4-14-2010 Greg Nielsen

Center for Interpretive and Qualitative Research (CIQR -- "seeker")*

Date:  April 14 (Wed..), 2010, 7:30-9:00PM, 719 Fisher Hall, Duquesne University, and April 15, Thurs. Morning, 10:00-12:00, Berger Gallery 207 College Hall, Duquesne University.

External Speaker: Greg M. Nielsen, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Concordia Center for Broadcasting Studies (ccbs.concordia.ca), Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.

Bio:  Greg M. Nielsen is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Concordia Center for Broadcasting Studies (ccbs.concordia.ca) at Concordia University in Montreal. He teaches and publishes in the areas of social and cultural theory as well as media studies. His current research includes: dialogical critiques of contemporary journalism and press coverage of immigration and poverty in Montreal and New York City;  as well as several long term team projects in progress that include: research on civic journalism and a film project on a  paths to housing with inner city  homeless. He is the co-editor of Acts of Citizenship (London: Zed Books, 2008);  author of The Norms of Answerability: Social Theory Between Bakhtin and Habermas (Albany: SUNY Press, 2002); and Le Canada de Radio-Canada: sociologie critique et dialogisme culturel (Toronto: Editions GREF, 1994).  He is completing a co-authored book for Oxford University Press called Mediated Society: A Critical Sociology of Media.

Public Lecture (April 14, Wed., 2010, 7:30-9:00PM, 719 Fisher Hall, Duquesne University):  Critical Theory and Sociology of Journalism: Mediating Citizenship in the New York Times. [See related attached paper]

Abstract:  Contemporary journalism tries to cover a growing list of problems related to immigration controversies.  These problems include large numbers of undocumented immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers who are putting into question citizenship laws designed to keep them out.  I propose to contrast traditional and critical theories of journalism and examine examples of gaps between two sets of people:  on the one hand, the general audience of citizens implied in reports from the New York Times on undocumented immigrants over the last few years; and, on the other, the non-status-citizens who are the subjects of these reports but not their implied readers.  Making use of the concepts of implied audience/reader (Iser), answerability and dialogic address (Bakhtin), as well as conditional forms of hospitality (Derrida), my analysis weighs the advantages and pitfalls that accompany public journalism and theorizes ways of reducing the gap between the implied audience and the subjects of exclusion in the context of a rapidly changing industry and increasingly volatile political context.  (See attached paper:  "Framing Immigration in the New York Times, Aether: the Journal of Media Geography. Vol IV, X-X, pp.37-57, 2009).

Symposium (April 15, Thurs. Morning, 10:00-12:00, Berger Gallery, 207 College Hall, Duquesne University):  Demos, Pathos, Ethos: Framing Poverty and Immigration in the Montreal and New York Press).

 Abstract:  Religious and cultural minorities in need of reasonable accommodation, inner city poor, and undocumented migrants are types of others who are often discussed by journalists of mainstream newspapers and yet are almost never directly addressed as potential readers of stories.  To a critical sociologist interested in examining the journalists sense of the normal in the city, this is a striking paradox:  If mainstream newspapers regularly discuss these persons in supportive terms but do not address them directly as their readers, doesn't it follow that public understanding of the experience of minorities, poverty and of immigration is diminished?  In the seminar we will discuss a series of examples drawn from an unfinished larger study of newspapers from 2007 to 2008 that examines how journalists frame their implied audiences with a conditional discourse of hospitality toward the urban poor in the city of Montreal and toward illegal immigrants and the urban poor in New York City. The discussion will open up questions of method (comparative media analysis, sampling, coding, interpretation) and into speculation about public forms of journalism that might reduce the gap between the have-not subjects that are reported on and the have-audiences implied by their address.

All interested faculty, graduate students, and other parties are invited.  Refreshments will be served.  Parking will be provided for those who need it; simply park in Forbes Garage, using the garage entrance on Forbes Ave. and ask host for a parking sticker.

For inquiries concerning CIQR, please contact the Center Coordinator, Fred Evans, Dept. of Philosophy, evansf@duq.edu, 396-6507, or access the CIQR website, www.ciqr.duq.edu .

*The Center has been officially approved by the Dean of the College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts, The Graduate Council of the College, and the Council of Deans for the University.  It is based in the College but open to members of all the schools of the University.  It includes interpretive and qualitative research in both the humanities and the social and behavioral sciences (including the practice of the latter in Nursing, Education, Occupational Therapy and other professional schools).