Monday, September 19, 2011

Good Things From the Valley

So, on Wednesday I'm off to Grand Rapids, that's in Michigan you know, to give a public lecture there, and then make a guest appearance in some classes the day after.  It's happening at Grand Valley State University, and on that school's online calendar, it's listed as Talk by Media Ecologist Lance Strate, which is pretty descriptive of what I plan to do, which is talk, and of what I am, which is, a media ecologist.  If you don't want to click on the link and look at the actual website, you know me, I'm always willing to save you a step and some wear and tear on the old mousepad (remember mouse pads?), so here's what it says:

Date and Time: Wednesday, September 21, 2011
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Location:  Loosemore Auditorium (Downtown campus)
Description:  Lance Strate will give a lecture entitled
Time-binding is a key term in general semantics - an under-recognized general science of human valuation deeply rooted in communication theory. 
Loosemore Auditorium (downtown)
Wednesday,  September 21, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. 
Lance  Strate  is  Professor  of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University (1989-present)  and  is  the author of On the Binding Biases of Time  and  Other  Essays on General Semantics and Media Ecology (2011), and Echoes  and  Reflections:  On Media Ecology as a Field of Study (2006), and co-editor  of  several  anthologies including The Legacy of McLuhan (2005), two  editions  of  Communication  and Cyberspace:  Social Interaction in an Electronic  Environment  (1996, 2003), and the forthcoming Korzybski And...  collection  (edited  with  Corey  Anton).    He  is  a founder of the Media Ecology Association,   having   served   as  the  MEA's  first  president (1998-2009),  and  remains a member of its Board of Directors, and has also served  as  the  Executive  Director  of the Institute of General Semantics (2008-2011).   He  maintains  a  blog  about  media,  technology, language, symbols, etc., entitled Blog Time Passing <>; (2007-present), as  well as a poetry blog <>;   (2007-present), and he is a partner  in  NeoPoiesis  Press (2009-present).  Translations of his writing have appeared in French, Spanish, Italian, Hungarian, Hebrew, Chinese, and Quenya. 
Contact:  Valerie Peterson Valerie Peterson
Category:  Academic

Now, if you're wondering who Valerie Peterson Valerie Peterson is, first of all let me note that her name is not some kind of weird sixties thing, or a tribute to the classic Norman Lear sitcom soap opera, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.  It just seems to be some sort of mistake, as it is a name so nice you can say it twice, but most of the time she just goes by the singular, Valerie Peterson.  And apart from being an outstanding communication scholar and author, Valerie is married to my good friend and colleague, Corey Anton, and this husband and wife team worked in tandem (or tag team fashion) to bring me out for a visit and a spiel.

So, anyway, there's also an article in the Grand Valley Lanthorn (what the hell is a lanthorn?  apparently, it is an archaic variation on the word lantern.  hey, how about a superhero called the Green Lanthorn?  you know, kind of a cross between Green Lantern and Green Hornet? eh?  well, never mind...) with the catchy headline of, Media ecologist to lead discussion at GVSU.  Again, if it's too much trouble to go over there and read the article, I'll just tote it on over to you.  Wait right here while I go get it.  Oh, in the meantime, they grabbed a picture of me from here on Blog Time Passing, crediting the blog nicely enough, and here's the one they picked out:

And the caption below it reads:  "Courtesy Photo / Author Lance Strate will be giving a lecture on Media Ecology at GVSU".

And now for the article by one Chris LaFoy:

As communications worldwide continue to constantly evolve, understanding the media environment can be critical, and an upcoming speaker at Grand Valley State University will tackle the issue. 
GVSU will host Dr. Lance Strate, professor of communication and media studies at Fordham University, for a discussion about media ecology. 
According to the Media Ecology Association, which Strate co-founded, media ecology is the study of media with the idea that technology and communication play a pivotal role in human affairs. 
The discussion will include topics from Strate’s newly released sixth book, “On the Binding Biases of Time and Other Essays on General Semantics and Media Ecology.” 
According to Strate’s website, the book explores the relationships of symbols, language and media and examines how these things are perceived by humans in the environment of communication. 
This will be Strate’s second trip to GVSU
“Dr. Strate came here last year briefly,” said Dr. Valerie Peterson, associate professor of communications at GVSU. “We wanted to bring him back and share him with more people.” 

Just breaking in for a moment here.  Yeah, share me, pass me around, I'm into it!
Strate will appear partly because of the efforts of his colleague and personal friend Corey Anton, associate professor of communications at GVSU. Anton has served as a trustee on the Board of Directors of the MEA and as an editor for the MEA’s publication, “Explorations in Media Ecology.”
“Strate is a very professional, polished speaker,” Anton said. “He really puts on a show.” 
Me again.  I hope they're not expecting me to sing or dance...
Anton has dedicated much of his academic career to media ecology. He has published multiple books, including “Communication Uncovered: General Semantics and Media Ecology” and “Valuation and Media Ecology: Ethics, Morals, and Laws.” 
Strate is considered a leading mind in the field of media ecology; he sits on numerous boards and councils, many dealing directly with media ecology. 
His current teaching position at Fordham University allows him to teach a diverse range of subjects including science fiction and popular culture. 
Peterson said the extensive communications department at GVSU makes it a good fit for Strate to visit. 
“GVSU has film programs, theatre programs, photography programs and more,” she added. “Some schools just don’t have the media programs that we do.” 
Strate writes and maintains a blog about his work and research at 
All right, folks!  Another media mention for Blog Time Passing!

Strate’s guest lecture will be held in the Loosemore Auditorium in the DeVos Center at the Pew Campus on Monday at 7:30 p.m.

Yes! What? Wait a minute!  Chris, hey, you got the day wrong.  It's on Wednesday, not Monday.   I hope no one came this evening.  But if you are in the area, stop by and say hello!  On Wednesday.

One last thing.  The title of this post is a reference that will only register for readers of a certain age, as it alludes to the old Green Giant TV commercials.  I mix it up a little, though, it's good things from the garden, and the garden is in the valley, but hey, the important thing is, it's not easy being green, even if you are a giant.  Or a lanthorn.  So, let me leave you with this very important message:

And seriously, if you are in the Grand Rapids neighborhood, I do hope to see you there on WEDNESDAY!


Mike Plugh said...

"Strate is considered a leading mind in the field of media ecology; he sits on numerous boards and councils, many dealing directly with media ecology."

I have this image of you as a disembodied brain, sitting on a piece of lumber, in the middle of a green pasture...sign reading "media ecology" sticking out of the grass.

Lance Strate said...

Sounds like something out of Futurama, doesn't it?

Mike Plugh said...

I nominate Billy West to voice your character.