Judith Pintar is Teaching Associate Professor and Acting Director of the Undergraduate Program at the School of Information Sciences, as well as affiliate faculty of the European Union Center.
What is the focus of your current work and/or subject of your current research?
My work can be separated into three types: pedagogical projects, academic research projects, and game design projects. On the pedagogical side, I am the Provost's Distinguished Teacher Scholar for academic year 2020-2021, and I'm working on a research project entitled "Gameful Pedagogy: Instructional design for student well-being." Related to that I am working on writing up the role-playing game that I took online in Spring 2020 during the Global Informatics Seminar on Computational Propaganda, and I am the P.I. for the Investment for Growth project, Games@Illinois: Playful design for transformative education. We are proposing a suite of Game Studies Degree programs for our campus. And I am currently working on a cross-over book for Routledge, Information Sciences: the basics, which is intended to be a welcoming introduction to the emergent field, and I have in outline a study of historical understandings of hypnosis in relationship to fascism, that is particularly appropriate at the moment. I have a chapter coming out soon, Stories from the Other Notebook: The poetics of encounter in post-war Croatia. In William H. Leggett and Ida Fadzillah Leggett eds., Field Stories: Teaching the Relevance of Anthropology in the 21st Century. Lexington Press. (Forthcoming 2021), and this connects to my biggest ongoing project which is an interactive digital transmediation of a novel I wrote that was based on my dissertation research on the history of the Croatian city of Dubrovnik.
What classes do you teach? What are some of the topics of those classes?
At the moment I am teach IS 101: Introduction to Information Science, and my teaching schedule is somewhat limited because of my administrative position at the iSchool, But I do teach several game design courses for Informatics and the iSchool, including "Mapping Inequalities" which is a U.S. Minorities and Quant II General Education course which explores minority history through game design, and teaches a programming language used for writing interactive narrative games. And last Spring I taught a course supported by Title VI grant from EUC and REEEC, Seminar in Global Informatics: Narrative AI, Computational Propaganda & Election Interference.
Do you have any recent awards, honors, or publications that you would like to highlight?
As listed above, I am the Provost's Distinguished Teacher Scholar for 2020-2021. My most recent publications: Pintar, Judith. Stories from the Other Notebook: The poetics of encounter in post-war Croatia. In William H. Leggett and Ida Fadzillah Leggett eds., Field Stories: Teaching the Relevance of Anthropology in the 21st Century. Lexington Press. (Forthcoming 2021). Pintar, Judith (2020). The Valley Between Us: Narrative manipulation and information bias in the racial segregation of Milwaukee, in William Asprey and Melissa Ocepek eds., Deciding Where to Live: Information Studies on Where to Live in America. Rowman & Littlefield.
What is a book (academic or non-academic, in or outside your field) that you think should be more widely read?
During the pandemic, I have been rereading the works of my two favorite science fiction and fantasy writers, C.J. Cherryh and Tanith Lee. They were both quite prescient in taking on themes of interest to us all today, particularly in relationship to artificial intelligence, genetic manipulation, robotics, surveillance and so on. I would recommend the Biting the Sun Series by Tanith Lee, and Cyteen by C.J. Cherryh (though my pandemic reading has drifted more to their romping space adventures (Cherryh's Chanur and Foreigner series -- she does such an excellent job with inter- species interaction).
Is there any additional information or advice you'd like to share?
Get your shot, wear your mask!