Milstein program brings alumnus screenwriter, data visualization expert to campus

The Milstein Program in Technology and Humanity is welcoming the public to two fall events.

Howard Rodman ’71, screenwriter, novelist and educator, will be on campus Oct. 17 for a reading of his most recent book, “The Great Eastern,” soon to be adapted to film. The story follows two of literature’s iconic anti-heroes, Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Captain Ahab from Moby Dick, as they do battle throughout the late 19th century.

The reading is at 4:45 p.m. in the English Study Lounge, 258 Goldwin Smith Hall.

Rodman '71 was editor-in-chief of The Cornell Sun in 1970-71 He is a former Writers Guild of America West president; professor and former chair of the writing division at the USC School of Cinematic Arts; an artistic director of the Sundance Institute Screenwriting Labs; a member of the executive committee of the Writers Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; and a fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities.

His films include Savage Grace, starring Julianne Moore, and August, with Josh Hartnett, Rip Torn, and David Bowie – both of which had their U.S. premieres at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

The program is also hosting a two-day workshop, Nov. 18 and Nov. 20, with Anna Feigenbaum, a principal academic in digital storytelling at Bournemouth University in the Southwest of England, where she teaches multimedia journalism.

This hands-on two day event will explore data storytelling, the importance of audience and humanizing data visualization. On the first day, students will learn about how data storytelling and the intended audience can be used to create a narrative. On the second day, students will present their own data visualizations and learn how to “humanize” data visualizations.  

“Our Milstein Program events for the fall bring together storytelling and technology,” said Amy Villarejo, director of the Milstein Program in Ithaca and the Frederic J. Whiton Professor of Humanities in the Department of Performing and Media Arts. “Howard Rodman's novel brilliantly imagines sea life, above and below water, as an epic struggle for control over human resources. Anna Feigenbaum's workshop enables students to become storytellers themselves, using data and visual information. We invite all who are interested to join us.”

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 Anna Feigenbaum and Howard Rodman