NJIT digital poetry expert receives Fulbright to study in Malaysia

05/03/05

Expert brings digital literature to a cutting edge university

Christopher Funkhouser, PhD, an assistant professor in the humanities department at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) will bring own brand of digital literature to a cutting edge, technological university in Malaysia next spring his. He will arrive at the Multimedia University (http://www.mmu.edu.my) in Cyberjaya, Malaysia, as a Fulbright Scholar.

"Digital literature is a new form of expression," said Funkhouser. "It borrows from works published on paper, electronic video games and cinema." The art form blossomed in the 1950s with text-generating programs, and has since used graphic arts, video and other modes of expression.

Funkhouser, who lives in Frelinghuysen Township, will teach in Malaysia a course entitled "Hypermedia Writing" focusing on the history of digital writing. He will also lead a creative multimedia workshop, a practice in which he has been involved for more than a decade (http://web.njit.edu/~cfunk). His research will focus on database programming.

"It is not widely known that Malaysia is one of the most advanced technological nations on the planet," he said. "Being in this environment will help me integrate disparate forms of expression and media into useful hypermedia documents."

"Malaysia's progressive technological approach to societal documentation, record keeping, and information exchange, is intriguing," he added. "Database technology is used extensively for all kinds of transactions, and I am interested in learning how to use it to construct vivid, interactive, representations of verbal art. As an observer of the "Multimedia Super Corridor" projects and other high-tech initiatives--which occur within a diverse mix of traditional and contemporary culture --I expect to experience personal and professional growth."

Funkhouser's wife Amy Hufnagel, a visual artist, writer, and producer of arts programs, and their daughter Constellation, 5, will accompany him. The family is expecting another daughter in August who will travel with them, too.

In 2003, Funkhouser, 40, and his wife built an entirely solar-powered 1,000 square foot art studio on their property. The humanities professor does most of his writing and multimedia artwork in this studio (http://www.wepress.org/studio).

"The Fulbright scholarship is a highly competitive scholarship," said Robert Lynch, PhD, professor and chairman of the humanities department. "NJIT is proud of the international recognition of the work of this fine young scholar."

New Jersey Institute of Technology, the state's public technological research university, enrolls more than 8,300 students in bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 100 degree programs offered by six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, New Jersey School of Architecture, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, Albert Dorman Honors College and College of Computing Sciences. NJIT is renowned for expertise in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and eLearning.

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