In Medias Res, Fall 2003

William Uricchio

William Uricchio

CMS, a media studies program with a twist? Or, a reflective and applied engagement with mediated culture and the culture of mediation? The recent activities of CMS students, staff and faculty sketched out in this issue of In Medias Res demonstrate the vitality of the program as the latter, a critical interface between media (technologies, publics, modes of representation) and core humanities, arts, and social science issues.

Global in reach, cutting-edge in ambition, the people of CMS continue to show the value of a comparative and critical approach to the processes of mediation.

Fall brings with it the excitement of a new group of students and visiting scholars, as well as the experiences of those returning from stints in the field or in the library.

It also brings change. Alex Chisholm, a fixture of the program from its start and a key figure in our outreach to the world of industry, foundations, and donors, has recent- ly accepted a position as director of content at LeapFrog Enterprises, one of our ongoing research partners. This is a tremendous opportunity for Alex, and we wish him our best and look forward to an invigorated relationship with the small but growing colony of CMS alum at LeapFrog.

By the time the next issue of In Medias Res appears, we will have had a changing of the guard. Henry Jenkins will be back at MIT, and it will be my turn to head for the hills (or rather, the Lowlands).

Success with the semester ahead.

William Uricchio

About William Uricchio

William Uricchio revisits the histories of old media when they were new; explores interactive and participatory documentary; writes about the past and future of television; thinks a lot about algorithms and archives; and researches cultural identities and the question of "Americanization" in the 20th and 21st centuries. He is Professor of Comparative Media Studies, Principal Investigator of the MIT Open Documentary Lab, and faculty director of the MISTI-Netherlands Program. He is also Professor of Comparative Media History at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and has held visiting professorships at the Freie Universität Berlin, Stockholm University, the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (Lichtenberg-Kolleg), China University of Science and Technology, and in Denmark where he was DREAM professor. He has been awarded Guggenheim, Humboldt and Fulbright fellowships and the Berlin Prize; and was Holtzbrinck Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. His publications include Reframing Culture; We Europeans? Media, Representations, Identities; Media Cultures; Many More Lives of the Batman; and hundreds of essays and book chapters, including a visual "white paper" on the documentary impulse ( He is currently completing a book on the deep history and possible futures of documentary; and another on games and playing with history and historiography after post-structuralism.


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