"In Media Res is dedicated to experimenting with collaborative, multi-modal forms of online scholarship. Our goal is to promote an online dialogue amongst scholars and the public about contemporary approaches to studying media. In Media Res provides a forum for more immediate critical engagement with media at a pace closer to how we experience mediated texts.
Each weekday, a different scholar curates a 30-second to 3-minute video clip/visual image slideshow accompanied by a 300-350-word impressionistic response. We use the title 'curator' because, like a curator in a museum, you are repurposing a media object that already exists and providing context through your commentary, which frames the object in a particular way. The clip/comment combination are intended both to introduce the curator's work to the larger community of scholars (as well as non-academics who frequent the site) and, hopefully, encourage feedback/discussion from that community.
Theme weeks are designed to generate a networked conversation between curators. All the posts for theme weeks thematically overlap and the participating curators each agree to comment on one another's work."
(In Media Res: A MediaCommons Project)
16 June 2009
"BILL MOYERS: But this intrigues me because you've set out over these years to educate young girls primarily. I mean, you do have some boys in your schools, but primarily your goal is to educate young girls. And given the fact that the Afghani and Pakistani societies are so male dominated, that men run the families, they run the government, they run the villages, they run the Taliban, why focus on girls instead of the men who are going to, in that culture, grow up and run things?
GREG MORTENSON: Well, it's obviously the boys need education also. But as a child in Africa, I learned a proverb. And it says, ‘If we educate a boy, we educate an individual. But if we can educate a girl, we educate a community.’ And what that means is when girls grow up, become a mother, they are the ones who promote the value of education in the community. The education of girls has very powerful impacts in a society. Number one, the infant mortality's reduced. Number two, the population is reduced. The third thing is the quality of health improves. And, from my own observation, when girls learn how to read and write, they often teach their mother how to read and write. Boys, we don't seem to do that as much. They also, you'll see people, kids coming out for the marketplace, have meat or vegetables wrapped in newspaper. And then you'll see the mother very carefully unfolding a newspaper and ask her daughter to read the news to her. And it's the first time that woman is able to get information of what's going on in the outside world around--very powerful to see that. And another compelling reason is when women are educated, they're not as likely to condone or encourage their son to get into violence or into terrorism. In fact, culturally when someone goes on jihad, they should get permission from their mother first. And if they don't, it's very shameful or disgraceful. So when women are educated, as I mentioned, they are less likely to encourage their son to get into violence. And I've seen that happen, Bill, over the last decade in rural areas of Afghanistan, Pakistan. I mean, I could go on all day about this, but educating girls is very powerful."
(Bill Moyers Journal, 15 January 2010, PBS)
"The idea of an open city is not my own: credit for it belongs to the great urbanist Jane Jacobs in the course of arguing against the urban vision of Le Corbusier. She tried to understand what results when places become both dense and diverse, as in packed streets or squares, their functions both public and private; out of such conditions comes the unexpected encounter, the chance discovery, the innovation. Her view, reflected in the bon mot of William Empson, was that 'the arts result from over-crowding'. Jacobs sought to define particular strategies for urban development, once a city is freed of the constraints of either equilibrium or integration. These include encouraging quirky, jerry-built adaptations or additions to existing buildings; encouraging uses of public spaces which don't fit neatly together, such as putting an AIDS hospice square in the middle of a shopping street. In her view, big capitalism and powerful developers tend to favour homogeneity: determinate, predictable, and balanced in form. The role of the radical planner therefore is to champion dissonance. In her famous declaration: 'if density and diversity give life, the life they breed is disorderly'. The open city feels like Naples, the closed city feels like Frankfurt."
(Richard Sennett, 2006)
Fig.1 Busy street in Naples, marlenworld.com
Fig.2 Paris, Les Olympiades, 1969-1974, Thierry Bézecourt in 2005
 Sennett, R. (2006). The Open City: The Closed System and The Brittle City. Urban Age.