Pacific Northwest Race, Rhetoric, and Media Symposium Comes to Palatine Hill
February 26, 2019
by Dawn Mist Movich-Fields BA ’20
The field of rhetoric and media studies examines the processes of persuasion in politics and civic life, the effects of media on beliefs and behavior, the power of film and image to frame reality, and the development of identities and relationships in everyday life. From February 28 to March 2, Lewis & Clark College will host the fourth annual Pacific Northwest Race, Rhetoric, and Media Symposium. Free and open to the public, this year’s theme is Don’t “Just Do It:” Politics in Sports and Popular Culture.
“This is a great opportunity for people to see undergraduate student research and what it’s like to be in a collegiate, rigorous research environment discussing topics that we are thinking about across society,” saidKundai Chirindo, associate professor of rhetoric and media studies and faculty director of the symposium. “We’ll have several panels, all populated by students from Lewis & Clark, Whitman College, the University of Puget Sound, and Willamette University.”
Chirindo, whose research focuses on ideas about African and American values, is drawn by the energy that comes from researching popular cultural topics. “I am really excited to see what these projects are going to become in the future as people follow up on them; that always captivates my attention. This conference gives people the chance to experience a different way of doing research,” says Chirindo.
Developed in 2015, the symposium centers around research by students, providing them conference experience. It also exposes students to feedback from established scholars in the field and puts them in touch with leading figures in nationally relevant conversations about racial representation and civil rights.
On Thursday, February 28, the symposium will open with a keynote dinner headlined by Kristen Warner, associate professor at the University of Alabama’s College of Communication and Information Sciences. The author of The Cultural Politics of Colorblind TV Casting, her work focuses on televisual racial representation.
On Friday, March 1, symposium participants will be joined by MAT students from the Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling for a teaching session on the civil rights movement. That same day, Assistant Professor Maegan Parker Brooks and Visiting Assistant Professor Pablo Correa of Willamette University’s civic communication and media department will lead a session based on work they’ve done on the documentary film Fannie Lou Hamer’s America.
“I think it’s a really cool opportunity to see what your fellow students are doing, as well as other students from throughout the Pacific Northwest,” says student organizer and rhetoric and media studies major Samantha Pratt BA ’20. “Plus, the event is a great way to combine your academic life with your interests. To me, that’s what rhetoric and media is all about.”
The symposium is made possible by many different offices and departments on campus, including the Office of the President, Office of the Dean, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Teaching Excellence Program, Graduate School of Education and Counseling, Department of Rhetoric and Media Studies, and the Ethnic Studies Program.