Portland conference delves into communication networks

What is Universe logo

A conference coming to UO Portland will explore the networks of relationships in communication while highlighting the University of Oregon’s commitment to interdisciplinary research and its benefits.

The eighth annual “What Is” event takes place at the White Stag Block April 19-21. This year’s theme is “What is Universe.”

The collaboration between the School of Journalism and Communication, College of Design, College of Arts and Sciences and Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art builds upon previous “What Is?” conferences by cultivating the communication at the heart of science, technology and environments.

The conference kicks off April 19 with the 2018 Leonardo da Vinci Lecture featuring Robert T. Craig, professor emeritus of communication, culture, language and social practice at the University of Colorado Boulder, who will talk about “Communicating a Pluralistic Universe.”

The grand opening of the exhibition “MULTIVERSE” follows in the Light Court Commons. The exhibition features the “communication of science, multimedia and art-fusing scientific models, media technologies and 3D animated visualizations,” according to conference materials. The exhibition runs through May 13. 

The conference will continue the next two days with six general sessions and more than 20 panels. On Friday night, participants also will have the opportunity to join one of three immersive experiences focusing on theater, dance or music.

“In acknowledging science, technology, networks and their environments, communication is at an emergent crossroads,” said conference co-director Janet Wasko, UO professor and Knight Chair in Communications Research.

“The conference-experience will emphasize the impact of transdisciplinary inquiry across communication universes,” said co-director UO postdoctoral scholar Jeremy Swartz. Swartz and Wasko are editing a trilogy based on the three conferences, “Media • Life • Universe” to be published by Intellect Ltd./University of Chicago Press.

For more information or to register, visit http://whatis.uoregon.edu/universe/registration/