Pockrass Memorial Lecture
The Pockrass Lecture was named after the late Professor Robert M. Pockrass, a member of Penn State’s journalism faculty from 1948 to 1977. Pockrass, who specialized in public opinion and popular culture, served as the graduate officer and taught radio news writing.
No Upcoming Lectures
February 28, 2020
“#Trending: The Business of Trends in Consumer Culture”
Devon Powers is associate professor of advertising at Temple University. She is the author of two books and the co-editor of another. Her research explores historical and contemporary consumer culture and the dynamics of cultural intermediation, circulation and promotion. Her work has appeared in Journal of Consumer Culture, New Media & Society, Critical Studies in Media and Communication, and Popular Communication, among others. She is the chair (2018-2020) of the Popular Communication division of the International Communication Association.
September 23, 2019
“Online Experiences of Marginalized Individuals”
Jesse Fox, Ohio State University
When it first permeated homes, the internet was touted as the great liberator. In this talk Fox will cover various issues and findings regarding the experiences of marginalized individuals online as well as marginalizing experiences online, as these do not necessarily align. Who feels marginalized, and why does that matter? The talk will explore why social media yield diametric experiences for many, reflecting both the most virtuous and the most vile aspects of humanity. The session -- the Pockrass Memorial Lecture -- is free and open to the public.
February 28, 2019
“Confronting the Misinformation Society”
Victor Pickard, an associate professor of communication at the University of Pennsylvania, will present the Pockrass Memorial Lecture, a free public session titled "Confronting the Misinformation Society: A Political Economic Critique of Digital Journalism." Pickard believes the proliferation of misinformation afflicting democratic societies stems from structural pathologies in our communication systems. From Facebook’s unaccountable monopoly power to the demise of reliable journalism, a misinformation ecosystem has taken root. He believes this is particularly true in the United States where entire regions and issues lack media coverage at a time when robust reporting is desperately needed. These growing “news deserts” are disproportionately harming specific groups and areas, especially communities of color, rural districts, and lower socio-economic neighborhoods. Such systemic problems require radical structural reforms. Toward that aim, his talk will focus on the ongoing collapse of commercial journalism and the policies necessary for establishing public alternatives.
October 10, 2018
Who’s the Bully and Who’s the Victim in Masterpiece Cakeshop?
Free public lecture, the Robert M. Pockrass Memorial Lecture, presented by Rhonda Gibson, who is the James H. Shumaker Distinguished Associate Professor and director of the master of arts in digital communication program at the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina. Gibon's talk -- titled "Who's the Bully and Who’s the Victim in Masterpiece Cakeshop? The Battle Over Framing the Conversation About Marriage Equality vs. Religious Freedom" -- complements her research focuses on the effects of exemplification in journalism on issue perception and the effects of images of sexual minorities in the media. Her research has been published in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Communication Research, Newspaper Research Journal, and Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, among other publications. She recently published the book "Same-Sex Marriage and Social Media: How Online Networks Accelerated the Marriage Equality Movement."
April 09, 2018
Free public lecture, the Robert M. Pockrass Memorial Lecture, presented by Robin Nabi, an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
September 18, 2017
“The Projectilic Image: Islamic State’s Digital Visual Warfare and Global Networked Affect”
Free public lecture by Marwan Kraidy, the Anthony Shadid Chair in Global Media, Politics and Culture, and director of the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.
April 12, 2017
“Capitalist Kermit and his Chubby Cousin”
Helle Standgaard Jensen
A cultural history scholar will discuss how feelings toward American culture changed in several European countries in the 1970s with the advent of Sesame Street on children’s television. Helle Strandgaard Jensen, an assistant professor of contemporary cultural history at Aarhus University in Denmark, will present “Capitalist Kermit and his Chubby Cousin: Sesame Street and the 1970s Transatlantic Battle for Children’s TV." The lecture is presented by the Department of History, the University Libraries, and the College of Communications Pockrass Lectureship at Penn State.
October 28, 2016
“The Promise and Peril of Political Humor as a Rhetorical Device”
Dannagai G. Young
Dannagal G. Young, a leading political communication scholar, will present the fall 2016 Robert M. Pockrass Memorial Lecture titled “The Promise and Peril of Political Humor as a Rhetorical Device,” in a free public session sponsored by College of Communications and University Libraries. Young is an associate professor at the University of Delaware. Her research on the psychology and influence of political entertainment has been widely published, including articles in Columbia Journalism Review, Media Psychology, Political Communication, International Journal of Press/Politics and Mass Communication and Society. Her talk will explore the content, categories and influence of political humor. oung will present the results of recent experimental work that shows different rates of humor appreciation among liberals and conservatives, as mediated through personality traits known to correlate with ideology. She will address the role played by social media in stripping political satire of the context necessary to make sense of it in the way intended by the authors. The Pockrass Lecture was named after the late Professor Robert M. Pockrass, a member of Penn State's journalism faculty from 1948 to 1977. Pockrass, who specialized in public opinion and popular culture, served as the graduate officer and taught radio news writing.
April 04, 2016
“The Awakenings of the Filtered”
A free public lecture by Christian Sandvig, an associate professor at the University of Michigan. The lecture -- “The Awakenings of the Filtered: Algorithmic Personalization in Social Media and Beyond” -- is co-sponsored by the College of Communications and University Libraries. In his lecture Sandvig will argure that media of all kinds have been transformed to include automatic selection and ranking as a basic part of their operation. The Pockrass Lecture was named after the late Professor Robert M. Pockrass, a member of Penn State's journalism faculty from 1948 to 1977. Pockrass, who specialized in public opinion and popular culture, served as the graduate officer and taught radio news writing.
September 28, 2015
“The Science of Stories and the Stories of Science”
Melanie Green, an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Buffalo, will present a free public lecture. Her research examines the power of narrative to change beliefs, including the effects of fictional stories on real-world attitudes. Her theory of "transportation into a narrative world" focuses on immersion into a story as a mechanisim of narrative influence. She has edited two books and published numerous articles in leading communication, psychology and interdisciplinary journals.
April 13, 2015
Travis T. Vogan, a leading sports and media scholar, will present the spring 2015 Robert M. Pockrass Memorial Lecture titled "ESPN Culture." The session is free and open to the public. Vogan is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication and the Department of American Studies at the University of Iowa. He is the author of "Keepers of the Flame: NFL Films and the Rise of Sports Media" (University of Illinois Press, 2014) and "ESPN: The Making of a Sports Media Empire" (Forthcoming, University of Illinois Press).
October 06, 2014
“The World Wise Web?”
Professor Eszter Hargitti of Northwestern University will present the Pockress Lecture. Hargittai's research focuses on the social and policy implications of digital media with a particular interest in how differences in people's web-use skills influence what they do online. The event is free and open to the public.
April 11, 2014
“What Story Survives?”
Carolyn L. Kitch
A free public lecture by Carolyn L. Kitch, will focus on journalism and public memory of voilent events. The Pockrass Lecture, titled “What Story Survives? The Intersections of Journalism, Place, and Vernacular Culture in Public Memory of Violent Events,” is co-sponsored by the College of Communications and University Libraries. Kitch is a professor of journalism at Temple University’s School of Media and Communications. She also teaches in the school’s Mass Media and Communication doctoral program and has been faculty director for the school’s study-abroad programs in London and Dublin. Her research and teaching areas include memory studies, media history, journalism theory, magazines, gender studies and visual communication.