Humanities Texas Holiday Book Fair on Dec. 6

Humanities Texas will host its sixth annual Holiday Book Fair at the historic Byrne-Reed House on the corner of 15th and Rio Grande Streets in downtown Austin on Saturday, December 6, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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 A number of noteworthy authors, including Lawrence Wright, Sarah Bird, James Magnuson, Elizabeth Crook, S. C. Gwynne, Naomi Shihab Nye, Bill Wittliff, Carrie Fountain, M. M. McAllen, Jacqueline Jones, Richard Parker, Margaret Lewis Furse, John Taliaferro, Wayne Thorburn, Emilio Zamora, Chris Tomlinson, James E. Bruseth, Tracy Dahlby, and Steve Wilson, will visit with the public and sign copies of their latest books, which Humanities Texas will offer for purchase at a discounted price. Available titles include works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry with selections for both adult and youth audiences.

Humanities Texas will have books available for purchase at a discounted price, with all proceeds benefiting Texas libraries. Free parking will be available in the St. Martin’s Evangelical Lutheran Church lot on the northwest corner of 15th and Rio Grande Streets.

Coffee will be available alongside a sale of homemade and donated pastries and baked goods. All of the proceeds from the bake sale will also benefit Texas libraries.

“Join us for a good read and a good cause,” said Michael L. Gillette, executive director of Humanities Texas.

Please see www.humanitiestexas.org for more details about the event, including a full description of titles and authors.

If you’d like more information about this event, please contact Liz James, coordinator of educational programs at Humanities Texas, at 512.440.1991 ext. 123 or ljames@humanitiestexas.org

Lucie Brock-Broido to Speak on Campus Oct. 16

The UT Michener Center for Writers will host a reading by acclaimed poet Lucie Brock-Broido on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 7:30 pm in the Avaya Auditorium, POB 2.302, on UT campus.The event is free and open to the public.

Book Cover: Stay, IllusionBrock-Broido’s newest collection, Stay, Illusion, was a finalist in Poetry for the 2013 National Book Award.  Her previous collections include Trouble in Mind, The Master Letters, and A Hunger. Her poetry has appeared in many magazines and literary journals including The Paris Review, Parnassus:  Poetry in Review, The American Poetry Review, Poetry, The Nation, The New Republic, Best American Poetry, and The New Yorker. Director of Poetry in the School of Arts of Columbia University in NYC, she is also the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, NEA support, and the Witter-Bynner Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Richard Pells’ War Babies Released

War BabiesWar Babies: The Generation that Changed America by Richard Pells, emeritus professor of history, was released in August by Cultural History Press. Pells examines the lives of famous Americans born between 1939 and 1945, including Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi.

War Babies may be ordered from Amazon: http://amzn.to/1t39MPD

Read an excerpt: http://authorrichardpells.com/excerpt-from-war-babies-carl-bernsteins-memories-of-mccarthyism

Mediating the Message: Stephen Reese

As a journalism graduate student in the late 1970s, Stephen Reese said he noticed a major gap in the media and communication field. While much research emphasized the media’s effects on society, studies on factors affecting the media were rare.

Wanting to correct this research gap, Reese – associate dean for academic affairs at the Moody College of Communication and a professor in the School of Journalism – has focused much of his research since then on factors that influence the media.

Photograph of Stephen Reese

Stephen Reese

His latest research is published in “Mediating the Message in the 21st Century: A Media Sociology Perspective,” a successor volume to the one he originally wrote with Pamela J. Shoemaker in 1991 (and revised in 1996). The new book, like its predecessor, provides a framework for thinking about the factors affecting media – from the political and ideological, to work routines and organizational policy. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly called the previous version one of the “most significant journalism and communication books of the 20th century.”

1. In the book, you define a Hierarchical Influences Model, which consists of five levels. Could you briefly describe each level?

Reese: We consider five levels, starting with the micro individual level, which includes the characteristics of the individual communicator. The routines level includes the most immediate constraining and enabling structures, larger patterns, or routines within which the individual operates. The organization level is distinguished from routines in describing the influences of the larger organized entity within which the individual operates, the larger context of the routinized activities, which includes occupational roles, organizational policy, and how the enterprise itself is structured. The social institution level describes the influences arising from the larger trans-organizational media field, how media organizations combine into larger institutions that become part of larger structured relationships as they depend on and compete with other powerful social institutions. The macro social system level is the outer-most ring of the model, including influences on content from the social system as a whole. This includes ideological forces in the sense that they concern ideas and meaning in the service of interests and power – encompassing how all the other levels add up to a larger result.

2. Which level carries the most influence today and why?

Reese: I don’t conclude that any level is predominant overall, although thinking of them hierarchically often gives that impression. It’s natural to think of the more structural, macro factors over-riding the individuals who carry out their work within those constraints, but the framework simply provides a way to examine which factors seem to be most influential in any given situation.

3. How has this changed since previous versions of your book were published in 1991 and 1996?

Reese: The media have changed greatly since our original work, particularly with changes in technology and globalization. I think we could say that, in general, individual media creators, both professional and citizens, have been empowered by these changes – able to produce their own messages without needing to be a part of large news organizations. The State still exercises considerable control over media, but technology lets citizens push back against those controls, as we can see in many social movements around the world.

4. Your book talks about mediated reality – an unrealistic portrayal of the world that reinforces hegemonic systems of control. What are some examples of this?

Reese: Media representation has been a popular area of research, and I suppose the most common examples involve gender and race. For example, by depicting blacks as perpetrators of violent crime, beyond the actual patterns in crime statistics, the media reinforce negative views. Under-representing women in key roles, whether in entertainment content or as news sources, tends to marginalize them. When Fox News reportedly uses a “leg cam” to feature women on camera, it tends to sexualize their appearance more than men. Hegemonic just means that these patterns make the situation seem “natural” and taken for granted.

5. Which medium provides the most realistic perspective?

Reese: Each medium has its blind spots based on particular formats and traditions. Television is more realistic in being able to show and tell, but it’s been more often accused of sensationalism and emphasizing conflict than have newspapers. Time and space constraints inevitably impose their own limits, so the multimedia news platforms, in having much more of both, could be said to be more realistic – although of course this need not be the case depending on who’s in charge of it.

6. You say that concerns about journalistic autonomy have increased as the structures of media organizations have become more complex. Can you explain this?

Reese: Journalistic autonomy has been a long-standing concern for professionals. This concern became particularly acute when large media firms took on non-media enterprises, making it more difficult to not run afoul of some economic interest of the larger company. Now, the shifting business models for media mean that something is always being promoted, monetized, and sold in different ways than the traditional commercials and print advertising. So, how are economic interests impinging on journalistic work? It’s less clear than before and harder to identify.

7. What do you hope people take away from your book?

Reese: We hope that the book brings clarity to a complex field. With so many debates about media taking place outside of the scholarly realm, such as disputes over mainstream press bias, it’s important for people to have a framework for those discussions. For example, liberals generally put more emphasis on the reliance on official, institutional news sources and corporate influence as factors shaping media, while conservatives emphasize individual personal (allegedly liberal) bias in the mainstream media. Both have their points but often talk past each other because they’re operating out of different levels of analysis.

8. What future projects are you working on?

Reese: I’m working on a project that examines how transnational environmental NGOs produce journalism, and how that can be an important source of information internationally. News is happening in spite of the collapse of the traditional news models, just in different places.


This article by Laura J. Byerley was first published on the Moody College of Communication website on Feb. 12, 2014.

 

Poets Nye, Fountain and McGriff on Campus Dec. 5

visiting writersThe UT Michener Center for Writers will host an evening with our visiting poets and alums NAOMI SHIHAB NYECARRIE FOUNTAIN, and MICHAEL MCGRIFF on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 7:30 pm in the Avaya Auditorium, POB 2.302.  San Antonio native Nye is a force of nature in American poetry who has taught for the Michener Center numerous times over the years.  Fountain and McGriff are distinguished alums who are teaching for UT’s Department of English New Writers Project and the MCW, respectively, this fall.

The Peter O’Donnell building, formerly known as the ACES building, is on the southeast corner of 24th and Speedway on UT Campus.  Parking is available in the nearby UT garage at San Jacinto and 24th.

 

Dec. 7: Humanities Texas Holiday Book Fair

Love reading? Need a great present for those bibliophiles on your holiday list? Want to meet some talented Texas authors? Come by the Byrne-Reed House (1410 Rio Grande Street) for Humanities Texas’s fifth annual Holiday Book Fair, which will take place on Saturday, December 7, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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Noteworthy authors participating in this year’s festive event include Bill Minutaglio, Steven Harrigan, Nick Kotz, Joe Nick Patoski, Chase Untermeyer, Jesús F. de la Teja, Jerome Loving, Ricardo C. Ainslie, Sarah Cortez, Nan Cuba, Diana Lopez, Hector Ruiz, Don Tate, and Andrea White. Authors will visit with holiday shoppers and sign copies of their latest books, which Humanities Texas will have available for purchase at a discounted price. Or simply come by for good conversation and delicious homemade baked goods and hot coffee. Free parking will be available in the St. Martin’s Lutheran Church lot on the northwest corner of 15th and Rio Grande Streets. All proceeds from the book fair and bake sale will benefit Austin flood victims.

Visit www.humanitiestexas.org, contact us at 512-440-1991, or find us on Facebook or Twitter for more details about this event.

Deadline for Hamilton Book Awards Program Jan. 7, 2014

THE HAMILTON BOOK AWARDS PROGRAM, sponsored by the University Co-operative Society, is accepting all books, including scholarly monographs, creative works (e.g., novels and anthologies of poetry), exhibition catalogs, textbooks, and edited collections published in calendar year 2013 by university faculty and staff. Deadline is Jan. 7, 2014.

Information and application form for this program is available at the Vice President for Research website:

http://www.utexas.edu/research/resources/awards-fellowships-grants. We are unable to accept late submissions due to tight review schedules. Please direct questions to liza@austin.utexas.edu or 471-2877.

Michener Center reading by 2013 residency author Colm Toibin

The University of Texas at Austin Michener Center for Writers will host a reading by our fall 2013 residency author, COLM TOIBIN, on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 7:30 pm in the Avaya Auditorium, POB 2.302.

Toibin, a native of Ireland, is the author of two novels shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Blackwater Lightship and The Master, as well as Brooklyn, 2009 Costa Novel of the Year, The Empty Family, a collection of stories, and The Testament of Mary, adapted to stage on Broadway this past year.  He is as well a prolific essayist and journalist.

The Peter O’Donnell building, formerly known as the ACES building, is on the southeast corner of 24th and Speedway on UT Campus.  Parking is available in the nearby UT garage at San Jacinto and 24th.

UT Press’ Texas Bookshelf to capture the state’s culture and history

Texas Bookshelf is a major initiative by UT Press that will chronicle the Texas mystique and the state’s history through a series of 16 books over five years. According to Brady Dyer, UT Press marketing, communications and sales manager, this is the first such project undertaken by a university press to capture the culture and history of a state in such an in-depth way.

Stephen Harrigan, NY Times bestselling author and a professor in the University of Texas at Austin Michener Center for Writing will pen write the first book, a full-length history of Texas. Harrigan said, “My goal is to make the events of the modern history of Texas–the Kennedy assassination, the moon landing, the collapse of Enron–as compelling to read about as the siege of the Alamo or the Comanche wars.”

authors of Texas Bookshelf books

UT Austin faculty who will pen the 16 titles as part of the Texas Bookshelf.

Fifteen additional titles will follow Harrigan’s. All are to be written by UT Austin faculty and will focus on such topics as politics, art, architecture, film, music, photography, sports, fodoways, business, books and theatre as well as the African American experience, a history of the Texas Borderlands and the Tejano/a experience. Read more about the project and the participating faculty authors on the UT Press blog.

TILTS to host poet, novelist Gerald Vizenor on Sept. 5

Gerald Vizenor

Gerald Vizenor

The Texas Institute for Literary & Textual Studies (TILTS) welcomes the prolific poet and novelist Gerald Vizenor, a citizen of the White Earth Nation in Minnesota, for a public lecture on Survivance and Totemic Motion in Native American Indian Literature and Art. The lecture will be held in the Prothro Theater at the Harry Ransom Center on Thursday, September 5, at 3:30. A reception will follow in the Tom Lea Room, where the exhibit Native American Literature at the Harry Ransom Center will be on display.

The 2013-2014 edition of TILTS, Reading Race in Literature & Film, brings together scholars, artists, filmmakers, and writers for conversations about the ways that we experience race and ethnicity. As the leading theorist of Native American identity and representation, Vizenor has had a profound influence on indigenous, cultural, and literary studies. He was also a delegate to the White Earth Constitutional Convention and the principal writer of the new Constitution of the White Earth Nation in Minnesota. He is a professor emeritus at University California Berkley and currently professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico.

About TILTS

TILTS is an annual, multidisciplinary initiative that showcases dynamic scholarship in literary and textual based studies. TILTS is sponsored by the Office of the President, the Vice-Provost, the College of Liberal Arts, and the Department of English of The University of Texas at Austin. Co-sponsors for this event include: Native American and Indigenous Studies, the Humanities Institute, and the Harry Ransom Center.