The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication

The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Events

The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication 25th Anniversary Symposium on Media Studies

March 25-26, 2020

Symposium on Media Studies, 20/20 Vision: Looking Back & Looking Forward on the Media Landscape

20/20 Vision: Looking Back & Looking Forward on the Media Landscape

No one lives outside of the world of media today. The discipline of Media Studies explores communication in the context of a society dominated by mediated messages, and in which critical consumption and production of these messages are the hallmarks of modern literacy. This symposium will highlight the powerful insights media studies scholars and educators can provide with regard to the major issues of our day, from health care and technology, to politics and popular culture.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020
6:30pm to 8:30pm
Guthart Cultural Center Theater, Axinn Library

Title of Talk: ReVisioning Media Studies

Media saturate modern cultures so pervasively that many observers now describe us as living in an era of "mediatization." Media pervade our interactions with friends, family, political leaders, entertainment, information, news, and so on. Everything from political campaigns to wars to love affairs are designed in many ways to be experienced richly through media of some kind or another (such as TV or social media). Ironically, however, since everyone has mediated experiences, research on media tends to skip over the most fundamental of questions: What exactly is a "medium"? Or, what exactly are "media?" Professor Meyrowitz will argue that we need to consider the different ways that media are thought about and studied. Our goal, he says, should be the development of "multiple media literacies."

Keynote Speaker: Joshua Meyrowitz, Professor Emeritus, Department of Communication, University of New Hampshire, Durham, where he has won the Lindberg Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the College of Liberal Arts. He is the author of No Sense of Place: The Impact of Electronic Media on Social Behavior (Oxford University Press), and over 100 articles on media and society that have appeared in scholarly journals and anthologies, as well as in general-interest magazines and newspapers. Dr. Meyrowitz’s research interests are in mass media, analysis of news, media criticism, media theory, and communication theory.

Presented by: Mark Lukasiewicz, Dean, the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication

There will be a reception for students, faculty and staff prior to the keynote address in the Parlor of Hofstra Hall (5:00pm).

Thursday, March 26, 2020
Guthart Cultural Center Theater, Axinn Library

9:30am to 11:00am

Panel 1: Talking Pop: Media Studies and Popular Culture

Panel Chair: Brian McFadden, Assistant Professor, Department of Journalism, Media Studies and Public Relations

Panel Participants:
Brian Cogan, Ph. D., Molloy College.
Jingsi C. Wu, Ph. D., Hofstra University.
Michael Plugh, Ph. D., Manhattan College.

Panel Description: As we take time to reflect back and look forward and consider popular culture, we cannot help but notice a tale of two perspectives: According to Ousbourne (2016), for most of this century, critics of popular culture have described the subject as too "shallow, coarse, cheap, materialistic, and mindless." Despite these dismissive labels, Kidd (2018) argues that popular cultures omnipresence makes it "necessary to critique [its] content… [and] the particular mechanisms by which it is produced, distributed, celebrated, and interpreted. To that end, critical popular culture studies have grown exponentially across a variety of academic disciplines. For media researchers, the swell of pop culture texts provides an opportunity to critically analyze and report on the salient messages disseminated into large swaths of culture and community. For media studies educators, pop culture texts offer a window through which we ask our students to critically engage larger socio-cultural events, trends, tropes, and phenomena. Pop culture researchers, teachers, and students all recognize the importance in engaging popular media texts to the extent that these forms all carry the potential to inform popular opinion. As the media are not neutral, pop culture texts influence and inform our ideas about class, race, gender, sexuality, health, disability, and a litany of other identity markers. The speakers on this panel will speak to some examples of the ways in which media studies research is currently examining the popular aspects of our culture.

Coffee Break (15-minutes)

11:15 to 12:45pm

Panel 2:
Health (Media) Matters: Public Health Communication in the New Media Age

Panel Chair: Dr. Jingsi Christina Wu, Associate Professor, Department of Journalism, Media Studies and Public Relations
Panel Participants:
Matthew Matsaganis, Ph. D., Rutgers University
Martine Hackett, Ph. D., Hofstra University
Jenica Chandran, Touro College of Medicine, Hofstra University alum (major in Biology and minor in Media Studies)

Panel Description:
This panel delves into a distinct area of scholarly interest in media studies and reflects the possible route of marrying scholarship with practices and policies deeply rooted in actual life experiences. As a prime demonstration of the interdisciplinary nature of the program, the panelists speak about their expertise from a variety of backgrounds.

Dr. Matsaganis’ scholarship reflects his commitment to understanding the role of communication as a set of fundamental processes through which life in the communities we inhabit is organized and through which place affects our lives; notably, our health and our well-being, more broadly defined. In this panel Dr. Matsaganis speaks about his research, as well as his teaching and service, which goes beyond diagnosing the role of communication processes and dynamics in urban community life, and focuses on developing interventions that can help reduce, if not eliminate social inequalities. Dr. Hackett's research focuses on public health and health inequities, particularly in the American suburbs and minority communities. With her background in Communication and Television Production and advanced degrees in Public Health and Sociology, in this panel Dr. Hackett speaks about her expertise of transferring knowledge about maternal, infant and reproductive health into effective and socially conscious policies that tackle health inequities, especially through digital storytelling tools. Currently pursuing her MD degree and rotating through multiple residencies in the metropolitan area, Jenica Chandran speaks to her experience of having made the connection between her pursuit of a Biology degree at Hofstra and the benefits afforded by a minor in Media Studies. Not only did a well-rounded liberal arts background help her to stand out in multiple applications for health-related academic institutions, but Jenica’s deep immersion and investigation into the modern media environment allowed her to bring great insights into ways in which processes of health communication could take place more effectively.


Lunch Break (12:45pm to 1:55pm)


2:15pm to 3:45pm

Panel 3: 20/20 Vision: Media Studies as Practice - A Roundtable Discussion

The digital revolution has transformed our media ecosystem – and in turn our political culture - in profound ways, both for better and for worse. Understanding the scope of these changes is what media studies as a discipline helps us achieve. In this final session, participants from earlier sessions as well as other invited panelists will engage in a lively conversation bridging theory and practice to contextualize the last 25 years of the media landscape. They also will identify main trends as well as key texts and relevant authors that will help us look into the future.
Moderated by: Susan Drucker, PhD., Professor, Department of Journalism, Media Studies and Journalism, Hofstra University