Blog Post

CMDC Program Named a "Signature Program" at WSUV

The Creative Media & Digital Culture Program has been designated a "Signature Program" at Washington State University Vancouver.  It joins Mechanical Engineering, Public Affairs, Psychology, and Environment Science in this honor. 

The program specializes in research relating to digital media––digital humanities, media art, media studies, media communication, and information systems––and serves as a nexus for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary collaborations within the College of Arts and Sciences as well as beyond with The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, the College of Business, and the School of Engineering and Computer Science.  An independent academic unit at the Vancouver campus since 2010, it is the home of the B.A. in Digital Technology and Culture and the minor in Communication.  It is directed by Dene Grigar.

Below is the FAQ Sheet prepared for distribution:



Dene Grigar, PhD, University of Texas at Dallas
Director and Associate Professor (Tenured in English)
Specialities:  Emergent technologies and cognition, electronic literature, ephemera
Current Research Projects: 

  • “The Electronic Literature Showcase” at the Library of Congress, April 3-5, 2013, funded by a $5000 Meyer Award
  • “A Villager’s Tale” for Fort Vancouver Mobile, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, $50,000
  • “The Grand Emporium of the West,” funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, $19,418

Brett Oppegaard, PhD, Texas Tech University
Assistant Professor (Tenure line in Communication)
Specialities: Mobile media, new journalism, electronic communication
Current Research Projects:

  • “A Villager’s Tale” for Fort Vancouver Mobile, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, $50,000
  • “The Grand Emporium of the West,” funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, $19,418

John Barber, PhD, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Clinical Assistant Professor
Specialties: Database and archival narratives, digital humanities, usability and interface design, sound art performance
Current Research Projects:

  • "Brautigan.NET," internationally recognized online bibliography and archive for Washington-born author Richard Brautigan
  • "Radio Nouspace," experimental space for developing interactive, multimedia radio

Will Luers, MFA, Columbia University
Visiting Assistant Professor
Specialties:  Video, locative art, database narratives
Current Research Projects:

  • "Plotting the Database:" a multimodal essay on the Scalar platform; forthcoming
  • "Fingerbend": a multimedia book exploring models of media art publishing; in progress

Michael Rabby, PhD, Arizona State University
Specialties:  Social media, ethics, strategic communication, quantitative and qualitative research methodology
Current Research Projects:

  • "The Old Apple Tree app: A comparative analysis," with Brett Oppegaard
  • "So what exactly is a digital media major? An investigation of required classes in current digital media programs"

Brenda Grell, MFA, Rhode Island School of Design
Specialties: Animation, Robotics, & Video
Current Research Projects:

  • 3D abstract animations and full dome design and development aimed for OMSI’s Kendall Planetarium
  • "Exceedingly Feminine," video, exhibited at Vaudeville Park, Brooklyn, NY

Nicholas Schiller, MLS, Library Science, Emporia State University
Associate Professor (Tenured in Library)
Specialties: Information Architecture, metadata, and social knowing
Current Research Projects:

  • “Search Engine Optimization, Knowledge, and Information Literacy,” article aimed for the journal, Portal
  • “Mobile Technologies in the Higher Education Workflows”

Clare Wilkinson-Weber, PhD, University of Pennsylvania
Assistant Professor (Tenure line in Anthropology, .5 Anthropology; .5 CMDC)
Specialties: Material culture; artistic production and creativity; arts and media as social practice; filmmaking in India
Current Research Projects:

  • Completed book on Fashioning Bollywood:  The Making and Meaning of Hindi Film Costume, Berg, 2013
  • Co-convened a workshop on Anthropology, Craft, and Artisans in the 21st century in July.  This event included several papers on digital craft that will be collected into a volume for publication

Research Labs, Museum Collections, and Galleries

·       The MOVE Lab.  MOtion-Tracking Virtual Environment for experimenting with multimedia performance, games, and mixed reality experiences, directed by Dene Grigar.  WSUV, VCLS 3.

·       The Elit Lab. A media archaeological site comprised of a collection of 18 vintage computers aimed at studying electronic literature, curatorial design, and multimedial exhibits, directed by Dene Grigar.  WSUV, VCLC 210.

·       The Visualization Lab.  A lab that experiments with 2 & 3D simulations and visualizations, directed by Brenda Grell.  WSUV, VMMC 24.

·       The Brautigan Library, the collection of manuscripts associated with writer Richard Brautigan and housed at the Clark County Historical Museum, directed by John Barber.  The Clark County Historical Museum.

·       Nouspace Gallery & Media Lounge. The first art gallery in the U.S. Pacific Northwest to specialize in interactive and multimedia art. Exhibits, mounted monthly, range from mobile media works, to video installations, to 3D art to pioneering electronic literature.  The gallery will also feature Radio Nouspace, a community-centered, internet radio station that will stream local music, public domain content, and live interviews, and performances. The gallery will also host lectures, workshops, and screenings aimed at building an understanding and appreciation of digital media in SWWA, directed by John Barber & Dene Grigar. 1005 Main, Vancouver, WA.  It launches on September 7, 2012.

Recent Highlights

The faculty taught a one-week course on mobile media and app development at the “Digital Humanities Summer Institute” at the University of Victoria in June 2012; we were invited to return to teach again in June 2013.  Course archive:

An essay on the topic of mobile media and app development for same, written by the faculty, will appear in the Journal for the International Digital Media & Arts in fall 2012.

The program produced the first permanent, interactive exhibit for the Oregon Museum for Science and Industry, built on experimental augmented reality software. News article:

Program students received an award in 2011 from the International Digital Media & Arts Association for their work with mobile media, video, sensor-based work in performance, and 3D simulations.

The CMDC Program has initiated a program-wide read of Dougas Rushkoff’s book, Program or Be Programmed for fall 2012 and will facilitate the city of Vancouver-wide read of the book, and Rushkoff’s visit to WSUV and city in spring 2013.

Program FAQs

·       130+ majors, placing the DTC major among the three largest academic programs on the WSUV campus

·       96% enrollment in all upper division courses in fall 2012.

·       Covers all five major areas of digital media:  media art, digital humanities, media studies, media communication, and information systems.

·       Money raised by faculty for research, student tuition, and program projects has averaged $100K per year since 2010.



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