Dr. Eben J. Muse researches the changing relationships between books, the people who consume or produce books, the places that books are found and shared, and the institutions that try to order those relationships. Digital innovations have driven the book industry since 1971 when Michael Hart used a multi-million dollar computer to digitize the Declaration of Independence and founded Project Gutenberg. In many ways this has moved the industry forward with innovations like Booktrack’s soundtrack for reading (https://www.booktrack.com/) or multimedia crowd-written books like Atavist (https://atavist.com). The technology has done just as much to send book reading and writing back to older models including serial publication or chapters as television-style episodes. Books and writers may now read us as much or as often as we are read them.
These changes fascinate Dr Muse. He is part-owner of a family run bookstore on Cape Cod in New England, for which he provides social media and web strategy and development. His father was a book dealer, his mother a librarian and his grandfather a writer. He arrived in Wales in 1991 after completing his doctorate from the English department of SUNY Buffalo. Upon arrival he established a computer consulting company in the hills of North Wales, providing some of the earliest desktop publishing provision there. Since 1999 he has worked as a lecturer, project manager, and researcher at Bangor University, where he now heads the School of Creative Studies and Media. He works in the fields of digital media, the book and the book trade. Recent research has included interviewing used book dealers in New England, a study for the Welsh Books Council of social media use in the Welsh Book Trade, working with Welsh book stores to take advantage of digital tools and methods, exploring the use of hypermedia storytelling in social situations, and studies of the use of hypertext and game rules in the writing and reading of the once and future book. His studies in virtual reality and social media (he co-edits the Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds) have been applied to understanding the space of the book and the shifting nature of the experience of reading.
He is interested in working with book dealers, writers and publishers, particularly in Wales, to work for a better understanding of how these technologies can be used, not just to stream-line existing practices but also to develop new ways to understand the reading and the book.
- Muse, E. (2011) “The Event of Space: Defining Place in a Virtual Landscape” in Astrid Ensslin and Eben Muse (eds) Creating Second Lives: Community, Identity and Spatiality as Constructions of the Virtual. New York: Routledge.
- Ensslin, A and Muse, E. (eds) (2011) Creating Second Lives: Community, Identity and Spatiality as Constructions of the Virtual. New York: Routledge.
- Ensslin, A and Muse, E. (2008) “Creating Spaces for Virtual Communities: The Role of Architecture in Second Life” presented at National Institute for Excellence in the Creative Industries, Creating Second Lives. Bangor, UK 24-25 October 2008.
- Hathaway, T and Muse, E. and Althoff, T. (2007) Existing Pedagogy and Learning Methods in E-learning. Report for Engaging Diversity Development Partnership.
- Muse, E. (2006) “Sharable learning materials through collaborative development”. In Innovating e-Learning Practice: the proceedings of Theme 3 of the JISC on line conference: Innovating e-learning 2006. 2006.
- Muse, E. (2005) “EuroRubik and the Learning Organisation”. Presented at the EuroRubik International Conference 2005. CESPIM, Rome.
- Muse, E. (2005) “Designing a networked e-guidance system”. Presented at GO Wales e-Guidance Conference 2005, University of Wales, Glamorgan.
- Muse, E (co-editor) (2005) EuroRubik Project. Rome: Neos Edizioni 2005.
- Muse, E. (2003) “ICT Legislation”. In Practical Guide for Trainers/Trainees (Maricel Popa, ed.). Iasi, Romania: Junimea.
- Muse, E. (2000). “Information systems analysis techniques for learning systems development.” European Conference on Educational Research, University of Edinburgh, 20-12 September 2000.
- Muse, E. (1995) The Land of Nam: The Vietnam War in American Film. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.
- Muse, E. (1994) “Romance, Power and the Vietnam War: Romantic Triangles in Three Vietnam War Films”. Durham University Journal 60:2, 307-314.
- Muse, E. (1993) “From Lt. Calley to John Rambo: Repatriating the Vietnam War”. Journal of American Studies 27:1, 88-92.
- Muse, E. (1992) “The Land of Nam: Romance and Persecution in Brian DePalma’s Casualties of War”. Literature/Film Quarterly 20:3, 205-212
- Muse, E. and Althoff, T. (2007) Effectiveness of the e-learning modules. Report for Engaging Diversity Development Partnership.
- Muse, E. and Althoff, T. (2007) Sharing best practice in e-communities. Report for Engaging Diversity Development Partnership.
- Sullivan, C and Muse, E. (2008) “The value of literary analysis to City financial institutions” Report for the Enlish Subject Centre (HEA) [online] English Subject Centre, HEA. Available at http://www.english.heacademy.ac.uk/archive/projects/reports/lit_analysis_bangor.doc.
Current and recent projects
- Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS): Sain Cyf (2011-2014)
- Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS): Mentor Môn (2010-2013) “Utilizing Digital Technologies To Enhance Educational/Cultural Tourism to North Wales”
- Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS): GeoMôn: Anglesy Geopark (2010-2012) The Anglesy Geological Sensoria Project
- Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS): Dafydd Hardy Estate Agents (2009-2010) Crowdsourcing, community building, and property markets: leveraging knowledge and community capital
- Knowledge Transfer Partnership: Sain Cyf. (2009-2011) In partnership with the Bangor Business School, assist the company Sain, successful in recording & distributing music of Wales in physical format (CDs), to cope with the threats & opportunities of digital distribution of music over the Internet to a worldwide market.
- CronfaAdnoddau’rCyfryngauNewydd (2008-2009) This project will result in the provision of a Welsh language learning platform for multimedia and new media students across Wales. Funding of £10,000 byDatblyguAddysgUwchCyfrwng Cymraeg.