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OLLI & SOC Present "New Media Landscape" Series

SOC partners with OLLI to present Fall Lecture and Discussion Series

The New Media Landscape lecture and discussion series will introduce you to many topics of interest from the study of how our media represent different cultures to how social media affect our everyday lives. OLLI participants will learn about historical and contemporary media issues, the power of images, and how films and documentaries are created and produced for journalism, social advocacy, and entertainment. Many classes include screenings and group discussion.

Eight Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of DC (OLLI) classes will be held on Mondays Sept 30-Nov 18 (1:00-2:50pm) at Temple Baptist Church. To register, or for more information, contact OLLI at or 202-895-4860.

9/30/13: The News That You See

A portrait of Chris Adams

Lynne Perri with SOC Study Group introduction by Dean Jeff Rutenbeck

How do reporters and editors decide what to show you, rather than just what to describe in words? How have those decisions been enhanced with new journalistic tools — from data visualizations to photo slideshows?

10/7/13: Unlocking the Secrets of Social Media

Scott Talan

Social Media isn’t really new. Its been around for centuries. What is new are the online platforms being started (seemingly everyday now) and used to communicate, share, create and publish everything from emails to tweets to blog posts. Hear media professor Scott Talan share insights, history and tips to use and think about as we all continue to try and navigate new waves of social media that come at us everyday.

10/14/13: Copyright, Creativity, and Censorship

School of Communication professor and center for Social Media Director Pat Aufderheide

Pat Aufderheide 

What are the creative consequences of extensive copyright protection in an era of digital revolution? Despite all the talk about piracy, the most serious problem may be censorship—self-censorship. The most profound effects may not be in what happens, but what doesn't--in the powerful role of self-censorship in cultural creation. Over the last decade, a research project headed by Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi at American University has explored, with ten communities of practice, the effects of understandings and misunderstandings of copyright protection on creative practice. That research has also led to development of better copyright understanding and creation of community consensus around fair use practice.

10/21/13: How To Film Bears and Sharks Without Getting Eaten

Chris Palmer is the Director of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking and a professor at SOC

Chris Palmer

Chris Palmer, a veteran wildlife filmmaker, will show the skill and courage that goes into creating a wildlife documentary and how wildlife cinematographers capture astonishing shots of wild and potentially dangerous animals. He also pulls back the curtain on the dark side of wildlife filmmaking, revealing an industry undermined by sensationalism, fabrication, and sometimes even animal abuse. His book Shooting in the Wild, now in its second printing, has been made into a film for PBS and will premiere on public television stations this fall.

10/28/13: Romantic Warriors II - A Progressive Music Saga About Rock In Opposition

Adele Schmidt

Romantic Warriors II offers an engaging history of the Rock in Opposition movement (RIO), founded in 1978 by the English Avant-Progressive band Henry Cow. The RIO movement united like-minded bands that opposed the exploitive practices of the commercial music industry and grew quickly to encompass DIY ethics involving recordings distribution, international peer promotion, cooperative booking, and creative collaborations.

11/4/13: The Global War for Internet Governance

American University School of Communication Professor Laura DeNardis

Laura DeNardis

Internet governance conflicts are the new spaces where political and economic power is unfolding in the 21st century. Technologies of Internet governance increasingly mediate freedom of expression and individual privacy. They are entangled with national security and global commerce. The term “Internet governance” conjures up a host of global controversies such as the prolonged Internet outage in Syria during political turmoil or Google’s decision not to acquiesce to U.S. government requests to remove an incendiary political video from YouTube. This talk explains how the Internet is currently governed, particularly through the sinews of power that exist in technical architecture and new global institutions, and presents several brewing Internet governance controversies that will affect the future of economic and expressive liberty.

11/11/13: How Smokey Bear and McGruff Changed America

SOC Wendy Melillo

Wendy Melillo

We will take a peek behind the Ad Council’s curtain to explore how one of the most influential public service advertising organizations operates. Despite the positive image the Ad Council projects, its campaigns are far more complicated and nuanced than even the Ad Council’s own staff realizes. Why do some people shoot bullet holes at Smokey posters in the forests of Northern New Mexico? Who really created the iconic Rosie-the-Riveter poster that the Ad Council used in its publicity documents? Why did the CIA secretly fund the Ad Council’s 1950 Crusade for Freedom campaign to raise money for Radio Europe and Radio Liberty? I will answer these questions and more.

11/18/13: Coming to Terms with the Network of Networks and People and Things


Jeff Rutenbeck

By the year 2020 there will be more than 50 billion digital devices connected to each other providing information about us and to us on almost everything imaginable. This "Internet of Things" is quickly reaching critical mass, and it is already changing the ways we think about privacy, autonomy, convenience and control.