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Source: Michael Wesch, 785-532-6866,
News release prepared by: Andrew Morris, 785-532-2535,

Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010


MANHATTAN -- A newly remodeled seminar room in Kansas State University's Waters Hall will be dedicated at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3.

The project was made possible by National Geographic, which donated funds to remodel 201A Waters Hall in recognition of K-State's Michael Wesch, associate professor of cultural anthropology.

"We are naming the room the Digital Exploration Collaboratory or the Deck, for the deck of a ship, as it is a symbol of the collaborative journeys we hope to embark upon from there," Wesch said.

The National Geographic Society named Wesch one of its "Emerging Explorers" for 2009. He gained recognition from the society for his work in digital ethnography and for being named the 2008 national professor of the year for research/doctoral universities.

"Digital ethnography is the study of how different cultures both use and are used by digital technologies, how they shape the tools, and how the tools, in return, shape them," Wesch said.

Perhaps his most famous work is a video he created to launch K-State's Digital Ethnography Working Group. Released Jan. 31, 2007, the YouTube video "Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us" has been viewed more than 12 million times and translated into 18 languages.

The seminar room is a part of K-State's department of sociology, anthropology and social work.