This fall, look for something new: the Communication & Media Speaker Series. Each month, a prominent speaker will address current topics in the field of communication studies. Scholars will come from both social science and humanities traditions.

“The department re-envisions the speaker series as a place in which the entire university can engage important issues concerning the news, media industry, and new communication technologies. We hope that this new speaker series will foster interesting discussion and debate on important topics,” said Nojin Kwak, Chair and Professor of Communication Studies.               

September’s speaker, Dr. Marwan Kraidy, kicks off the series on the 15th with “The Naked Blogger of Cairo: Towards an Inclusive Global Media Studies.” Investigating what drives people to risk everything to express themselves in rebellious art, Dr. Kraidy uncovers the creative insurgency at the heart of the Arab uprisings. While commentators have stressed the role of social media, he shows that the essential medium of political expression was not cell phone texts or Twitter but something more fundamental: the human body.  The rise of digital culture complicates our understanding of the human body in revolutionary times. As Kraidy argues, technology publicizes defiance, but the body remains the vital nexus of physical struggle and digital communication, destabilizing distinctions between “the real world” and virtual reality, spurring revolutionary debates about the role of art, and anchoring Islamic State’s attempted hijacking of creative insurgency.

The rest of the fall lineup includes Dr. Eun-Ju Lee (Seoul National University) in October with “When User Comments Meet the News: Korean Case Studies”, Dr. Claire Wardle (Columbia University) with “From the 7/7 London Bombings to the Failed Turkish Coup: How Have News Organizations Adapted to the Realities of Eyewitness Media”, and Dr. Matthew Hughey (University of Connecticut) with “Racializing Redemption: The Content and Characters of White Savior Films “.

The Global Media Studies Initiative, the Nam Center for Korean Studies, and Screen Arts and Cultures are co-sponsoring individual talks with us this term.

All talks will be Thursdays from 4-5:30 p.m. (Michigan time, of course!), and light refreshments will be served. Locations may vary, so be sure to check the schedule