Posted: Friday, 23rd March 2012
Dr Peter Petralia
A CHESHIRE academic is giving lectures via Skype – to students on the other side of the Atlantic.
Dr Peter Petralia, from the Department of Contemporary Arts, delivered a lecture on Thursday about communication and intimacy to students at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, USA.
Peter, a senior lecturer in Contemporary Theatre and Performance, developed the talk – ‘Reach out and touch someone: art, technology and the promise of intimacy’ - to explore whether technology has brought people closer together or whether it is just another barrier to intimacy.
He said: “Using Skype is innovative as most other virtual teaching or conferencing uses high end bespoke technology or expensive corporate video conferencing software.
“I’m trying to make the case for the use of low-cost, low-tech software that can be easily downloaded onto people’s computers.
“This makes it possible to share learning with partners which distance would otherwise make it impossible to collaborate with.”
The lecture at Kennesaw State University was arranged through their Professor Rebecca MK Makus who had been visiting MMU to work with Peter on a new opera ‘The Good, the God and the Guillotine’ and to give a talk to third year performing arts students.
Peter rehearses with New York’s Tiffany Mills dance company over Skype and his second collaboration with them premiered at the Baryshnikov Arts Centre in NYC last week.
He was also invited to deliver his virtual lecture to Emily Carr University in Canada after speaking at the International Visual Sociology Association annual conference last year about using Skype to rehearse.