Essay in Public’s first one-day conference was held at Brown University on April 8, 2014. Publishers, journalists, academics and tech executives met to strategize on how to better bring longform and dense content to general audiences. We are interested in the essay as it manifests in scholarly articles and long-form journalism. During the conference we talked about how to better reach or create a “humanities audience.” We also explored opportunities for existing publications to become more transnational.
2014 Invited Speakers:
Joshua Benton is Director of the Nieman Journalism Lab. Before spending a year at Harvard as a 2008 Nieman Fellow, he spent 10 years in newspapers, most recently at The Dallas Morning News. His reports on cheating on standardized tests in the Texas public schools led to the permanent shutdown of a school district and won the Philip Meyer Journalism Award from Investigative Reporters and Editors. He has reported from 10 foreign countries, been a Pew Fellow in International Journalism, and three times been a finalist for the Livingston Award for International Reporting.
Mary Cappello is the author of four award-winning books of literary nonfiction, most recently, Swallow. With recent essays in The Georgia Review, Salmagundi, and Cabinet Magazine, she is the recipient of The Bechtel Prize for Educating the Imagination; the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize from Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies; and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her most recent discussion of the essay in public is a collaboration with David Lazar for The Conversant. For more information on her work, go here.
John Cayley, practices digital language arts, and has been a poet, translator, publisher, and bookdealer. Links to his writing in networked and programmable media are at http://programmatology.shadoof.net. Recent and ongoing projects include imposition, riverIsland, what we will, and The Readers Project (http://thereadersproject.org). His last printed book of poems, adaptations and translations was Ink Bamboo (Agenda & Belew, 1996). Cayley was the winner of the Electronic Literature Organization’s Award for Poetry 2001 (http://eliterature.org) and is Professor of Literary Arts, Brown University.
Sam Ford is Director of Audience Engagement with Peppercomm Strategic Communications and an affiliate with both the Program in Comparative Media Studies at MIT and the Popular Culture Studies Program at Western Kentucky University.He is co-author of the 2013 Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture with Henry Jenkins and Joshua Green with New York University Press. He is also co-editor of the 2011 book The Survival of Soap Opera: Transformations for a New Media Era with Abigail De Kosnik and C. Lee Harrington.
Marcial Godoy-Anativia is a sociocultural anthropologist and the Associate Director of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at New York University. He is co-editor, with Zeynep Gambetti, of Rhetorics of Insecurity: Belonging and Violence in the Neoliberal Era (NYU Press, forthcoming 2013). He is also Editor, with Jill Lane, of e-misférica, the Institute’s trilingual online journal. From 2000-2007, he worked in the Program on Latin America and the Caribbean and the Program on International Collaboration at the Social Science Research Council.
Julia Kumari Drapkin is the lead producer for iSeeChange at KVNF, a public media experiment in community environmental science reporting funded by Localore, the Association for Independents in Radio, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Together with the KVNF staff, Julia is producing a multimedia dialogue between citizens and scientists and hopes to help listeners both understand their own experiences with the weather, and take pride in their local landscape and culture. Julia is an experienced radio, television, and multimedia producer. She has worked as a correspondent and multimedia producer for PRI’s The World, Global Post, and the St. Petersburg Times, among others. E-mail: iseechange (at) kvnf.org
Amanda McCormick is a Social media professional and digital educator. Driven by a passion for equipping institutions and individuals with powerful digital tools and communications strategies, Amanda McCormick works as a digital media consultant with a special focus on the intersection of technology and the arts. Besides writing about the subject and creating interactive web projects, she also works with large media clients Time Inc., AOL and Comedy Central to craft training sessions for their staffs on topics like real time marketing and social media.
Ralph Rodriguez, Ralph E. Rodriguez is Associate Professor of American Studies, Ethnic Studies, and English. He is the author of the book Brown Gumshoes: Detective Fiction and the Search for Chicana/o Identity, as well as essays on Latina/o literature, pedagogy, film, and graphic narrative. He is writing a new book entitled Latina/o Literature Unbound. For more information on his research, visit his university page.
Harry Stecopoulos is Editor of The Iowa Review and Associate Professor of English, University of Iowa. His publications include the co-edited anthology Race and the Subject of Masculinities (Duke, 1997) and essays on Stuart Hall and Edgar Rice Burroughs. He is currently working on two book projects. The first, Locating the Global South: Race, Region, and Empire in the American Century, examines the relationship between US southern literature and US imperialism from the 1890s to the 1990s; the second, Staging Change: US Drama, Media Culture, and New Social Movements, reads political dramas of the 1960s and 1970s in light of contemporary critiques of the media and the public sphere.
The conference’s organizers: Patricia Ybarra (Brown University), Martha Elena Rojas (University of Rhode Island), and Wendy S. Walters (Eugene Lang College, The New School University) moderated conversations about the following topics: technology and the long-form essay; writing for the hybrid audience; the role of transmedia in disseminating research and long-form journalism; and new forms of public intellectual work in a neoliberal age. For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.