Please join us for a talk by Dr. Julien Gorbach on
Monday, Feb 26
“Media History: An Alternative Paradigm for Mass Comm Scholarship, With Examples From My Work.”
“Mass communication graduate students are traditionally taught a social-science approach to scholarship. They learn theories, how to operationalize hypotheses with various quantitative methodologies, and alternative qualitative approaches. But media and journalism historians don’t embrace “theory,” and resist being situated along the qualitative/quantitative axis. Instead, we engage with what is known as historiography, which has its own rules and language. I’ll explain the basics of historiography and the major recent historiographical debates, focusing on how they relate to mass communication. I’ll also provide some examples based on thumbnail sketches of my own scholarship: A forthcoming biography of a man who launched a one-man publicity campaign to wake the American people up to the Holocaust; a study of the newspaper coverage of Bonnie and Clyde; and an examination of Walter Lippmann, the man historian Michael Schudson once called “the most wise and forceful spokesman for the ideal of objectivity.”
Dr. Gorbach is an assistant professor in the School of Communications at UH Manoa.