Talk | The Innovators

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 7:00pm

What do all Penn freshman have in common? During New Student Orientation and as part of the Penn Reading Project, each member of the Class of 2021 will join faculty members from around the University to discuss Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators. This October, for the first time, we’re inviting alumni to share this unifying intellectual experience with one another during an online and on-campus event with English Department Professors Peter Decherney and Whitney Trettien.


Peter Decherney is Professor of Cinema & Media Studies and English at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a secondary appointment at the Annenberg School for Communication and an affiliation with the Center for Technology, Innovation, and Competition at Penn Law School. He is the Faculty Director of Penn’s campus-wide Online Learning Initiative and Director of the Cinema & Media Studies Program. He is the author or editor of six books including Hollywood’s Copyright Wars: From Edison to the Internet and Hollywood: A Very Short Introduction. He has directed two short documentary films: Filmmaking for Democracy in Myanmar and the virtual reality film Kalobeyei, about a refugee settlement in Kenya. Prof. Decherney is also a regular contributor to Forbes. Prof. Decherney has been an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Scholar, a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, and a U.S. State Department Arts Envoy to Myanmar. He is an award-winning teacher, whose free online course (a MOOC) on the history of Hollywood is available through the edX platform.

Whitney Trettien researches the history of the book and other text technologies from print to digital, taking a particular interest in how women used books in the early modern period. Her work is invested in using the past to better understand the present and often makes/breaks digital technologies to communicate historical knowledge. Her forthcoming book Cut/Copy/Paste — published in print and digital form through the Manifold Scholarship imprint of University of Minnesota Press — tracks the use of fragmented texts across three early modern "makerspaces," using visualizations to resituate the field of bibliography in relation to media studies. She has published on textile metaphors in Isabella Whitney, print-on-demand publishing, and digital humanities, and has co-edited Provoke!, a web-based collection of sonic scholarship. (A print companion on digital sound studies is forthcoming from Duke University Press.) She is also the co-editor and co-designer of thresholds, an occasional digital journal for creative/critical scholarship, reimagined. Whitney Trettien received her PhD from Duke University and has an MS in Comparative Media Studies from MIT.

Cinema Studies Program
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