The Arts and Humanities Distinguished Chair was created in 2004 by Mrs. Eugene McDermott to support the scholarly, educational and research activities of an internationally recognized scholar in the area of art and humanities. Balsamo was appointed to the chair in 2017.
In 2010, an anonymous donation created the ATEC Distinguished University Chair.
Balsamo is a pioneer in the creation of multidisciplinary research that investigates the cultural implications of emergent technologies. A leading figure in the field of digital humanities, her current research-design projects focus on the development of interactive experiences for the AIDS Memorial Quilt.
I have pursued my research across diverse domains, as an entrepreneur, feminist theorist and organizational change architect. When I was hired as the dean of ATEC, I embraced the opportunity to lead this bold initiative for UTD because it would draw on these diverse experiences. ATEC is a collaborative effort among colleagues, staff and students to create a truly innovative research-education program that inspires new questions and creative insights across disciplines.
Dr. Anne Balsamo was appointed in spring 2016 as the inaugural dean of the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication. Balsamo brings a wealth of experience to the position, having previously served as dean of the School of Media Studies at the New School in New York City. She has held tenured faculty appointments at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, and the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.
Balsamo has been a leader in the growth of digital humanities in the United States, having served on the advisory board of the Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) since its founding in 2003.
Her research investigates the cultural implications of emergent technologies. She pursued this research not only as an academic, but also while she was a principal scientist at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, and as the co-founder of Onomy Labs Inc., a technology design and fabrication company in Silicon Valley. She has several publications on the topic, including two books published by Duke University Press: Technologies of the Gendered Body: Reading Cyborg Women (1996) and Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination at Work (2011)
Her recent work on the design of public interactives has been supported by grants from the Office of Digital Humanities at the National Endowment for the Humanities, specifically focused on the creation of interactive experiences for the AIDS Memorial Quilt.
Balsamo received her PhD in mass communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she completed an interdisciplinary dissertation that examined the cultural implications of emergent biotechnologies.