The Civic Media Lab builds curriculum, organizes conferences, encourages intellectual activity and harnesses creativity in video production and social media for these ends. This 'design studio' linking research, student learning and hands-on practice will feature specially configured spaces and multiple technologies to nurture project-based learning, and collaborative and creative thinking within the AUP community. Positioning itself at the core of the research centers at AUP, the Lab will have as its mission to enlist faculty and student passions in support of new curricular vehicles and interdisciplinary majors.

The following list offers an idea of some of the projects that departments are currently imagining to be “housed” in the Civic Media Lab:

  1. Digital Storytelling and Visual Argumentation (a curricular project focused on using the latest techniques in digital media for advancing social change by means of new forms of digital rhetoric)

  2. The Democracy Lab (a web project grounded in political analysis and digital technologies designed to remediate problems of self-governance and democratic participation)

  3. Billonaireswatch.com (a course and research project designed to gather open-source information on the world’s billionaires and to track and disseminate precise information on how their money influences political elections, media, and social change)

  4. The Taste Lab (a humanities and social science project focused on studying the nexus between “taste,” the French concept of “terroir,” cultural mythologies, political geography, GIS mapping technologies, and economics)

  5. Comparative Culture and Emotions Lab (a project inspired by anthropology, psychology, history and media studies to study how different cultures generate and/or transform affect, psycho-social constructs, social capital, social “value,” etc., via contemporary digital media) 

  6. Learning French by means of Civic Engagement (a lab project to teach students French outside the traditional classroom by combining language learning with service to the elderly, to hospitals, and to other charitable organizations)

  7. Translation without Frontiers (Many near the poverty line require translation services for legal, medical and educational purposes. As many of AUP’s students are bilingual and wish to use their language skills as a public service, Translation without Frontiers would combine innovation in our language curriculum with a much-needed social service.)

  8. Syrian/Iraqi Migration/Refugee Project (a project combining Middle Eastern Studies, Politics, and Digital Media to study problems and solutions, such as emergency health and education, social and media bias, all related to an important refugee camp in Calais, France – a mere 1 hour from AUP) 

  9. Global Networks and Social Change Lab (This collaborative project seeks solutions to the crises in the mechanisms that produce trust and value in government, business, news media, legal professions, and the non-profit sector. Public trust and the crises of trust are inextricably linked to the unprecedented digitally “networked” aspect of our contemporary world—socially, economically, and politically—and require new modes of analysis and intervention in order to understand “freedom,” contemporary forms of leadership, social influence, behavior and decision-making, and professional communication.) 
10. Modeling the Social Transmission of Information: In an information-rich world, human attention becomes a critical resource. The understanding of and approach to any type of problem (e.g., political, social, environmental) depends now on whether the problem is perceived and recognized as such by a sufficient number of people. This lab explores how information spreads between agents on the basis of both existing theoretical hypothesis and the observation of information movements within digital networks. It will study the conditions guiding the creation of individual and collective awareness, which, in turn, may provide a preliminary tool for understanding the processes that lead to civic engagement.