Nov. 5 — Emergent Landscape speaker…Kristen Haring

The MFA in Emergent Media and the Core Division present…

Kristen Haring

(speaker bio below)

Link to the whole series schedule.

Contact: Sarah Jerger,

Where and when: Perry Hall, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

Each event will feature a closing reception open to attendees with pizza and beverage provided.

Kristen Haring

Kristen Haring is a historian of science and technology whose interests have always crossed disciplinary boundaries. Here’s what she’s planning to discuss:


“I’ll start by describing what amateur (two-way) radio  has in common with current communication technologies, and explaining how the Morse code knitting project emerged (as a joke!) out of my historical study of amateur radio. Then I’ll give some necessary background information on binary systems and show how both Morse code and knitting are binary. I’ll talk a bit about the motivation for producing the Morse code knitting and the way I’ve used it in teaching; that will include describing one of the project components in some detail. (I will bring images of the other three components and be prepared to talk about those, too, if you want. Each knit piece took up different issues.) I’ll give a couple examples of things I learned by knitting Morse code that I never would have gotten from reading documents. And I’ll wrap up by considering the influences that current media have had on my choice of subjects and of a hands-on approach to research and teaching.”


About Kristen Haring:

She began her studies at the University of Pennsylvania, receiving a BA, magna cum laude, in mathematics. Based on the depth of her complementary studies in the humanities and social sciences, the faculty elected her to Phi Beta Kappa. At the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, she passed the PhD exams in mathematics before leaving with an MS and transitioning to historical studies.

Haring earned the PhD in history of science from Harvard University. She then held positions as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, and as an Art, Science, and Business Fellow at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, before joining the history faculty at Auburn University. Her teaching addresses science and technology as components of culture, while her research currently focuses on communications technology. Haring’s publications include Ham Radio’s Technical Culture (MIT Press, 2007). The Society for the History of Technology awarded her the 2004 IEEE Life Members’ Prize in Electrical History.

Haring’s Morse code knitting project arose from her dual academic background in mathematics and the history of technology, as well as from her personal experience with craft. She realized that a tangible demonstration had the potential to reach a much wider audience than could a scholarly publication. Raised in a family where everyone made decorative objects, Haring did not hesitate to employ knitting as a way to explain binary systems and to explore communication practices.

Haring lives and works in Auburn, Alabama, USA.


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