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MC2 Alumni Week is just around the corner, and Professor Jansen and Professor Pooley have assembled a diverse array of panels, presentations, workshops and class visits. Please see the full schedule here. The department looks forward to welcoming back so many alumni representing an impressive range of fields, practices, and professions. Alumni Week is open to all and we encourage majors to attend as many events as possible. In previous years, students overwhelmingly agree that meeting alumni and learning about their experiences in the media and communication fields helps broaden their view of the possibilities post graduation.
Dr. John Sullivan, Associate Professor of Media & Communication, published an essay, “Uncovering the Data Panopticon: The Urgent Need for Critical Scholarship in an Era of Corporate and Government Surveillance,” in the academic journal The Political Economy of Communication. From the article:
While these revelations about domestic digital wiretapping without court orders have caused a stir in the American and global press, the privacy dangers associated with this type of data surveillance are not new to the scholarly community. Exactly 20 years ago, communication scholar Oscar H Gandy Jr (1993) meticulously outlined the growing threat to individual privacy posed by the cooperation between corporate and government data gathering in a book called The Panoptic Sort. At a time when the internet was in its infancy, when desktop computer processing was a fraction of what it is today, and five years before the founding of Google, Gandy warned that organizations like Equifax, TRW, and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) were amassing huge repositories of consumer data that were gathered passively whenever individuals made purchases via credit cards. When these data are combined with sophisticated matching algorithms and sorted against huge government databases like the census, he argued, they enabled precise tracking of individuals’ behaviors, political views, and other sensitive private information. The precision of such discrimination transforms the routine sorting of personal data into a powerful form of institutional power. Building upon Foucault’s (1995) seminal analysis of disciplinary systems in society, Gandy argued that the scale of the data collection and analysis performed by government and corporate institutions created a panopticon wherein citizen actions would eventually become circumscribed within an ever-widening net of personal data surveillance. The end result, he observed, is “an antidemocratic system of control that cannot be transformed because it can serve no purpose other than that for which it was designed—the rationalization and control of human existence” (Gandy, 1993: 227).
The article is open access and available for free online .
Dr. Sue Curry Jansen, Professor of Media and Communication, published a chapter, “'The World's Greatest Adventure in Advertising': Walter Lippmann's Critique of Censorship and Propaganda,” in The Oxford Handbook of Propaganda Studies . From Jansen's chapter:
This chapter examines the propaganda of the Great War and its aftermath, which created the template for government- and corporate-mediated propaganda that is still with us today, albeit in much more technologically advanced forms. Yet, what CPI historians James Mock and Cedric Larson wrote in 1939, as America was facing the prospect of another world war, is as true today as it was then: 'if another war should come to this country, no American would need to read the story of the CPI. He would be living it.'
Congratulations, Dr. Jansen!
Molly Weinberg, a 2011 Media & Communication graduate, published a chapter in Popular Culture in the 21st Century, “Still within Boundary Walls: Parenting and Gender Conventionality in American Sitcoms Full House and The Brady Bunch.” Weinberg, currently finishing up a master’s in popular culture studies at Bowling Green State University, began the chapter as an independent study with Dr. Elizabeth Nathanson, assistant professor in the Media and Communication Department.
Congratulations to Molly! The book is available on Amazon here.
With its own youth media program, HYPE, the Department of Media & Communication at Muhlenberg is a unique site for the study and practice of youth media production. Now, the Department is also home to the Youth Media Reporter, the professional, peer-reviewed journal of the youth media field. Edited by Dr. Lora Taub-Pervizpour, the journal has just been relaunched and a new issue published online. YMR moved to Muhlenberg College in 2012 and this first issue has been long in the making, with support from Jenna Azar (HYPE co-director), Anthony Dalton (HYPE media instructor and YMR web designer), Jeff Pooley (faculty instructor at HYPE), and Hallie Boviard ’14 (HYPE research intern). Articles in the first issue explore a variety of recent shifts and transformations in the field, including: the role of strategic partnerships in growing the field, pressures on the field from workforce development and assessment policies, and youth media’s positioning in relation to the Common Core and other educational policies. Check out the new issue here, and don’t miss Hallie’s book review here!
Media & Communication graduate Amy Jordan '83 was elected president of the International Communication Association (ICA). Jordan, associate director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, graduated from the Muhlenberg program–then named “Communication Studies”–in 1983. She also taught in the department as an adjunct instructor, and has collaborated with Muhlenberg faculty member John Sullivan on a number of reports and articles.
The International Communication Association is one of the leading professional societies for scholars in media and communication.
BuzzFeed’s “How I Made it in Fashion” series features John Jannuzzi ’07, senior digital projects editor at Lucky magazine. Narrating how he made it in the fashion industry, John mentions his days at Muhlenberg (where his early work in digital media includes a memorable William Carlos Williams’ inspired digital story on his father’s life as a pediatrician). In addition to graduate school at Parsons and his dogged pursuit of the right internship, John notes:
I’m really glad I went to a liberal arts school because I took communications classes, film classes, European history classes; having that breadth of knowledge really informs a lot of your opinions.
Read the full story here.
In an opinion piece published July 6, 2013, Dr. Sullivan, Associate Professor of Media and Communication, provides a critical view of digital information and privacy dangers in the wake of the NSA story revealed by whistle-blower Edward Snowden. Dr. Sullivan points to four key trends that signal widespread and expanding corporate and government data surveillance. In order for the public to be informed and able to participate in discussions with policymakers about privacy and public safety, Dr. Sullivan argues that “we need more transparency from both corporations and the government about the ways our data are gathered, stored and searched. Without it, we will be living in a data panopticon with little chance for escape.” See the full article here.
Youth Media Reporter is being relaunched and the journal invites articles and multi-media for a special issue designed to reintroduce this vital resource for stakeholders in the youth media field.
Between 2005 and 2011, Youth Media Reporter (YMR) gathered together the voices and stories of many educators, practitioners, academics and young people to consider enduring principles and emerging practices in the youth media field. During this time, YMR was established as the professional multi-media journal providing a forum for inquiry, exchange, learning, and collaboration among diverse stakeholders in the youth media field, unique in its embrace of both research and practice-based articles. In late 2012, YMR transferred hands from the Academy for Educational Development to the Department of Media and Communication at Muhlenberg College.
YMR’s focus and purpose remain unchanged: to build the field by documenting, from multiple perspectives, insights and leading lessons related to engaging young people in video, film, television, radio, music, web, art, and print media making. The field of youth media has grown and evolved considerably since the last issue of YMR was published in March 2011. We invite submissions that focus on a variety of areas, but we especially welcome articles that help document and reflect on how the field of youth media has changed in the two years since YMR was published. What new opportunities, practices, and pedagogical approaches have opened up in the field? What other professional spaces have emerged to support youth media as a community of practice? How are social and political forces shaping what is possible—and what is not possible—within youth media? What new directions are opening up in youth media and are there new tensions opened up as the field expands?
YMR is a peer-review journal, bringing together both academic research papers and op-ed journalistic styles articles, alongside multi-media digital presentations. The journal encourages papers from new practitioners and emerging scholars, as well as established, pioneering voices in the field of youth media, and we value equally contributions from youth media makers. Deadline for submissions is July 15, 2013.