2016-2017 Colloquium Series

The Tourism Studies Working Group and the
Center for Middle Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley,
are pleased to announce
From Metadata to Interface, A View from the View

Jared McCormick
Social Anthropology and Critical Media Practices
Harvard University

Friday, December 9, 5:00 PM
Gifford Room, 221 Kroeber Hall
University of California, Berkeley

This presentation presents a digital platform built around historical visions of tourism in Lebanon. The database was built from a private collection and motivated by larger research questions in my dissertation of sensuality, imagination, and conceptions of place from a 70-year period of physical-mobility-for-pleasure in Lebanon. This talk encompasses the conceptualization, building, and pitfalls of producing a Digital Humanities project parallel to traditional research. How does materiality come to play? What meaningful categories of metadata emerged for inclusion in a database? What is gained and lost in building a database for public distribution, especially around issues of memory and nostalgia? How does an interactive database/project elicit end user experiences through computational processes which is beyond the scope of our writing?

Speaker Bio:
Jared McCormick completed his Ph.D. in Social Anthropology, and a secondary degree in Critical Media Practices, at Harvard University. His research centers on issues of mobility, sexuality/sensuality, and imaginations of place in the Middle East. Currently at Harvard University he is an Affiliate Researcher at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Social Science Fellow at the Graduate Center for Writing and Communicating Ideas, and a Bok Writing Fellow in Social Anthropology. Jared is also the co-director/founder of marra.tein, an initiative that encourages innovative thought and dialogue by hosting researchers/artists at a dedicated residency space in Beirut, Lebanon.

He is working on the book manuscript of his dissertation which joins a historical analysis of eras of the tourism/leisure industry in Lebanon with an ethnography of queer mobility since 2004. It explores the contingencies of narratives & space as it relates to the tourism industry in Lebanon. Central is this work are the role of imagination, sensuality, and "atmospheres." Jared was recently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar and has been carrying out a parallel project concerning the history of tourism in the Arabian Gulf (Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, and Bahrain), productions of visual cultures of tourism since the 1960's, and current iterations of "tourism" as branding, diversification, and speculation in the GCC.

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