UAlbany’s HumaniTech Semester to Explore the Humanities and the Digital Revolution

Contact: Heidi Weber (518) 437-4993

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 23, 2003) - The University at Albany announces the launch of the “HumaniTech Semester: Humanity and Culture in an Age of Technology.” This bold interdisciplinary initiative aims to revitalize the humanities in an age of rapid scientific and technological advancement and to raise philosophical questions about how technology is reshaping humanity. The project’s diverse blend of programs, exhibitions, performances, seminars, film and media presentations will run through the Spring 2003 semester and showcase faculty research and educational programs in areas where the humanities, sciences and technology intersect.

The semester’s anchor events include The Technology Plays, funded in part by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation's "Imagining America" grants program, a project that unites UAlbany’s HumaniTech with Capital Repertory Theatre to bring players and audience members together in a series of short interactive plays that explore the complex relations between humans and machines. This unique aesthetic and educational project features commissioned plays by Pulitzer-prize winning author William Kennedy and international playwright and television writer Richard Dresser (“The Education of Max Bickford”). The Faculty Seminar, a series of seven two-hour seminars to be held across the semester, will promote exchange among scholars, community members, and students from schools and disciplines across the university. There will be a lecture and photographic exhibition at the University Art Museum by Gary Schneider, who extends the definition of the self-portrait into his own cells through use of various medical-imaging techniques; a performance by The Kitchen Sisters of National Public Radio and a symposium “Scholarly Publishing and Archiving on the Web: New Opportunities,” exploring emerging models for publishing and archiving electronic scholarship using institutional venues.

The HumaniTech Initiative, co-directed by faculty members Mary Valentis and Charles Shepherdson, draws on the University’s strong profile in the social sciences and technology, and includes faculty from UAlbany's College of Arts and Sciences and professional schools, the New York State Writers Institute, the Cliomedia Initiative and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, as well as collaborative partners from the Capital Region community. The Initiative’s mission is to preserve and transform the humanities in a time of substantial cultural change and to promote exchange and collaboration between the University and the surrounding community.

For more information about HumaniTech, visit .

Established in 1844 and designated a center of the State University of New York in 1962, the University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in eight degree-granting schools and colleges.

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