Culture in Conversation

Culture in Conversation is a side interest of mine, offering a digital platform for scholars of all stripes to discuss issue related to the study of culture. It has been an exciting project so far, and we are always seeking new participants willing to share their thoughts and work.

From CIC’s statement of purpose: 

Culture in Conversation (CIC) is an online scholarly forum that seeks to reveal to its readers the work of scholarly exchange. CIC publishes conversations that are an “in-between” product—not as informal as a blog post, not as complex as a journal article, and not as one-sided as a formal commentary. The topics addressed speak to the broad scope of the cultural studies project: from media studies to literary theory, ethnology and anthropology to the digital humanities, film studies to musicology, science and technology studies, cultural history, and beyond.

In our eyes, the conversation format reveals the value of collaborative thought-in-action. The give-and-take nature of our curated topics provide a place for unique perspectives and alternate approaches to scholarly inquiry that might not find a foothold in traditional outlets. CIC’s open approach values polished academic presentations alongside more raw, less definitive pieces that are “in the works,” preserving a process of exploration, discovery and learning. It is our hope that by placing various projects and perspectives “in conversation” with one another, the resultant interactions lay bare the process by which new thoughts and ideas are formed.

CIC thrives on participants willing to put themselves out there, without pretense, accepting the idea that we are all students, continually learning through a collaborative process of exploration. By publishing conversations between scholars as the evidence of these explorations, we further hope that CIC fulfills a necessary performative aspect, revealing that ideas do not emerge fully-formed, but are worked over and polished as they are brought into contact with other perspectives. It is our hope to make public one of the more fundamental truths of our own education: in the life of a scholar, there are few experiences more exciting than the moment when ideas begin rubbing against one another and turn into something else entirely.

Visitors to the CIC site benefit from a growing database of conversations and can participate in the discussion by commenting on postings and interacting with the curator, conversationalists and other visitors. The publishing of scholarly conversations is not a new concept—they appear in the mainstream press, professional and academic journals, and in the records of public forums, among other sources. We hope this forum will fill some gaps for readers and participants, and make this work freely available and accessible for a diverse audience.

“Rising Tide of War” now out at The Communication Review

My article investigating the journalistic discourses surrounding the carpet bombing of Cambodia is out now at The Communication Review. I deeply appreciate the space this journal occupies amid the field of media research and am honored to have my work appear in its pages. This paper continues a line of inquiry I may be on for a while, looking at how the Cambodian bombings were constructed as an object of journalistic knowledge, with deeper ramifications for understanding the particular ways American military power enjoyed a tacit authority in the pages of Time. Time, like most other mid-20th century magazines, is a fascinating site of analysis because it aspired to be the distillation of what was important in American news and culture. By investigating these dominant sites of mainstream discourse, we can understand more broadly the terms by which our institutions, interests, and objects of journalistic knowledge are rendered as legitimate.

This paper should be a worthwhile read for those interested in Cambodia, media and war, and journalism history more generally. Not to spoil the ending, but Nixon makes an appearance as well, once again cheekily exhumed for flogging.

“The Rising Tide of War”: Cambodian Bombings and the Discourses of American Military Power in Time. The Communication Review 16(4): 189-210. 

“A Measure of Theory” in American Journalism

Last October, my colleague and fellow University of Georgia alum Amber Roessner pulled together a panel for AJHA exploring the role of theory in journalism history. I am not a historian, but I do fashion myself as theory literate. American Journalism published my contribution, “A Post-strucuturalist Approach to Theory and History: Toward a Genealogical Understanding of Media Texts and Artifacts,” alongside the work of Amber Roessner, Rick Popp, and Fred Blevins. The essay is currently one of AJ’s most read and can be found here: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08821127.2013.790778#.UjtWimR4bCp

For those without permissions or library access, a version of my contribution is available here: Creech_Journalism History and Theory Revised

Here’s the citation for those interested:

Amber Roessner, Rick Popp, Brian Creech, & Fred Blevens, “‘A Measure of Theory?’:Considering the Role of Theory in Media History ”American Journalism 30, no. 2 (Spring 2013): 260-278