BGC Digital Events and Upcoming Rob Stein(@rjstein) Talk at BGC

posted on 17 Feb 2012 20:55 by BGC DML - Kimon
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Among the many resources that students and faculty have at their disposal here BGC, perhaps the most invaluable is the wide range of speakers that present their research on a seemingly nightly basis at the BGC. Whether they are part of our seminar series that covers a wide range of topics related to material culture or symposia related to specific projects or collaborations in which the BGC takes part, there always seems to be something going on in our lecture hall.

In the past, we have had a number of events that have been particularly relevant to the DML including:

  • The Artifact in the Age of New Media symposium with guests Dan Cohen (@dancohen), Josh Greenberg (@epistemographer), Carrie Rebora Barratt, Amelia Peck, Steve Brier (@stevebrier), and Josh Brown (@joshbrownnyc)
  • Robert Darnton's talk Blogging, Now and Then (in the 18th Century)
  • Mapping New Media symposium with Matthew Knutzen(@mattknutzen @nyplmaps) of the NYPL Maps Division, Janice Reiff of UCLA and Hypercities, and Wendy Bellion of the University of Delaware.
  • Digital Publishing: 2011 and Beyond: a conversation about the future of publishing in the digital age with invited guests Phil Pocoda, Abby Smith Rumsey, Josh Greenberg (@epistemographer), Cheryl Ball(@s2ceball) and Douglas Eyman of Kairos (@KairosRTP), Kathleen Fitzpatrick(@kfitz) of Media Commons and MLA, and Kathy Sparks from Dumbarton Oaks.
  • A brown bag lunch presentation on the future of scholarly publication by Kathleen Fitzpatrick (@kfitz)

Our next event brings us Rob Stein (@rjstein) from the Indianapolis Museum of Art to speak on Wednesday, February 22, 2012. His talk is entitled “Conversation and Collaboration: Strategies to Cultivate Meaningful Engagement with Cultural Audiences.” Here is some back ground about Rob and information about attending the event:

Robert Stein is currently Deputy Director for Research, Technology, and Engagement at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, where he has worked since 2006 to develop new technologies for research, conservation, and digital media within the museum. He received his B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois and has received grants from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (2011), the Getty Foundation (2011), and the Ball Brothers Foundation (2010). His publications include articles on “Crowd-Sourcing Art History: Research and Applications of Social Tagging for Museums” in Research Infrastructures in the Digital Humanities (2011); “Mobile Content Strategies for Content Sharing and Long-Term Sustainability” in Mobile Apps for Museums: the AAM Guide to Planning and Strategy (2011); and “Computational Linguistics in Museums: Applications for Cultural Datasets Read More: Computational Linguistics in Museums: Applications for Cultural Datasets” in Museums and the Web 2011.

As museums and cultural organizations seek to enhance their relevance within a rapidly changing society, issues of participatory culture and engagement are becoming more and more critical. The debate about how best to build deep connections for visitors with cultural content is an important one, but concrete evidence and replicable findings about the value and methods for doing so are often hard to come by. Are the views and opinions of the general public an important part of the mission for cultural organizations, or just a societal fad that will pass? What is the responsibility of public institutions to serve and preserve the impressions of their local audiences? Does public opinion hold its value in relationship to the factual and contextual content provided by more traditional content authorities? For those institutions that are eager to embrace a participatory culture, how can they know whether or not they are being successful? What does that success look like, and why is it important?

This session will focus on the underpinning logic and assumptions implicit in a decision by the Indianapolis Museum of Art that such participation and engagement with audiences is an important part of the museum’s mission. Results from several research studies and collaborations with other leading cultural institutions will be discussed. Current work to establish a formalized program of visitor study for the purpose of deepening visitor engagement will be explained and the session will offer an opportunity for informal discussion of the challenges and opportunities involved in such a strategy.

Please RSVP at and join us in the Lecture Hall at 38 West 86th Street, between Columbus Ave and Central Park West, at 5:45pm for a reception before the talk.


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