Transmedia Knowledge for Liberal Arts and Community Engagement

A StudioLab Manifesto

  • Jon McKenzie

Part of the Digital Education and Learning book series (DEAL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Jon McKenzie
    Pages 1-32
  3. Jon McKenzie
    Pages 109-145
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 147-152

About this book


“McKenzie demonstrates how the intellectual depth and critical rigor prized by traditional liberal arts education is amplified and enlivened when linked to creative practices and experimental methods associated with art making and scientific knowledge production, as well as carefully designed engagements with communities and partner organizations.”
Una Chaudhuri, Professor of English, Drama, and Environmental Studies and Director of Experimental Humanities and Social Engagement, New York University, USA

“With StudioLab, the author proposes to revitalize the liberal arts through a transmedia approach that connects writing and critical thinking with progressive methodologies of design thinking. This book should be read by educators, administrators, and scholars involved in undergraduate education and curricular reform.”
Harry J. Elam, Jr., Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Freeman-Thornton Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Stanford University, USA

“McKenzie is one of our most inspired futurists. He offers a digital blueprint for a ‘critical design pedagogy’ to take teachers and students from critical thinking to becoming ‘designers of worlds.’ Filled with intriguing examples, this book is necessary reading for all of us who value public-facing higher education.”
Leonard Cassuto, Professor of English, Fordham University, USA, and author of The Graduate School Mess: What Caused It and How We Can Fix It

This book sets forth a pedagogy for renewing the liberal arts by combining critical thinking, media activism, and design thinking. Using the StudioLab approach, the author seeks to democratize the social and technical practices of digital culture just as nineteenth century education sought to democratize literacy. This production of transmedia knowledge—from texts and videos to comics and installations—moves students between seminar, studio, lab, and field activities. The book also wrestles with the figure of Plato and the very medium of knowledge to re-envision higher education in contemporary societies, issuing a call for community engagement as a form of collective thought-action.


Critical Design Pedagogy Transmedia Knowledge Cosmographer Digital Media Educational Technology Plato CAT Liberal Arts Education

Authors and affiliations

  • Jon McKenzie
    • 1
  1. 1.EnglishCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Pivot, Cham
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-20573-7
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-20574-4
  • Buy this book on publisher's site