Francis F. Steen
2328 Rolfe Hall
University of California
Los Angeles, CA 90095
tel. (310) 825-3147
steen at commstds dot ucla dot edu
The Construction of Social Reality Through Art. With Dwight Read. Seeing Knowing: Vision, Knowledge, Cognition, and Aesthetics. 2014 Conference on Neuroesthetics. Public event, Berkeley, 4-6 September 2014
Is a Picture Worth 1,000 Polls? Virginia Postrel, Bloomberg View, 25 June 2014
"The NewsScape Project: Understanding the Media through a Multimodal Perspective" -- Institute for Digital Research and Education (IDRE), research profile, 19 March 2014
"Constant Content: The Humanities Go Digital" by Robin Keats, UCLA Magazine, 1 January 2014
"UCLA Brings Light to the Undiscovered Country of Television News" by Roger MacDonald, Internet Archive Blog, 8 March 2013
"The News as a Social Process for Improving Society"
-- Imagination, Computation, and Expression Laboratory (ICE Lab), Cognitive Media Studies, MIT, 6 September 2012 (slides) (liveblogged)
2012-04-21 The Nature Of the Beast (New
2011-03-03 UCLA student radio interviews -- Part 1 Part 2
2008-05-27 Francis Steen and Otto Santa Ana awarded the 2008 Brian P. Copenhaver Award for Innovation in Teaching with Technology
UCLA Inquiry, "A Revolution in Communication," Spring 2002
2010-present: Digital Humanities Faculty Advisory Committee, UCLA
2008-present: Associate Professor, Communication Studies, UCLA
2001-2008: Assistant Professor, Communication Studies, UCLA
2013-2016. Fellow at the Peace Research Institute Oslo. Research group on Negotiating Values: Collective Identities and Resilience after 22/7.
2012-2015: Fellow at the Mind & Society Institute, Azim Premji University, Bangaluru,
2011-2012. Fellow at the Centre for Advanced Study, Norwegian Academy of Sciences, Oslo.
Research group on Time is
Space: Unconscious Models and Conscious Acts.
2001-02: Visiting fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences,
Stanford University. Research group on Art and the Mind.
2005-present: Director of the digital NewsScape Library of International Television News, a collection of more than 300,000 television newsprograms annotated by three billion words, part of the Communication Studies Archive, whose collection of television news goes back to the Watergate hearings.
2012-present: Co-Director of the Red Hen Lab, an international network of scholars studying multimodal communication.
2013-2016: Co-Principal Investigator, "Negotiating Values: Collective Identities and Resilience after 22/7." PI Henrik Syse (Peace Research Institute Oslo). Norwegian Research Council, Cultural conditions underlying social change (SAMKUL) ($1.7m). Awards and profile.
2010-2015: Co-Principal Investigator, "Joint Image-Text Parsing and Reasoning for
Analyzing Social and Political News Events." PIs Song-Chun Zhu (Statistics and Computer
Science, UCLA) and Cheng Zhai (Computer Science, UIUC), with Tim Groeling (Communicaiton
Studies, UCLA). National Science Foundation, Cyber-enabled Discovery and Innovation
2015: Co-PI and Mentor for Google Summer of Code for Red Hen Lab development. $18,000 for three student developers; Mentor for CCExtractor development. $36,000 for six student developers.
2014-2015: Co-Principal Investigator, "Can't We Make Moral Judgments? (PS 60)." Development and enhancement of an online course. PI Suzanne Lohmann (Political Science, UCLA). Innovative Learning Technology Initiative, University of California Office of the President ($110,000).
2014: Mentor for Google Summer of Code for CCExtractor development. $18,000 for three student developers.
2011-2012: Principal Investigator, "Neuroscience of Role-Mediated Learning," with Marco
Iacoboni of the Brain Mapping Center and Noel Enyedy of the Department of Education.
Transdisciplinary Seed Grant from the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Research and the UCLA
Academic Senate ($25,000).
2012-08-09: Neuroscience and Educational Learning Affinity Group. $2,000 Affinity Group/Special Event Funding for FY 12-13.
Brain Research Institute, UCLA. Iacoboni, Enyedy, Steen.
2011-13: Co-Principal Investigator, "Developing a Web 3.0 Social Media Research
Laboratory" headed by Todd Presner, with University Librarian Gary Strong and Song-Chun Zhu
of the Department of Statistics. Transdisciplinary Seed Grant from the Office of the Vice
Chancellor of Research and the UCLA Academic Senate ($25,000).
2012-02-22: Co-Principal Investigator, "Diversity, Disagreement, and Democracy: Teaching
Tolerance is Tricky": $7000 seed money and a public event and dinner 21 February 2013 as part of the
Uncommon Conversations project led by Louis Gomez at the School of
Education and Information Studies (PI Susanne Lohmann; Francis Steen, Noel Enyedy, and Mark
2012-02-22: Co-Principal Investigator, "How Students Talk about Culture, Language, and
Literacy": $7000 seed money and a public dinner May 2012 as part of the Uncommon
Conversations project led by Louis Gomez at the School of Education and Information Studies
(PI Kathryn Anderson-Levitt, with Jaye Darby, Kim Gomez, Marjorie Faulstich Orellana, Faye
Peitzman, Jeff Shar, and Concepcion Valadez from Education; Marjorie Goodwin, Jennifer
Jackson, Paul Kroskrity, Elinor Ochs, and Francis Steen from Social Sciences).
2011-2012: Principal Investigator, "Online Video Analysis Tool Stage II," with Todd Presner.
$24,568 for software development. Common Collaboration & Learning Environment, UCLA.
2011-2012: Principal Investigator, "Communication Studies Archive Outreach and Expansion," with
Tim Groeling. $7,248 for GSR and SRA. Instructional Improvement Program, Office of Instructional
2009-2010: Principal Investigator, "Online Video Analysis Tool," with Otto Santa Ana and Tim
Groeling. $26,844.50 for software development. Common Collaboration & Learning Environment, UCLA.
2009-2010: Principal Investigator, "Digital Civic Learning Initiative: Visualizing Massive News
Datasets," with Tim Groeling. $7,120 for software development and backend support. Instructional
Improvement Program, Office of Instructional Development, UCLA.
2008-2010: Principal Investigator, "Digital Civic Learning Initiative: News Capture System," with Tim Groeling. $50,000 for hardware and software development. The California Endowment (subaward).
UCLA's Digital Civic Learning initiative combines new technologies of peer-based engagement with visual modes of communication, and is creating one of the world's largest archives of news and public affairs television programming. We aim to provide teachers and students with the necessary tools to function effectively as creative citizens in a multi-modal, technological public sphere. Students need tools to allow them to understand how their own minds respond to media messages, to understand the effect of such messages on the community, and to develop effective skills in engaging themselves in the emerging participatory public sphere of the Internet.
2008-2009: Principal Investigator, "Digital Television News Archive Search Engine," with Tim
Groeling. $26,000 for software development and backend support. Instructional Improvement Program,
Office of Instructional Development, UCLA.
2006-2007: Principal Investigator, "Automating Television News Capture," with Paul Rosenthal.
$30,000 for software development and backend support. Office of the Dean, Social Sciences, UCLA.
Ph.D. in English, 2002, University of California, Santa Barbara
M.A. in English, 1989, University of Oslo, Norway
B.A. in English and History of Ideas, 1986, University of Oslo, Norway
Jungseock Joo, Weixin Li, Francis F. Steen, and Song-Chun Zhu (2014). "Visual Persuasion: Inferring Communicative Intents of Images." IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR). (Is a Picture Worth 1,000 Polls? Virginia Postrel, Bloomberg View, 25 June 2014)
DeLiema, David J. and Francis F. Steen (2013). “Thinking With the Body: Conceptual Integration Through Gesture in Multiviewpoint Model Construction” (pdf). Language and the Creative Mind. Edited by Michael Borkent, Barbara Dancygier, and Jennifer Hinnell. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.
Steen, Francis F. and Mark Turner (2013). “Multimodal Construction Grammar”. Language and the Creative Mind. Edited by Michael Borkent, Barbara Dancygier, and Jennifer Hinnell. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications. Supporting materials.
Nesset, Tore, Anna Endresen, Laura A. Janda, Anastasia Makarova, Mark Turner, and Francis Steen (forthcoming, 2013). “How ‘here’ and ‘now’ in Russian and English establish joint attention in TV news broadcasts.” Special issue of Russian Linguistics on “Time and Space in Russian Temporal Expressions.” Edited by Stephen M. Dickey, Laura A. Janda, and Tore Nesset. Supporting materials: Here and Now spreadsheet (instructions) and video clips.
DeLiema, David J., Noel Enyedy, Francis F. Steen, and Darin Hoyer (2012). "Learning Science by Being You, Being It, Being Both." Symposium on "You’re It! Body, Action, and Object in STEM Learning", Dor Abrahamson, Chair. Proceedings of the International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS) 2012: The Future of Learning. Volume 2.
Vorderer, Peter, Francis F. Steen, and Elaine Chan (2006). “Motivation.” In Bryant Jennings and Peter Vorderer (eds.). The Psychology of Entertainment. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. 3-17.
Steen, Francis F. (2006). “A Cognitive Account of Aesthetics.” Mark Turner (ed.). The Artful Mind: Cognitive Science and the Riddle of Human Creativity. Oxford University Press. 57-71.
Steen, Francis F., Mari-Sian Davies, Brendesha Tynes, and Patricia M. Greenfield (2006). “Digital Dystopia:
Player Control and Strategic Innovation in The Sims Online.” In Ralph
Schroeder and Ann-Sofie Axelsson (eds.) Avatars at Work and Play. London, UK: Springer. 237-273.
Steen, Francis F., Patricia M. Greenfield, Mari-Sian Davies,
and Brendesha Tynes (2006). “What Went Wrong with The Sims
Online: Cultural Learning and Barriers to Identification in a MMOG.” In
Peter Vorderer and Bryant Jennings (eds.). Playing Video Games – Motives, Responses, and Consequences. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. 307-323.
Steen, Francis F. (2005). "The Paradox of Narrative Thinking." Journal of Cultural and Evolutionary Psychology 3. 1: 87-105.
Steen, Francis F. (2004). “Aphra Behn's Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and his Sister.” Helen Ostovich et al. (ed.). Early Modern Women Writing: An Anthology of Texts in Manuscript and Print, 1550-1700. London, UK: Routledge. 404-5.
Steen, Francis F. (2004). “Aphra Behn’s Young Jemmy.” Helen Ostovich et al. (ed.). Early Modern Women Writing: An Anthology of Texts in Manuscript and Print, 1550-1700. London, UK: Routledge. 308-9.
Richardson, Alan, and Francis F. Steen (2003). “Reframing the Adjustment: A Response to Adler and Gross.” Poetics Today 24. 2: 151-159.
Steen, Francis F. (2002). "A Story to Kill
For: The Death of Arthur Capel, Earl of Essex." 1650-1850: Ideas, Aesthetics,
and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era VII: 117-142. Edited by Kevin
Cope, Theodore Braun, and John Radner.
Richardson, Alan, and Steen, Francis F. (2002). Editor and introduction. Special
issue, "Literature and the Cognitive Revolution." Poetics Today 23. 1: 1-8.
Steen, Francis F. (2002). "The Politics of Love:
Propaganda and Structural Learning in Aphra Behn’s Love-Letters Between a Nobleman
and His Sister." Poetics Today 23. 1: 91-122. Draft text.
Steen, Francis F. and Stephanie Owens (2001). "Evolution’s Pedagogy: An Adaptationist Model of Pretense and
Entertainment." Journal of Cognition and
Culture 1. 4: 289-321. Draft
Steen, Francis F. and Tord Østberg (2000). "Nemine contra dicente: The Sponsors of the
Popish Plot, 1678-1681." Special issue, "The Psychology of Conspiracy
Theories." Clio’s Psyche 7. 3: 122-4. Draft text.
Steen, Francis F. (2000). "Grasping
Philosophy by the Roots." Philosophy and Literature 24. 1:
Hernadi, Paul, and Francis F. Steen (1999). “The Tropical Landscapes of Proverbia: A Crossdisciplinary Travelogue.” Style 33. 1: 1-20. Republished in Mieder, Wolfgang (ed.) (2003). Cognition, Comprehension, and Communication: A Decade of North American Proverb Studies (1990-2000). Baltmannsweiler, Germany: Schneider.
Steen, Francis F. (1999). "The Tropical Landscapes of Proverbia: A Crossdisciplinary
Travelogue." With Paul Hernadi. Style 33. 1: 1-20.
Steen, Francis F. (1999). "Robert
Higbie, Dickens and the Imagination." Review. New Books in Nineteenth
Century Studies. University of Southern California. http://www.usc.edu/dept/LAS/english/19c/ books/rev-0-8130-1593-6.html (May 1999).
Steen, Francis F. (1998). "‘The Time of Unrememberable
Being’: Wordsworth’s Autobiography of the Imagination." Auto/Biography
Studies, special issue on autobiography and neuroscience, 13.1:
2010-Present Vice Chair, Department of Communication Studies
2013-14 Vice Chair, UC Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication, Chair 2014 Winter
2013-14 UCLA Digital Humanities Steering Committee
2013-14 UC Working Group on the Changing Teaching and Publication Context in Merit Reviews
2012-13 Chair, Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication (COLASC); ex officio member UCOLASC
2012-13 Executive Search Committee for UCLA Librarian
2009-13 UCLA Senate Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication
2008-09 UCLA Common Campus Learning Environment (CCLE) Innovation and Development Program Committee
2007-08 Faculty Committee on Educational Technology (FCET)
2001-2: Chair, External Review Response Committee, Communication Studies, UCLA
1998 - 2000: Executive
Committee of the new Discussion Group on Cognitive Approaches to Literature at
the Modern Language Association, co-organizer and founding member.
Cognitive Play: The Work of Fiction in British Print Culture, 1656-1725
Co-chairs: Paul Hernadi and William Warner
Committee: Charles Bazerman,
John Tooby, Mark Turner
Acquisition of Language and Culture Through Play. Applied Linguistics 291
Decoding Media Strategies. Communication Studies 133
Entertainment as Implicit Pedagogy. Communication Studies 128
Communication and the New Technologies. Communication Studies 154
The Gaming Mind. Communication Studies 129
Conference Presentations (not up to date)
"Insight and metacognition: How to survive the simulating brain."
Presentation at the conference "The Self and the Sacred" in the series
"Awe-inspiring Experiences." UCLA, November 2002.
of Simulation in Aurignatian Art." Presentation at the First First International
Conference on Neuroesthetics, "The
Pleasure of Art as Sensed by the Brain," UC Berkeley, California, January
2002. News report (Financial Times).
and Social Dimensions of Collective Communication." Presentation in the Behavior,
Evolution, and Culture speaker series. UCLA, October 2001.
Adaptationist Framework for a Cognitive Theory of Art." Two presentations
for the Getty Special Project on Cognition,
Brain, and Art at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.
Stanford University, California, September 2001.
"‘It’s just for pretend’:
Towards a Communicational Theory of Entertainment." Guest speaker, International
Computer Science Institute, Berkeley, California, January 2001.
Evolutionary Psychology of Political Propaganda: Hobbes and the Problem of Collective
Action." Presentation at the conference "The New Biopolitics."
UCLA, November 2000.
"Richardson and His Female Predecessors."
Presentation on the panel "Richardson and Women Novelists." Annual meeting
of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, University of Pennsylvania,
"Implicit Pedagogy: From Chase Play to Collaborative Worldmaking."
Guest speaker, with Stephanie Owens, UC Santa Barbara, March 2000.
Unawares by Love: Restoration Portrayals of the Erotic Unconscious." Presentation.
Organizer of the Special Session "Cognition, Narrative, and the Psychology
of Love." Organizer and chair of the session "Gender and Cognitive Theory"
for the Discussion Group "Cognitive Approaches to Literature." Annual
Convention of the Modern Language Association, Chicago, December 1999.
Absolutism: Aphra Behn’s Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister"
and "Death and the Limits of the Literary: Political Fictions of the Exclusion
Crisis." Presentation and research report. Annual Meeting of the East-Central
American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Washington, Pennsylvania, October
"The Learning-Mode Hypothesis of the Literary Imagination."
Presentation. Crossdisciplinary conference, "Imagination and the Adapted
Mind," UC Santa Barbara, August 1999.
"The Politics of Love: Propaganda
and Subversion in Aphra Behn’s Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister."
Presentation on the panel "Literary History and the Brain." Organizer,
with Lisa Zunshine, of the Forum "Historicizing
Cognition: Literature and the Cognitive Revolution" (3 panels, 15 participants
from 12 institutions). Annual Convention of the Modern Language Association, San
Francisco, December 1998.
"The Growth of the Imagination in Wordsworth’s
Goslar Manuscripts." Presentation on the panel "Romanticism and Cognitive
Neuroscience." Annual Meeting of the American Conference on Romanticism,
UC Santa Barbara, October 1998.
"Catching a Serpent with Another’s
Hand: The Tropical Landscapes of Proverbia." Presentation, with Paul Hernadi,
for the Office of Research project "Evolution and the Social Mind."
UC Santa Barbara, February 1998.
"The Moral Impact of Fictional Language:
Lennox vs. Johnson." Presentation. Tenth Annual Conference on Linguistics
and Literature, University of North Texas, Denton, January 1998.
benevolence: Hutcheson and the moral engines of community." Presentation.
Organizer of the Special Session "Evolutionary Psychology and Literature:
The Significance of Evolved Cognitive Structures for the Study of Early Modern
Culture." Annual Convention of the Modern Language Association, Toronto,
"Negotiating Darwin." Presentation. Organizer
of the panel "Cognitive Cultural Studies." Annual Convention of the
Society for Literature and Science, Pittsburgh, November 1997.
Do Evolved Cognitive Abilities Help Us Understand Early Modern Culture?"
Presentation, with Laurence Fiddick. Annual Conference of the Human Behavior and
Evolution Society, Tucson, Arizona, June 1997.
"The Aboriginal Wordsworth."
Presentation. Conference on Literature and the Natural Environment, University
of Wales Swansea, United Kingdom, March 1997.
"Literature as a Social
Accounting System." Presentation. Ninth Annual Conference on Linguistics
and Literature, University of North Texas, Denton, February 1997.
Editor, CogWeb: Cognitive Cultural Studies.
2,000 documents, around 10% my own text. Twenty thousand hits per month. URL:
cogweb.ucla.edu. 1996 - 2001.
Editor, Restoration Print Culture.
300 documents, images, and sounds. URL: cogweb.ucla.edu/Restoration. 1998 - 2001.
Evolution and the Social Mind. 100 documents. Two thousand hits per month.
URL: www.anth.ucsb.edu/projects/esm. 1997 - 2000.