Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Mythic Return...

After some time on a couple writing projects, teaching "History of US Media" in Berkeley and a few online history courses this summer, and settling in to some new gigs, I am now trying to get back to the "blogosphere" on a more regular basis. So, an update and a few personal remarks seem in order.

We're now getting into the Fall Semester for 2008, an election year, so, there will be much to report that goes unmentioned in the corporate mainstream press. Also, I have the distinct pleasure and honor of filling in for Dr. Peter Phillips at Sonoma State University as Interim Associate Director of Project Censored and Adjunct Lecturer in Sociology. I'll be teaching Sociology of Media, working with Project Censored research and PR teams for the new book, Censored 2009, which is coming out October 1st. I feel incredibly fortunate to have such an opportunity.

This year's book is a great collection of censored stories from the past year and I had the good fortune of working with the Project Censored team co-authoring two chapters in book as well as continuing as a Community Evaluator. "Truth Emergency Meets Media Reform" addresses issues within the growing media reform movement with reports from the Santa Cruz and Minneapolis conferences. And with friend and co-author Dr. Paul Rea, "Deconstructing Deceit: 9/11, the Media, and Myth Information" deals with the ongoing role media play in obscuring fact based analysis of the events of 9/11. For interested parties, the Left Coast book release party is on October 23rd at Sonoma State University. See the Project Censored website for details.

Also, I'm hosting the Modern Media Censorship Lecture Series, with the help of Kate Sims, which begin this Thursday, August 28th at Sonoma State University, where we are proud to have scholar Michael Parenti speak on "Orthodoxy and Diversity in the News Media." The full schedule of lectures by award winning journalists featured in this year's Censored volume is online at the above link to the series itself. Hope to see some of you there! If not, all lectures should be streaming online and available at Free Speech TV.

Of course, that's not all that's happening. I am also settling in to the Assistant Professor of History gig at Diablo Valley College where I've taught a variety of classes over the past eight years. While this means my time elsewhere is a thing of the past, it's very nice to be on board there at long last! I'll still be at Berkeley City College now and again doing History of U.S. Media, but DVC is my new home. I hope to be designing more courses there in the near future.

I'm also back at my fifth year teaching a course on the events of September the 11th. This is timely for a number of reasons. Not only is it coming up on the 7th anniversary of the tragedy, but the government, via NIST, has finally come out with what they say is the definitive reason for the failing of WTC7 in New York. Rebuttals abound. Architects and engineers have responded, gaining more attention even in the NY Times, but NIST continues to ignore. At any rate, this provides more fodder for discussion and more evidence in a pattern of official obfuscation that's become commonplace on 9/11 issues. This will be further addressed once again at this year's 9/11 Film Festival at the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland, CA. I'll be giving a talk on media myth making after a new film with Dr. David Ray Griffin (by Ken Jenkins) called "9/11 and Nationalist Faith" before running up to Sonoma to host a lecture with researcher Stephen Lendman, an associate of the Centre for Research on Gloalization. Lendman has written a fabulously readable review of media scholar Bob McChesney's The Political Economy of Media here-- part one and part two. Coupled with Bruce Dixon's "Hidden History of US Broadcasting," one has a fine introduction with what's wrong with global corporate media systems.

If that's not enough, I'll be continuing the media lecture series in Sonoma through December and speaking again at the Fremont, CA library late fall for the film series run by Dr. Paul Rea (co-author of mine in the new Project Censored book) talking about the latest Errol Morris film, Standard Operating Procedure. Also hoping to work more with Ramsey and the folks at PM Press and arrange some civil liberties events on campus with new colleague, Dr. Bob Abele, who runs Spotlight On Freedom. Much to do! And, I'm also not forgetting the most important thing- spending time with the fam!

Stay tuned for more blog commentary on history and the present, media myth making, and other sundry affairs.

Cheers! MSH