2022-2023 Media and Society Lecture Series

Media and Society is a series of lectures and public conversations on the role of media, journalism, popular culture narrative, and media representation, in the deployment of power in contemporary society. 

Each series lasts a full academic year, but the fall quarter of the series is also a component of Kresge 1: Power and Representation, the core course at Kresge College. The series as a whole uniquely serves the UC Santa Cruz community in a vital function of the liberal arts: to cultivate dialogue in the context of public dialogue, and to guard our freedoms in expressing and debating that knowledge. 

"Media" is a euphemism, often imagined as the frame, or lens, through which culture and politics are made fit for public consumption. But a new regime of public dialogue combines professional journalism, "citizen" journalism, traditional and non-traditional news presenters and producers, and social media, in a dynamic environment that often evades clear understanding or criticism. And yet critical thinking about this environment has never been more crucial to our pursuit of justice and equity. Media and Society provides a forum in which to launch critical views of that landscape, and in which to imagine more productive, ethical, and impactful futures for it.

Kresge College, the University Library, and The Humanities Institute work together each year with an interdisciplinary group of faculty, staff, and students, to build a series of conversations that help fulfill a charge of media literacy and media engagement at UC Santa Cruz. In this year's series — celebrating Kresge’s 50th year — we focus on creative media, the visual and aural spectacle of race and racism, and dialogues on abolition and transformative justice.

    Media and Society Spring 2023

  • Kresge's Media & Society Series presents:


    Soundwalking: Practices of Listening

    A Sonic Excursion with Professor Anna Friz
    Thursday, June 1, at 5:30pm
    Campus starting point TBD
    Anna Friz, UCSC Professor of Film and Digital Media, will be leading a soundwalk.
    This excursion asks participants to become mindful of their sonic environment, or soundscape. The small group walks together while listening closely to their surroundings, considering all sounds as phenomena worthy of attention. As historian Emily Thompson notes, the soundscape is “simultaneously a physical environment and a way of perceiving that environment.” 
    Please RSVP by emailing Daniel Pearce (dapearce@ucsc.edu), and contact him with any questions or concerns regarding accessibility.
















    An Evening with E. Tammy Kim


    Wednesday, May 3, at 5:30pm
    Namaste Lounge (College Nine)
    New Yorker writer and co-host of the podcast Time to Say Goodbye E. Tammy Kim will be giving a talk on the state of labor activism and organizing, followed by a panel discussion with writer, organizer, and doctoral candidate in Sociology Sarah Mason and Unite Here member and organizer Martha Hernandez. This event is co-sponsored by The Humanities Institute and UCSC Library, with support from the Anthropology Department.
    For accommodations, please email Daniel Pearce (dapearce@ucsc.edu).





    Winter 2023


    "Why Is Publishing So White?"

    An Evening with Richard Jean So


    Co-sponsored by Computational Media, Literature, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, Science and Justice Research Center, and the Center for Cultural Studies


    Tuesday February 21, 2023


    HUM 1 - Room 210



    Richard Jean So is associate professor of English and Digital Humanities at McGill University. He uses computational and data-driven methods to study contemporary culture, from the novel to Netflix to social media. He has published academic articles in PMLA and Critical Inquiry and public-facing pieces in The New York Times and Atlantic. His most recent book is Redlining Culture: A Data History of Racial Inequality and Postwar Fiction (Columbia UP, 2021) and he is currently working on Fast Culture, Slow Justice: Race and Writing in the Digital Age.







    Labor Activism Now!


    An Evening with Joe Thompson


    Tuesday, January 31, 7-8pm


    Kresge Seminar Room 159


    Kresge's Media & Society Series presents:

    Join us for an evening with UCSC undergrad Joe Thompson, former candidate for California State Assembly and lead organizer of the recent unionization effort at Starbucks in Santa Cruz. We'll talk with Joe about their work on the Starbucks campaign, what it takes to unionize a workplace, and the role of labor activism in today's politics.

    This is the first in a series of Winter ‘23 Media & Society conversations that will focus on labor organizing and local activism. Pizza provided!