Keynote Address: Jody Shipka

Jody Shipka is an Associate Professor of English at University of Maryland, Baltimore County where she teaches courses in the Communication and Technology Track. She is the author of Toward a Composition Made Whole and the editor of Play! A Collection of Toy Camera Photographs.

Her work has appeared in College Composition and shipka_imageCommunication, College English, Computers and Composition, Enculturation, Itineration, Kairos, Text and Talk, and a number of edited collections, including Writing Selves/Writing Societies, Exploring Semiotic Remediation as Discourse Practice, Multimodal Literacies and Emerging Genres in Student Compositions, and First-Year Composition: From Theory to Practice.

Her keynote presentation at the symposium is titled “Worlds of Involvement:  On Collecting, Making, and Making Do.” In this talk, she argues for increasingly dynamic and distributed conceptions of composing—ones that treat research and composing processes as heterogeneous, complexly-layered arrangements of humans and non-humans, and that treat agency, involvement, and collaboration, not as the special province of the human, the living, but rather, as distributed amongst various kinds of entities—human and non-human—all possessing different potentials, intentions, capabilities and lifespans.



Keynote Address: Emma Westecott

The CRDM Symposium is happy to present a keynote address by Dr. Emma Westecott. Her presentation, titled “Critical Game Making,” will take place at 9:30am on Sunday, March 20th in Caldwell Lounge.

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Dr. Westecott is Assistant Professor in Game Design and Director of the game:play lab at the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) University in Toronto, Canada ( She has worked in the game industry for over 20 years: in development, research and the academy. She achieved international recognition for working closely with Douglas Adams as producer for the best-selling CD-ROM Adventure Game, Starship Titanic (1998, Simon & Schuster). Since then, Dr. Westecott has built up a worldwide reputation for developing original as well as popular game projects.

Dr. Westecott has been invited to present her work at many prestigious venues including BAFTA, the Tate, the Banff Centre and DIGRA ( Between 2001-4, she directed the zerogame studio for The Interactive Institute ( in Sweden, where an impressive body of applied research was created under her leadership. More recently she has been Games Research Fellow at NSAMD, UWN where she organized 2007’s Women in Games conference (

The abstract for her keynote presentation, “Critical Game Making,” is below:

Digital games are an increasingly significant contemporary critical form in which makers express models of gameplay that make meaning beyond the context of pure entertainment. Game culture is pervasive and amidst a wider technological context that invites all our active participation provides one setting for the rise in creative expression evident across digital existence.

Starting from a feminist perspective situated in an art and design university this talk explores a set of lenses to approach critical making practices in games. The hope is that the approaches discussed may offer frameworks applicable across the digital diaspora.

You can find additional information on her work at the following links:





Research Games (not commercially released):

PsXXYborg (2013), Game Direction

Limber (2012), Game Design

Tweetris (2011), Game Direction

Ouroboros (2003), Game Direction,

Commedia Dell-Arte (2003), Game Direction and Design,

The Hive (2002), Game Design,

Commercial Games:

Time Tremors (2013), Xenophile Media Inc., Executive Producer.

Starship Titanic (1998), Simon & Schuster Inc., Game Author and Producer.

Announcing the CRDM Alumni Distinguished Award!

We are happy to announce that the CRDM program will be presenting its inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award to Dr. Jordan Frith. We will present the award to Dr. Frith during the CRDM Symposium, where he will also talk to the CRDM community about his research trajectory since graduating from the program.

Dr. Frith is an Assistant Professor of Technical Communication at the University of North Texas and graduated from the CRDM program in the fall 2012. He is author of two books, and his newest book–Smartphones as Locative Media–was published as part of the Digital Media & Society series. He has also authored over 15 journal articles, and his primary research focuses on emerging media, especially emerging mobile media that use physical location to shape information delivery.

The CRDM alumni award recognizes an alumn who has demonstrated some or all of the qualities below:
– excellency in interdisciplinary work;
– distinguished scholarly research and/or professional achievement since graduation;
– sustained engagement in and ongoing commitments to the CRDM program;
– outstanding service (community, institution, discipline/professional field or organization);
– exemplary engagement within their discipline and/or professional field.

Join us in congratulating Dr. Frith on this award!

Announcing the 2016 CRDM Symposium!

CRDM-pngThe 2016 CRDM Symposium seeks papers, creative work, and digital projects in a wide range of formats and from various disciplines following the theme of “critical invention.” We invite proposals to explore the following questions:

  • What does it mean to invent critically?
  • What do processes of critical invention look like across disciplines?
  • Beyond making meaning, what can critical invention actually do?
  • How do these processes affect digital pedagogies, creative production, and research practices?

See our complete call for submissions here!