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OLLI & SOC Present "New Media Landscape" Spring Series

SOC partners with OLLI to present Spring 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 OLLI classes will be held on Tuesday March 4, 11, 18, 25; April 1, 8, 15, 22 (10:00 - 11:50p) at Temple Baptist Church. To register, or for more information, contact OLLI at or 202-895-4860.

03/04/14: Social Media: What is it? Why it’s not new? What can it do for you?

Scott Talan

Social Media isn’t really new. It’s been around for centuries. What is new are the online platforms being started (seemingly every day 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 every day.

Scott will talk about his 9 categories/species of social media and will offer advice on what you may be the best social media mix for you! Talan is a social media (SM) expert in academia and has been using these tools in class since 2005. He teaches a Social Media Strategies course has also created a class focusing on 'your brand online' as well.

03/11/14: Muckraking - Then and Now

Chris Lawrence

America has a long and proud tradition of muckraking journalism, starting in the early 1900s and continuing through today. This course will examine the history of investigative journalism and explore how it has changed over the years. We will look at how Ida Tarbell, Upton Sinclair and Lincoln Steffens battled corporate and government excess, how Margaret Sanger, Paul Brodeur and Rachel Carson exposed issues of health and safety, and how today's muckrakers Seymour Hersh and Dana Priest shed light on government security and surveillance measures. The course will also consider Julian Assange and WikiLeaks and their role in the scope of modern day investigative journalism.

03/18/14: "Wikipedia: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia”

SOC Andrew Lih

Andrew Lih

Prof Lih will discuss Wikipedia and give the "sausage factory tour" of how Wikipedia gets written, and show how the audience can contribute to Wikipedia. This will go beyond demostration and be a call to action, as Wikipedia is indeed actively looking for participants older than 30 to increase editor diversity.

Prof. Lih will talk about how Wikipedia works, its quirky history, and how Wikipedia has affected every form of knowledge in the public interest.

3/25/14: Impact of Social Media on Changing Behavior

Pallavi Kumar

Pallavi Kumar

Case study approach of three social media cases and showcasing their societal implications. Through a review of case studies, participants will learn about the impact that social media can have on changing behavior, bringing awareness and creating community. This session will also focus on the potential downsides that organizations can face with social media engagement.

4/1/14: Cinema Sound Secrets

Greg Smith

Greg Smith

Did you know that some of the alien sounds in Star Wars are actually South Dakota buffalo? Professor Greg Smith recorded these and other interesting sounds for dozens of soundtracks, including his role as Assistant Sound Designer for Spielberg’s Lincoln. He’ll talk about the elements of a soundtrack and reveal some audio secrets in Hollywood’s most successful films.

4/8/14: The Past, Present and Future of Storytelling: How Long-Form Nonfiction Narrative is Changing and Staying the Same

Angie Chuang

Angie Chuang

An engaging presentation on how long-form narrative has changed from the New Journalism days of Joan Didion and Tom Wolfe to current mobile and online formats, as well as crowdsourced and interactive narratives. Prof Chuang will demonstrate everything from the New York Times' "Snowfall" to Jennifer Egan's short story in tweets (a lot of tweets, doled out one a day by the New Yorker). Multi-generational audiences love Prof. Chuang's new media presentations; as well as stories from her own recently released book "The Four Words for Home."

4/15/14: So You Want To Write A Book—Or At Least An Article?

American University professor Iris Krasnow's latest book is being made into a pilot by Lifetime television.
Iris Krasnow

In this class, SOC/SPExS Professor Iris Krasnow will take students through the steps of conceiving book/article ideas, how to translate those concepts into clear and well-written works, that include solid interviews and investigation—and how to pitch, and sell, to publishers. The course will also include instruction on The Art of the Memoir. Professor Krasnow is the bestselling author of six non-fiction books on relationships, described on

4/22/14: Ethnographic and Interactive Web Documentary: Exploring the New Form

Brigid Maher

Brigid Maher will walk participants through advances in web documentary as well as the implications for ethnographers. She will also debut, A Mosque of Her Own, a co-authored interactive documentary about all women mosques in China.