Title

The Challenges and Rewards of Critical Media Literacy in the Age of the Neoliberal University

Biographical Sketch

Lori Bindig Yousman is an assistant professor in the School of Communication and Media Arts at Sacred Heart University. She serves as the Director of the Graduate Program in Communication and is the Academic Director for the Performing Arts Program. She earned her doctorate in Communication at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she was awarded the title of University Fellow as an incoming student in 2004. Her research interests include cultural studies, critical television studies, and media literacy, with a focus on the construction and commodification of young femininity. Bindig is the co-author of The O.C.: A Critical Understanding and author of Dawson’s Creek: A Critical Understanding, and Gossip Girl: A Critical Understanding published by Lexington Books. Her media literacy research appears in the edited volumes Media Literacy Education in Action, Media Literacy for a Digital Generation, and Race/Gender/Media: Considering Diversity Across Audiences, Content and Producers, 3rd Edition. She is the new co-editor for the 5th edition of Gender, Race, and Class in Media.

Type of Presentation

Individual presentation

Brief Description of Presentation

This paper addresses the challenges and rewards of developing and implementing critical media literacy curricula in the age of the neoliberal university. Not only must educators reflect on the central role the neoliberal university plays in fostering critical media literacy but they must also and develop strategies for combatting a number of institutional factors (such as administrative ignorance, revenue-driven decision-making, lack of resources, vocationalism, and disciplinary silos) that undermine and dilute critical media literacy within the academy.

Abstract of Proposal

In recent years, media literacy education has been touted as a vital skill for the 21st century digital age (Bindig, 2016; Hobbs, 2010; Jenkins, 2013; Thoman & Jolls, 2003). Despite this emphasis on media literacy skills, current American models typically relegate media literacy education to youth in K-12 classrooms. As students move on to post-secondary education, media literacy may exist, but often as an isolated course rather than being fully integrated into the college curriculum. In the event that a holistic media literacy curriculum is available in higher education, it is primarily for students in the disciplines of Communication and Media Studies or Education, and there is no guarantee that it will adopt a critical approach.

If scholars ever hope to grow the critical media literacy movement and foster engaged socially-conscious citizens, it is imperative to reflect on the central role the neoliberal university plays in that endeavor. In particular, faculty must develop strategies for combatting a number of institutional factors (such as administrative ignorance, revenue-driven decision-making, lack of resources, vocationalism, and disciplinary silos) that undermine and dilute critical media literacy within the academy. When educators are able to break through these barriers, the university can become a rich site for fostering critical media literacy and can even begin to dismantle the very trend of neoliberalism. Using first-hand examples, this paper addresses the challenges and rewards of developing and implementing critical media literacy curricula in the age of the neoliberal university.

Location

Coastal Georgia Center

Start Date

2-25-2017 1:50 PM

End Date

2-25-2017 2:25 PM

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Feb 25th, 1:50 PM Feb 25th, 2:25 PM

The Challenges and Rewards of Critical Media Literacy in the Age of the Neoliberal University

Coastal Georgia Center

In recent years, media literacy education has been touted as a vital skill for the 21st century digital age (Bindig, 2016; Hobbs, 2010; Jenkins, 2013; Thoman & Jolls, 2003). Despite this emphasis on media literacy skills, current American models typically relegate media literacy education to youth in K-12 classrooms. As students move on to post-secondary education, media literacy may exist, but often as an isolated course rather than being fully integrated into the college curriculum. In the event that a holistic media literacy curriculum is available in higher education, it is primarily for students in the disciplines of Communication and Media Studies or Education, and there is no guarantee that it will adopt a critical approach.

If scholars ever hope to grow the critical media literacy movement and foster engaged socially-conscious citizens, it is imperative to reflect on the central role the neoliberal university plays in that endeavor. In particular, faculty must develop strategies for combatting a number of institutional factors (such as administrative ignorance, revenue-driven decision-making, lack of resources, vocationalism, and disciplinary silos) that undermine and dilute critical media literacy within the academy. When educators are able to break through these barriers, the university can become a rich site for fostering critical media literacy and can even begin to dismantle the very trend of neoliberalism. Using first-hand examples, this paper addresses the challenges and rewards of developing and implementing critical media literacy curricula in the age of the neoliberal university.