Saturday, December 19, 2015

Fatal Amusements

So, back to Villanova again, this time to note that one of my obligations as this year's Harron Family Endowed Chair was to deliver a public lecture. Of course, you knew that from my previous post, Fatal Amusements Talk, where I shared the advance publicity for the address, which I delivered on November 3rd.

The full title of the talk was "Fatal Amusements: Contemplating the Tempest of Contemporary Media and American Culture," and it was based, in large part, on my book, published by Peter Lang last year, Amazing Ourselves to Death: Neil Postman's Brave New World Revisited. And it's never a bad idea to order a copy if you don't have one, or even if you do...


But aside from making a plug, I would like to note that this was the first time I gave a talk based on the book, as the opportunity has not come up before. The one exception, one that's not really an exception actually, is the talk I gave at Medaille College in Buffalo, a lecture that preceded the writing or even the conception of the book by a number of years. The title of that address was "Amazing Ourselves to Death," and it was delivered almost exactly eight years before "Fatal Amusements" to the day, on November 6th, 2007. You can read about it and see and hear a recording of that talk on my previous post, An Amazing Lecture.

And in case you're thinking, I've already read Amazing Ourselves to Death, so I don't need to see this lecture, do let me note that my "Fatal Amusements" talk contains some new material, based on what's been going on since it's publication, including some references to the current primary campaigns, i.e., Donald Trump. 

I had fun with this lecture, so I hope you like it, and please let me know if you do (and yeah, please don't if you don't...).

The video recording was made by Villanova, and this YouTube video was uploaded to the Villanova Channel, so you can also take a look at it there, just click on the old link, Fatal Amusements: Contemplating the Tempest of Contemporary Media and American Culture, they have comments disabled, but considering that it's over an hour, it's nice to see that the video has gotten a few views online. I suppose the talk itself might be considered a bit amusing, but hopefully not too fatal, or too fatalistic.

1 comment:

Berlinbound said...

A very thoughtful and comprehensive talk. Thank you for posting it. I was a student of Prof. Postman at NYU and the ideas he introduced have remained with me to this day.