Monday, June 23, 2014

On the Amazing Neil Postman

So, I just got back from the annual Media Ecology Association, and I'll do a post on that another time, but back in April I was in Providence, Rhode Island for this year's Eastern Communication Association's annual meeting—ECA's the oldest communication association in existence, I should add. 

Anyway, there was a special session on my new book, Amazing Ourselves to Death: Neil Postman's Brave New World Revisited (and need I remind you that you can order it directly from Amazon over on the right?).

The participants included Susan Jasko of the California University of Pennsylvania (yes it's in Pennsylvania, why it's named that way I don't know), who served as moderator and panelist. The other panelists were Susan Drucker of Hofstra University, Don Fishman of Boston College, and Renee Hobbs, the Director of the recently established School of Communication and Media at the University of Rhode Island, and a leader in the media literacy movement. Deborah Borisoff, a former colleague of Postman's, was also supposed to be on the panel, but wasn't able to make it to the conference.

All four of the panelists provided a review and comments about the book, and then I responded. To be honest, I expected them to mostly say nice things about the book. After all, it was a friendly panel. But I was surprised, and touched, by the extent to which they picked up on the emotional side of the work, and what they said about the degree to which it captured a sense of Neil Postman as a human being. Susan Drucker described it as a love letter to my mentor.

I wish we had recorded the entire session, but fortunately Renee Hobbs did record her comments, and turned them into a YouTube video, which I'm pleased to share with you here. What she has to say is much more about Postman than about my book, which is fine with me, and indeed quite fitting, and makes the video all the more valuable as another addition to the many remembrances of Postman that have been preserved online. So anyway, here is the video, entitled Remembering Neil Postman:

The "About" section states, "Renee Hobbs remembers Neil Postman as a teacher, field builder, humanist and protectionist in this talk from the Eastern Communication Association conference, April 26, 2014." 

And this give me the opportunity to say, once more, thank you Renee!

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