The inaugural Nerd Nite – Lawrence event will be on Tuesday, November 8 with doors at 7:30 at Pachamama’s (8th and New Hampshire).

The theme is Nerd Space. We’ll be exploring how the space around us influences us and how influence it. Yes, that does sound nerdy, doesn’t it?


“Animals and Zombies! Africa and the Media” by Emily Fekete

Bio: Emily is a PhD student at KU in the department of Geography and a self-proclaimed nerd. She loves anything to do with theoretical geography and enjoys spending time drinking and philosophizing. When not being an academic nerd, Emily can be found watching movies and television shows, playing video games, and creating a virtual identity on practically every social networking site available. Born and raised in Rochester, NY, she has moved around the country from New Hampshire to Ohio, Washington, D.C. and finally Lawrence for her scholarly pursuits and has enjoyed every second of it.

Presentation: “Animals and Zombies! Africa and the Media”

The perceptions that people have about places across the globe are based on a variety of factors including education, tourism, marketing, and the media. Often times, our understanding of place comes from news sources such as newspapers or television news. However, the way that people are aware of specific places can also stem from cultural media such as movies, television shows, and video games. Content presented in all forms of the media have a powerful impact on our understanding of place. Misrepresentation of places in these mediums influence the way we think about these places. To illustrate this point, I will discuss traditional news media in relation to the continent of Africa. I will then use specific examples from the video games Resident Evil 5 and Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2010 to reiterate the fact that all images, whether real or not, have the power to shape interpretations of place.

“How I Learned to Start Worrying and Make a Map . . . of Bike Accidents” by Germaine Halegoua

Bio:  Germaine is an Assistant Professor researching the relationships between people, place, and new media technologies in the Department of Film & Media Studies at the University of Kansas. In addition to her academic research and more professional projects she can add: backup vocalist, graphic novel protagonist, and being featured in a video on MTV to her list of media-related accomplishments. (Although she would never list those on her CV. . .)

Presentation: How I Learned to Start Worrying and Make a Map . . . of Bike Accidents

Sometimes a series of unfortunate events can lead to a greater understanding of how public records, municipal government, and transportation infrastructures work (or don’t work) in a particular city. At least that’s what happened in this case. This presentation focuses on a collaborative mapping project (currently in progress) that incorporates official and vernacular knowledge of bike accidents taking place in Madison, WI from 2008-2011. While the maps presented depict information about bike accidents, they also illustrate how the average person can use new media technologies and DIY platforms to effect change in their local communities and augment citizen knowledge of their city.

“Walden Pond, Speakeasies, and Revenge of the Nerds: Temporary Autonomous Zones and Poetic Terrorism in American Life.“ by Michael Black
Entry is free, but limited to the first 50 people.