<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   Next >  Last >> 
  • 04 Mar 2020 5:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    General semantics was founded in response to a call for sanity in political affairs, domestically and globally. Alfred Korzybski argued that our leaders and government officials need to have the same respect for reality as our scientists and engineers. This requires careful evaluation and constant re-evaluation of our perceptions of the world, and the ways in which we think and talk about what is going on around us.

    To that end, the New York Society for General Semantics has held periodic panel discussions devoted to the political landscape, to present-day language and symbolic action, to the talk and drama of our current democratic culture. At this perilous moment in the United States and worldwide, we return again to considering the uses and abuses of language in public discourse, and the ways in which candidates for office, public officials, and journalists create competing maps of our political terrain.

    The participants on this program held on October 16, 2019, were:

    Jessica Baldwin-Philippi, Associate Professor in Fordham University’s Communication and Media Studies department, and an expert in the study of digital campaigning. Her first book, Using Technology, Building Democracy: Digital Campaigning and the Construction of Citizenship (Oxford UP, 2015), investigates the digital strategies and tactics that electoral campaigns adopted in a post-Obama, social media era. She is currently working on a book about data-driven campaigning leading up to the 2020 election.

    Salvatore J. Fallica, who was born in Brooklyn, New York, and earned his doctorate at New York University, where he studied under Neil Postman and Terry Moran. It is also where he teaches courses in propaganda and spectacle culture in the Department of Media, Culture and Communication. He presented “The Media Ecology of Paparazzi,” recently at the Media Ecology Association Conference in Toronto; he also presented “Early Dylan: The Contemporary Anachronism,” at the Dylan Archives this past June. He’s working on a project entitled “Norman Mailer and Celebrity Culture.” He was awarded the “Excellence in Teaching” award from the Steinhardt School of Education at NYU.

    Isabel Vincent, an award-winning investigative reporter for The New York Post, and the author of several books. A former foreign correspondent in Latin America, Africa and the Balkans, her work has appeared in numerous publications around the world, including The Guardian, The New Yorker, and The New York Times Magazine. She has won the Yad Vashem Award for Holocaust History, the Jewish Book Award (Canada) and most recently, an Associated Press Award for investigative reporting. Her most recent book, Dinner With Edward, is being made into a feature film, starring English actor David Suchet in the title role. She is currently working on a book about opera and the Second World War.

    And the panel was moderated by NYSGS President Lance Strate, Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University, Trustee of the Institute of General Semantics, and author of 7 books including Media Ecology: An Approach to Understanding the Human Condition (Peter Lang, 2017) and Amazing Ourselves to Death: Neil Postman's Brave New World Revisited (Peter Lang, 2014).

    It was a penetrating and perspicacious discussion!

  • 04 Mar 2020 5:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our first program of the Fall of 2019 is now available!

    According to Wendell Johnson, general semantics is concerned with the problems we have in trying to live with ourselves and with each other. He argues that we understand very little about what it means to be a symbol-using class of life, and that we fail to consider the connection between our use of language and the way we live. Understanding language as technique allows us the possibility of taking a critical position with regard to this powerful human dimension and the way in which our modes of communication give shape to our broader lifeworld.

    Over the last several years, the GIF, or graphic interchange format, has become an integral component of online communication. These short moving images are typically emotive “moments” clipped from popular media that capture a sentiment or complex emotional state. Today, GIFs have been integrated to most social media services in enormous searchable databases. Users of social media can employ GIFs on their own, or in combination with text-based communication, creating a hybrid form with both discursive (word-based) and presentational (image-based) characteristics. The exploration of this theme expands the reach of general semantics further into the area of online and digital communication, in pursuit of Wendell Johnson’s critical position.

    In what ways does this visual form enhance text-based communication, adding depth and complexity to our communication? How does this symbolic form relate to the process of abstracting and what pitfalls does it present to clear and effective communication? How does the popularity of this symbolic form relate to Korzybski’s notion of ‘infantilism’ and what defense can be made for the form’s utility in thought and action?

    The participants on this program held on September 18, 2019, were:

    Michael Plugh, Assistant Professor of Communication at Manhattan College, Past-President of the New York State Communication Association, and a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Society for General Semantics. Dr. Plugh is Pedagogy Editor for the journal Explorations in Media Ecology, and is currently program planner for the Media Ecology Association’s presence at the annual National Communication Association convention. His research interests include general semantics and media ecology, particularly with respect to issues of education.

    Arshia Anwer, Assistant Professor of Communication at Manhattan College. Dr. Anwer has worked in the communication and education fields in a variety of marketing communication, editing and teaching roles, and currently serves as the Community Manager for the New York State Communication Association. Her research interests include integrated marketing communication, philosophy of communication, and religious communication, and she has published in the areas of communication ethics and religious communication.

    Brian Cogan, Associate Professor of Communications at Molloy College. Dr. Cogan is the author of numerous articles. book chapters and books, with emphasis on popular culture and media ecology, including works on punk rock, South Park and Monty Python. He was the Awards coordinator and a Board member for the Media Ecology Association for many years, is a past president of the New York State Communication Association and a Wilson Scholar., and co-edits the zine Submerging which highlights both emerging and established authors and photographers.

    It was a presentation that was both arresting and amusing!

  • 13 Jan 2020 5:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are pleased to make available to you this program featuring Gary Gumpert and Susan Drucker, held on June 5, 2019.

    General semantics is based on the understanding that human beings are a time-binding species, able to pass on experience from one generation to the next. Through the process of time-binding, we are able to accumulate knowledge and make progress, in science and technology, and also socially, politically, and morally.

    Time-binding is made possible by capacity for language and symbolic communication, which also provides us with the potential to engage in critical evaluation and thereby eliminate errors and misconceptions, and overcome prejudice and stereotypes. 

    While Holocaust memorials have been the subject of many studies, some of the most moving and least studied type of memorials are those unexpectedly encountered in everyday life. Two of the memorials physically built into the urban landscape are: the 70,0000 Stolpesteine, small brass Holocaust memorial plaques placed in the sidewalks of residential neighborhoods. The second are found in Berlin’s Bavarian Quarter where 100 street signs display the Nazi Nurenberg laws. Such memorials are self-imposed triggers of the past. This presentation will examine several Holocaust commemorations looking at the physical installations, communicative functions of sidewalks, language choices and the meaning of the street.

    Susan Drucker is a Professor in the Department of Journalism/Media Studies, School of Communication at Hofstra University. She is an attorney, and treasurer of the Urban Communication Foundation. She has served as editor of the Free Speech YearbookQualitative Research Reports in Communication, and served as Series editor of the Communication and Law series for Hampton Press and Peter Lang Publishing. She is the author and editor of 10 books and over 100 articles and book chapters including two volumes of the Urban Communication ReaderRegulating ConvergenceVoices in the Street: Gender, Media and Public Space, two editions of Real Law @ Virtual Space: The Regulation of Cyberspace, and Regulating Social Media: Legal and Ethical Consideration with Gary Gumpert. Her work examines the relationship between media technology and human factors, particularly as viewed from a legal perspective.

    Gary Gumpert is Emeritus Professor of Communication at Queens College of the City University of New York and President of the Urban Communication Foundation. His creative career as a television director and academic career as a scholar spans over 60 years. In 1960 he directed The Gutenberg Galaxy in which Marshall McLuhan first articulated the premise of his book by the same title. He is series editor of Urban Communication Series for Peter Lang Publishing. He has authored and edited books include Talking Tombstones and Other Tales of the Media AgeThe Urban Communication ReaderRegulating Convergence, and Regulating Social Media: Legal and Ethical Considerations. He is a recipient of the Franklyn S. Haiman Award for distinguished scholarship in freedom of expression, the Louis Forsdale Award for Outstanding Educator in the Field of Media Ecology, the Neil Postman Award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity, and the Environmental Design Research Association Career Award. His primary research and theory agenda focuses on the impact of communication technology upon social and urban space.

    It was a presentation that was eye-opening and thought-provoking!

  • 09 Dec 2019 5:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are pleased to make available to you a special program held on May 1, 2019.

    For almost five decades, Seamus Kelleher, a native of Galway on the west coast of Ireland now residing in Doylestown PA, has performed as a musician across the U.S. and Europe in venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York and the Excelsior in Rome. This year, he turns 65 and will perform over 160 shows across the US. 

    Throughout his career, Seamus has battled and managed depression, anxiety, and an addiction to alcohol. In his Shine the Light presentation, he uses his gift of music and an uncanny ability to engage his audience to tell a compelling and sometimes hilarious story raising awareness of the staggering number of Americans suffering mental illness and addiction.

    Recent engagements include: Scott & White Medical Center in Temple, Texas; Baylor University Medical Center in Houston; and the School of Rock annual franchise meeting in Philadelphia.

    Seamus is also the author of over 100 newspaper and magazine articles on topics ranging from politics, music, and immigration to mental health issues. He holds a Masters Degree from New York University where he studied Media Ecology under the guidance of Neil Postman. He considers his time with Postman, the other faculty members and his peers in the Media Ecology program as the most enlightening period of his life.

    It was an evening of music and talk that was delightful and inspirational!

  • 30 Oct 2019 6:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Allen Flagg became interested in General Semantics in 1952, eventually serving for many years as President of the New York Society for General Semantics. He taught general semantics classes at IBM, The New School, Queens College and Fairfield University. In 2008 he was a recipient of the Institute of General Semantics J. Talbot Winchell Award.

    To honor Allen, a lecture series was established in his name and Martin H. Levinson agreed to deliver the first of those lectures on April 12, 2019, entitled “General Semantics as a Conversing Activity.” After his talk, Levinson read from his recently published book Practical Fairy Tales for Everyday Living (Institute of General Semantics, 2018), the introduction of which appears below.


    The American Heritage Dictionary defines the term “fairy tale” as a fictitious, highly fanciful story or explanation. Can such a narrative furnish useful advice on important topics like sound thinking, smart decision-making, stress reduction, emotional self-management, and getting along better with others? This book answers in the affirmative. Practical Fairy Tales for Everyday Living provides twenty-four whimsical stories featuring characters who successfully battle a variety of personal problems and mishaps through the formulations of general semantics (GS), a science-based “self-help” system designed to assist individuals to better evaluate and solve everyday difficulties and gain a more accurate picture of themselves and the world in which they live. While the stories are not true in the literal sense of that word, the British writer G.K. Chesterton observed, “Fairy tales are more than true—not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.”

    Martin H. Levinson is the president of the Institute of General Semantics, the treasurer of New York Society for General Semantics, and the book review editor for ETC: A Review of General Semantics. He has published ten books and numerous articles and poems on a variety of subjects. Levinson holds a PhD from New York University and lives in Forest Hills, NY.

    It was a lecture and reading that was the talk of the town!

  • 02 Oct 2019 7:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On March 20, 2019, the New York Society for General Semantics hosting an event featuring author Vasu Varadhan in conversation regarding her recently published book.

    The word family represents a set of relationships we all take for granted but, as with all our terms, as general semantics teaches us, the map is not the territory. Anthropologists have long studied the differences in the ways that different cultures define and experience the concepts of marriage and kinship. Understanding these differences, differences that make a difference, can help us to understand a fundamental aspect of our time-binding species.

    Memoirs are attempts to map the territory of our own lives, a means of exploring memory and history, self and identity. Dr. Vasu Vardhan's memoir, On My Own Terms: A Journey Between Two Worlds (Mediacs, 2018), represents an auto-ethnographic study that illuminates much about gender, culture, family, and individuality.

    From the publisher's blurb:

    In moments of quiet despair following the death of her eldest son in the September 11 attack on The World Trade Center, Vasu Varadhan thought of her mother and father, a United Nations diplomat and champion of nuclear disarmament during the Cold War who died at the early age of 50; her childhood in New York City and young adulthood in India, and her arranged marriage at the age of 16. Circling back into personal family history led to her decision to write this memoir, a search for better understanding of life’s joys and sorrows.

    At its core, On My Own Terms is a classic story of an immigrant’s struggle to forge an identity of one’s own amidst the upheavals of geographical and cultural displacement. On another level, it is an homage to a remarkable woman’s struggle to maintain individuality, integrity and freedom as an accomplished scholar inside the orthodox Hindu culture in which she was born and raised.

    Vasu Varadhan holds a PhD in Media Ecology from New York University, where she is currently a member of the faculty at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She has taught a wide range of interdisciplinary seminars on media theory, identity in a multi-cultural world, ancient Indian literature and South Asian literature with a special focus on emerging Indian writers in the diaspora. She is the featured subject of the documentary, Knowing Her Place, by Indu Krishnan which chronicles her struggle with “cultural schizophrenia” as an Indian American woman searching to forge her own identity. Her writing has been published in two of India’s leading newspapers, The Hindu and The Indian Express, in the South Asian Review and in the online publication, The Pythians. She has also published scholarly articles in ETC: A Review of General Semantics.

    Teresa Manzella, a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Society for General Semantics, moderated the event. She studied media ecology and generals semantics with Neil Postman at New York University and sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and holds masters degrees in communication and education. She worked in business as a career counselor and on training and development and team-building for several companies including Citibank, Chemical, and J.P. Morgan Chase, as well as the MTA. She ran the Career and Life Design Group at The Unitarian Universalist Church of All Souls, NYC, for 20 years, and maintains a private Career Counseling practice.

    It was a conversation that was memorable and revealing!  

  • 10 Sep 2019 8:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On February 20, 2019, the New York Society for General Semantics was pleased to host a book launch for Acting Chekhov in Translation: 4 Plays, 100 Ways (New York: Peter Lang, 2019) by Robin Beth Levenson.

    Dr. Levenson is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York. She received her PhD from New York University, an MFA from the University of California, Riverside, and has presented at conferences on translation and communication studies at the University of East Anglia, England, the American Literary Translation Association, the New York State Communication Association, the Eastern Communication Association, the City University of New York League of Speech Professors, and the international Stanislavski Symposium at the University of Malta.  She has acted professionally in Los Angeles and New York on stage, film and via voiceovers. Her research explorations include how language influences thought and behavior, and the nature of performance.

    Michael Plugh, Professor of Communication at Manhattan College and a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Society for General Semantics moderated the event, which included a conversation, discussion, reading, book signing, and reception with refreshments.

    From the author:

    My teacher Stella Adler said, “I am a student by nature. I am a scholar as well as an actress.” Ideally, actors do practical research on their roles; they are “script interpreters.” I’m a scholar and an actor as well. But this book does not  presume to “interpret” Anton Chekhov’s work definitively, or to assess which translations of his plays in English are the “best.” It is, rather, an exploration of how practitioners and scholars may approach script analysis when the play is in translation. Interpretation is up to the individual production, and to the audience. Chekhov’s plays provide useful examples for this examination of the playscript.

    The actor’s granular explication of theatre texts—as playwright Lee Blessing notes in his blurb for my book—means we must explore all possible avenues of meaning and behavior in creating a role, based on just the written dialogue we are given. This practice of the actor is significantly related to the ideas of General Semantics. Korzybski’s idea of “time-binding” says “Time-binding is something we do. [In order to] deliberately, consciously change [or], improve our way of being, we have first to be awake to What? How? and Reasons for doing what we are doing.” This too is what the actor does, which results in his Actions on the stage. The actor must be “Awake” to all aspects of the script in order to discover its underlying meanings.

    With 145 translations I discovered, the book describes the nature of translation for the stage, the notion of Action, Chekhov’s inimitable dramaturgy and his last four masterpieces that changed the path of modern drama, illuminating how our language determines our behavior.

    From the publisher's blurb: 

    Iconic Russian writer Anton Chekhov is recognized as the most translated and produced playwright in the world after William Shakespeare―that is, he is the most produced and most highly regarded modern playwright in English translation. Chekhov’s style models our behaviors and aspirations in alluring and intricate ways, unmatched in playwriting. His plays determined Realism in language and acting practice from the late 19th century to the present. Acting Chekhov in Translation: 4 Plays, 100 Ways explores the history of translation, contemporary and controversial approaches to stage translation, the notion of "action" from Aristotle to Adler (and beyond), and Chekhov’s inimitable dramaturgy. English translations, adaptations and versions of The SeagullUncle VanyaThe Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard are each considered from the actors’ points of view, from the page to the stage.

    The nature of stage translation has recently undergone novel and provocative changes: how can someone who does not know the source language adapt or translate a play? It is done frequently, and the outcomes are investigated herein. For the translator as well as practitioners, understanding theatre craft is essential to producing playable and engaging productions. Differences in the language, punctuation, syntax, sound, rhythm, stage directions and what appears on the written page in various translations affect the work of the actor on the playscript.

    The purpose of this inquiry is not to definitively evaluate or interpret Chekhov’s plays but to discover approaches to working on plays in translation and to determine practical tools we may use in the analysis of dramatic form, as well as human behavior. This book includes selections from 145 translations and translators of all four plays and a glossary of acting terms that helps describe concepts for practical script analysis.

    It was a gathering and celebration that was dramatic and transformative!

  • 31 Jul 2019 7:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Alfred Korzybski introduced the terms neuro-semantic and neuro-linguistic, and in conjunction with his emphasis on the organism-as-a-whole-in-an-environment, made reference to the neuro-linguistic and neuro-semantic environment that we inhabit. Following Korzybski's lead, Wendell Johnson introduced the concept of the semantic environment in his classic work on general semantics, People in Quandaries (recently reissued by the Institute of General Semantics).

    Neil Postman devoted a chapter of his 1976 study, Crazy Talk, Stupid Talk, to the topic of the semantic environment, explaining that, "a semantic environment includes, first of all, people; second, their purposes; third, the general rules of discourse by which such purposes are usually achieved; and fourth, the particular talk actually being used in the situation." Noting that there are many different types of semantic environments, he described them as situations and social structures "in which people want to do something to, for, with, or against other people, as well as to, for, with, or against themselves."

    Postman specified that he was particularly concerned with "those semantic environments which give form to our most important human transactions." And in an earlier essay entitled "Demeaning of Meaning," he maintained that, "in considering the ecology of the semantic environment, we must take into account what is called the communications revolution," going on to observe that, "the invention of new and various media of communication has given a voice and an audience to many people whose opinions would otherwise not have be solicited, and who, in fact, have little if anything to contribute to public issues."

    In January of 2018, we had the rare opportunity of presenting a program consisting entirely of out-of-towners who have converged on New York City to attend the annual Media Ecology Association board meeting, and we continued that practice as we asked them to comment on the state of the semantic environment in 2019, locally and globally.

    The participants on this program, held on January 18, 2019, were:

    Carolin Aronis, Special Faculty in Communication Studies at Colorado State University and a Discourse, Culture, and Identity lecturer at the University of Colorado, Boulder, studying and teaching about communicative practices that challenge the essence of media, and that contribute to our understanding of communication, intersectionality, and intimacy.

    Julia Hildebrand, a Ph.D. candidate in Communication, Culture, and Media at Drexel University, whose research lies at the intersections of critical media studies and mobilities research with a special interest in visual communication and mobile technologies.

    Matt Thomas, educated at the University of Southern California and the University of Iowa, where he got his PhD in American Studies, currently teaching and writing in Iowa City.

    Edward Tywoniak, Professor of Communication, Director of the W. M. Keck Media Lab and Program Director for the Digital Studies major at Saint Mary’s College of California, Trustee of the Institute of General Semantics, and Immediate Past President of the Media Ecology Association.

    And the panel was moderated by NYSGS President Lance Strate, Professor of Communication and Media Studies, Fordham University, Trustee of the Institute of General Semantics, and Editor of Explorations in Media Ecology.

    It was a wide-ranging and stately discussion!

  • 20 May 2019 4:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Alfred Korzybski introduced general semantics in his 1933 magnum opus, Science and Sanity. As the title indicates, general semantics is dedicated to the spread and enhancement of sanity, both individually and collectively. As the title also indicates, Korzybski drew on scientific method as the basis of his system, which he characterized as non-aristotelian, because he recognized the logical and psychological problems associated with longstanding forms of thought and language use.

    But what, exactly, is sanity? Or more appropriately, what does the term sanity refer to, and how has it been used and misused? The root meaning, derived from the Latin, is associated with health, the same root as sanitary, sanitize, and sanitation, and the same connotation as the saying, being of sound mind and body. It follows that sanity is associated with the concept of mental health.

    Sanity is also closely associated with rationality, and mental health with adjustment to reality. In the judicial system, sanity is associated with the ability to understand the consequences of our actions. For Freud and his followers in the psychoanalytic tradition, sanity means being free from or cured of mental illness.

    Others view sanity as a social construct that varies from culture to culture, rather than an objective phenomenon. Thomas Szasz famously argued that the concept of sanity is closely associated with social control in his 1961 book, The Myth of Mental Illness.

    And while sanity, as a label, is most often applied to individuals, for Gregory Bateson and others who followed his cybernetic, systems-oriented approach, sanity resides in the relationship between individuals, including families and other groups. For Erich Fromm and others, entire societies may be diagnosed as sane or insane, and by extension we could do so for the human race as a whole.

    In taking up the question of, what is sanity?, our panel will consider whether there is such a thing or phenomenon as sanity, whether it is possible to identify an objective form of thought and behavior that can be judged as sane, and if so, how are we to recognize it? Is it simply the absence of mental illness or emotional distress, or is there the positive presence of something more? Is sanity something we have, something we are, or something we do?

    Further, what is meant by the term sanity, how has the term been used, and what are the appropriate and inappropriate contexts for its use? Also, who uses the term, who ought to use the term, what role does power, be it professional and institutional, political, or  symbolic, play in the use of the term?

    And, by and large, are we, as individuals in our contemporary culture, still sane, and what can we conclude about the relatively sanity of the groups that we are a part of? Is society as a whole sane by definition, or by diagnosis? Have there been societies in the past that have gone insane? And as a society, do we still have our own sanity? Or have we lost it?

    The participants on this program, held on December 19, 2018, were:

    Nancy Colier is a psychotherapist, interfaith minister, author, public speaker, mindfulness teacher and relationship coach.  A longtime student of Eastern spirituality, mindfulness practices form the ground of her work.  She is the author of The Power of Off: The Mindful Way to Stay Sane in a Virtual World (Sounds True Publishing), Inviting a Monkey to Tea: Befriending Your Mind and Discovering Lasting Contentment (Hohm Press), and Getting Out of Your Own Way: Unlocking Your True Performance Potential (Luminous Press), and a regular blogger for Psychology Today and Huffington Post

    Lori Ramos earned her PhD in Media Ecology from New York University. Her early research and scholarship explored the role of media in shaping conceptions of and attitudes toward literacy. More recently, her interests in communication have evolved to include psychotherapy. She has received an MSW from Fordham University with a focus on clinical social work and also completed EMDR training for trauma therapy. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Media Studies at William Paterson University in New Jersey and a staff therapist at Blanton-Peale Institute and Counseling Center in New York City.

    Frederick J. Wertz is Professor of Psychology at Fordham University and Interim Dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center, a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, winner of the 2014 Rollo May Award for independent and outstanding pursuit of new frontiers in humanistic psychology by the APA's Society for Humanistic Psychology. He is co-author of Five Ways of Doing Qualitative Analysis (Guilford Press), editor of The Humanistic Movement (Gardner Press), and co-editor of Advances in Qualitative Psychology (Swets & Zeitlenger), and Carl Jung in the Academy and Beyond: The Fordham Lectures of 1912 (The Spring Press).

    The panel was moderated by NYSGS President Lance Strate, Professor of Communication and Media Studies, Fordham University.

    It was a healthy and lucid discussion!

  • 17 Mar 2019 12:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On January 26th, 2018, we held the first panel discussion on this topic, and promised to follow it up with a second program held on November 28th, 2018, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Neil Postman's formal introduction of the term media ecology. The occasion was the 58th annual meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English, held in Milwaukee on November 29, 1968. Neil Postman gave an address entitled "Growing Up Relevant" as the main part of a program session entitled Media Ecology: The English of the Future. This talk was later published as a book chapter in the anthology, High School 1980: The Shape of the Future in American Secondary Education, edited by Alvin C. Eurich, where it appeared under the title of, The Reformed English Curriculum.

    In his 1968 address, Postman introduced media ecology as a field of inquiry that he defined as the study of media as environments. A year later, in Teaching as a Subversive Activity, co-authored by  Charles Weingartner, he introduced “the Sapir-Whorf-Korzybski-Ames-Einstein-Heisenberg-Wittgenstein-McLuhan-Et Al. Hypothesis … that language is not merely a vehicle of expression, it is also the driver; and that what we perceive, and therefore can learn, is a function of our languaging processes.”  And in conjunction with the 1974 Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture sponsored by the Institute of General Semantics, Postman delivered an address entitled, Media Ecology: General Semantics in the Third Millennium, in which he described media ecology as "general semantics writ large."

    This 50th anniversary offered us the opportunity to take up questions such as, what has media ecology and general semantics contributed to the field of education, to teaching and schooling, and what might be contributed in the future? What has media ecology and general semantics contributed to the study of language and the subject of English, and what might be contributed in the future? What can we learn about Neil Postman in particular, and his views on education, communication, and culture? To what extent have things changed over the past half century, and to what extent do they remain the same?

    The participants on this program were:

    Thom GencarelliProfessor and Chair of the Communication Department at Manhattan College

    Terence P. Moran, Professor of Media Ecology, New York University

    Michael Plugh, Professor of Communication at Manhattan College

    Madeline Postman, Teacher in the New York City school system for over 20 years, currently teaching at the Corona Arts and Sciences Academy in Queens

    and the program was moderated by NYSGS President Lance Strate, Professor of Communication and Media Studies, Fordham University.

    It was an instructive and enriching discussion!

<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   Next >  Last >> 

Find Us on These Social Media Sites

The New York Society for General Semantics is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization established September 9, 1946.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software