HUMlab at the University of Tokyo

Yesterday I visited professor Shin Mizukoshi at the University of Tokyo. I also got to meet some students. It was very inspiring and I think we all felt that there were connections and similarities as well as differences. It was quite interesting to hear about the Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies (and there are several interesting research groups here) – not least because of structural similarities and a common understanding of the importance of bringing the humanities, computer science, engineering together, and sometimes allowing the cultural focus be the entry point. Also we share experience – we have been involved in making this happen for some time.

Professor Shin’s early work was on the formation process of American broadcasting in the early 20th century and his work is very much contextual and rich – more recently focusing on media literacy among other things (see the MELL project for instance).  Another important project is the MoDe Project which is about socio-media studies on designing mobile media culture and literacy. They are also starting a new 5+ years project. We talked a fair bit about combining creative and critical modes as well. Shin talks about critical media production. I think there is good potential for productive collaboration between HUMlab and Shin’s research group, and we discussed some first steps. I am really happy I came to visit. There is much more to report and there also photos (the computer I am currently using does not allow me to do that). More later.