboration with UNESCO, have organize a forum on ‘Education, Research and Innovation: New Partnership for Sustainable Development’  to be celebrated at  Trieste, Italy, 10-12 May 2007l

The Forum builds on the discussion launched at the St. Petersburg summit on the interconnections between the three components of the triangle of knowledge—education, scientific research and technological innovation—from the perspective of sustainable development, and seeks to identify risks and opportunities for industrialized countries as well as developing and low-income countries.

The discussion will be presented by speakers from the educational, scientific and business worlds, drawn from G8 countries as well as developing countries. The Forum is intended as an opportunity for discussion and no final document is foreseen.

From The Chronicle: Daily News Blog, Mar 8 , 2007:

Researchers have an overwhelmingly positive view of open-access publishing, in which scientific papers are swiftly made available free to readers. But according to a recent survey, those same researchers are also reluctant to put their own research in open-access publications.

Why the paradox? The survey suggests that the increased speed, broader readership, and potentially higher citation rates of open-access journals are trumped by their insufficient impact factors, their possible lack of long-term availability, and their weaker ability to reach the specific audience of scientists within an author’s own discipline.

The survey was conducted online last summer by researchers at the Ludwig Maximilians University, in Munich, and at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The results of the survey appear in a paper, “Open Access and Science Publishing,” that was released on Wednesday.

The post of this lecture seems appropriated at this time. Jean Baudrillard, the 77 years old controversial French thinker, died this week.

From The European Graduate School:

Jean Baudrillard's video lecture
Play Video
Jean Baudrillard
‘Finalities of Change’ (2002)
European Server or US mirror
Full text transcript of the lecture Between Difference and Singularity: An open discussion with Jean Baudrillard

From the New York Review of Books, by Andrew Delbanco, March 2007:

In “Scandals of Higher Education” Delbanco discusses a series of recent books pointing out to the current national trend in the United States Higher Education Systems, colleges and universities, to “widening the disparity between rich and poor”. In other words, the article purpose, is to look at this problem in the following terms:

“The American university tends to be described these days by foe and friend alike as the Alamo of the left—a last fortress for liberal holdouts in a society that has pretty much routed liberals from politics and public life. But how persuasive are testimonials of devotion to equity and democracy when they come from institutions that are usually beyond the reach of anyone without lots of money?”.

This is the scandal of Higher Education, as Donald Levine, former dean former dean of the college at the University of Chicago, notice

the scandal of higher education in our time is that so little attention gets paid, in institutions that claim to provide an education, to what it is that college educators claim to be providing.


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