(See collection of profiles of New Media programs around the globe.)
U of California, Los Angeles
LA, California, USA

Type: University
Royce Hall:
Photo: Wikipedia

Jessic P
Student Profile:
Jessica Pressman
Ph.D. Candidate

Undergraduates: 24,811
Graduates: 10,814
Emphases: New Media, Digital Art, Eliterature
Reviewer: Jessica Pressman

The skinny: UCLA’s strength are its world-class researchers who interact across humanities, arts, and science. N. Katherine Hayles in English and Victora Vesna in Design | Media Arts are particularly prominent and present, available to graduate students across departments and eager to emphasize exploration and interconnections.

Design|Media Art.
Burgeoning department with innovative faculty interested in diverse facets of new media. Cross-disciplinary coursework and projects are possible. The department’s Chair, Victoria Vesna, is particularly interested in and committed to interdisciplinary, collaborative work. She was instrumental in enabling ELO to serve its tenure at UCLA, and, more personally, she served as an outside reader on my dissertation committee.

Researchers of Note:
N. Katherine Hayles, English and Design| Media Arts
Sue Ellen Case, Theater
Victoria Vesna, Design| Media Arts
Erkki Huhtomo, Design| Media Arts
Rebecca Allen, Design| Media Arts
Mark Hansen, Statistics
Yasmin Kafai, Grad. School of Education and Information
Todd Presner, German, Hypermedia Berlin: Work is on Vectors
Nick Gessler, Anthropology

Labs and groups
Center for Digital Humanities
Support new media pedagogy on campus

Electronic Literature Organization (ELO) ELO has been in tenure in at UCLA, with the co-sponsorship of the English and Design| Media Arts department, since Fall of 2001. During these years, ELO made UCLA and Los Angeles a center for highlighting electronic literature. The ELO office is in the processing of moving its headquarters to Maryland Institiute for Technology in the Humanities at University of Maryland.

Year-long Graduate New Media Colloquium– during this 2005-2006 year, Kate Hayles lead a seminar for students from English and Comparative Literature at UCLA and UCSB, wherein we worked in groups to create in-depth and diverse new media projects.

Team-taught classes: In 2001-2002, Kate Hayles and Bill Seaman (Design| Media Arts) co-taught a course on new media which attracted graduate students across departments and campuses.

Electronic Literature Speaker Series: In 2003-2004, ELO, UCLA, and the Hammer Museum teamed up to bring the yearlong reading series “HyperText: Explorations in Electronic Literature” to the Hammer Museum.
Also, see recent conference on Girls and Gaming.

Featured Faculty Texts:
Writing Machines

Student Profile:
Name:Jessica Pressman
Directors: Kate Hayles, Alan Liu (UCSB), Michael North, Mark McGurl
Year in the program: Entering last year; finishing dissertation
Name of Dissertation: “Digital Modernism: Making it New in New Media”

What are you working on?

“Digital Modernism: Making it New in New Media” examines a shared strategy in some of the most innovative works of electronic literature online– the remediation of literary modernism as a means for challenging our assumptions about electronic literature and validating these experiments as literature.

How does this program serve your needs?
Kate Hayles is obviously the a top draw to our department… and for good reason. Not onlly is she a pivotal scholar in the field, but she is also a supportive and generous mentor and advocate. The English deptartment, under our Chair Tom Wortham, is also supportive and interested in the kind of innovative work that students of new media pursue. This year we have students specializing in medieval and Victorian as well as contemporary literature and theory who are all interested in new media.

When I took my first-stage oral exams (the comprehensive exam), I created a reading list in Electronic Literature; so that is now an accepted option.

Ours is not a hands-on department, and particularly for those interested in new media, since we have so few interested faculty; it demands self-motivated people who will seek out affiliations beyond the department’s doors. But there is a large community of brilliant people interested in new media networked across the UCs; we are a two-hour drive from both UCSB and UCSD, and I can personally attest to the generousity of faculty members at both campuses… not to mention other graduate students– like Mark and Jeremy!

If any potential students have questions about the English program here at UCLA, feel free to contact me. I am always eager to meet other students interested in new media and to show people around our beautiful campus.


Additional Stats:
Ethnicity: (2004) African American 3.3%, Native American 0.4%, Chicano and Latino 15.3.%, Asian/Asian American (includes Filipino) 33.5%, White/Caucasian 33.2%, other ethnic 1.2%, unknown/decline-to-state 6.4% and 4.9% Foreign.
Student/Faculty Ratio: 13:1

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