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Finding Space for Ideas: Toward a Media Philosophy of Latin America

October 12, 2018 - 12:30pm to 1:20pm
Bolivar House, 582 Alvarado Row, Stanford, CA

Free and open to the public.Light lunch provided.

Latin America’s rich case studies argue for the importance of ideas in understanding media. In contrast to international media research that has become heavily technologically determinist in the vein of McLuhan and Innis, such cases demonstrate that values and ideology matter in how news gets reported. Archival and ethnographic research in six countries examined turning points recognized among scholars as crucial divergences in the value system of Latin American philosophy, then trace how those were reflected in media.  Each turning point marks a challenge to the prevailing philosophy that results in substantive change, from the Spanish Liberal Constitution of 1812 to independence in the following decade, from mass immigration of non-Catholics in the early twentieth century to liberation theology decades later.  Each engendered a different way of reporting the news. Understanding these turns as turns -- not complete breaks with the past, but changes in direction that still incorporated many older ideas -- offers new insights into how the dynamic philosophies intertwine to produce the media that exist and co-exist at any one time.

Juanita Darling entered academia after a long journalism career, most recently as a Los Angeles Times foreign correspondent. A graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in Mass Communication, she is Associate Professor of International Relations at San Francisco State University, where she coordinates the Latin American Studies program. Following publication of work on revolutionary media, including the book Latin America, Media, and Revolution, she has turned her attention to media philosophy in the region.

Event Sponsor: 
Center for Latin American Studies
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Contact Phone: 
(650) 725-0383