Winter 2013
Beyond this buffet of the Lear Center's latest work, there are plenty of other publications and videos that may intrigue, inform or infuriate you. Let us know what catches your eye, and what you think!
Is voter fraud a real problem or a red herring?  Could partisanship actually be good for democracy?  What can the election of 1800 teach us about the election of 2012?  Are our brains wired to perceive the world as narratives? These were among the questions taken up by two lively campaign season panels moderated by Lear Center Director Marty Kaplan, one sponsored by the Los Angeles Public Library's ALOUD series, and the other by USC's Visions & Voices.  Marty also reviewed the presidential debates on Moyers & Company with Bill Moyers. After the ballots were counted, he spoke to the PLATO society for lifelong learning on "Election 2012: Now What?"
Women, Social Media & The Audience
Johanna Blakley has traversed the globe to present research on a variety of topics. She recently showcased her research on women, social media & the networked audience at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy's women's forum. She also presented at the Cognizant Community Conference on how women's dominance of social media will have profound consequences for all businesses intent on connecting with female consumers and recruiting a fluent workforce.
The American Historical Association
Did reporters in the 1930s in Berlin get it right or wrong?  Do historians of the Jews on the eve of World War II sentimentalize their subject?  At this year's American Historical Association convention, Marty Kaplan moderated a panel - as part of the "Historians, Journalists, and the Challenges of Getting It Right" project - featuring University of Chicago historian Bernard Wasserstein. USC Journalism Director Geneva Overholser also moderated a panel for the project on "The Death & Life of American Newspapers."

Steven J. Ross, professor of history at USC and co-director of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities, spoke about his most recent book, Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics. His surprising finding: The Hollywood right has scored more successes than the left.   Including a Q&A with Marty Kaplan, the event was part of the USC Provost's Visions & Voices Writers Series.  

Everett M. Rogers was an influential communication scholar and teacher whose Diffusion of Innovations changed social science. The Rogers Award will honor an outstanding scholar, practitioner or writer whose own work contributes path-breaking insights in areas of his legacy. We invite you to nominate an individual or team whose work advances the fields he pioneered.  The entry deadline is March 29, 2013. 

Is saying something good about God a taboo on campus? The USC Office of Religious Life's What Matters to Me & Why series aims to help students and others better understand the lives and inspirations of those who shape the University. Marty Kaplan was invited by students to kick off the 12th year of the series.  He spoke about science, nihilism, fundamentalism and the search for meaning in a secular world. Watch the video here.

Martha Russell is the Executive Director of MediaX at Stanford University and an expert on building creative collaborations between business folks and academics.

As part of the Lear Center's Creativity & Collaboration in the Academy initiative, Dr. Russell shared that dynamic intellectual & entrepreneurial environments require two essential ingredients: a belief in the upside potential and the permission to experiment. The goal of collaborations is to do something together that neither could do independently. Watch the talk here 
The spread of digital technologies has presented scholars in the humanities with some extraordinary opportunities, as well as a few challenges, not least for their modes of communicating with one another. Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director of Scholarly Communication of the Modern Language Association and Professor of Media Studies at Pomona College, explored some of the changes taking place in the humanities today and their implications for scholars and their institutions in her talk, titled "The Humanities in and for the Digital Age."  Watch the talk here
HH&S Honors Health Storylines & Pursues Climate Change
Law & Order: SVU, Touch & Sesame Street were some of the big winners at the 13th Annual Sentinel for Health Awards, which honor exemplary health storylines on television. The winners portrayed topics ranging from sexual abuse to recycling - read about the winners and watch the awards here. Hollywood, Health & Society is also working to increase the number of storylines about climate change and sustainability in TV, movies and new media. HH&S co-hosted an event at the home of Norman Lear, which afforded the opportunity for top writers, producers and executives to hear presentations by leading climate specialists and the team also took a group of writers on a Storybus Tour of JPL NASA to learn first-hand about the problems our planet is facing. Another HH&S Storybus Tour just took took writers and producers to explore communities in L.A. that are fighting to improve access to healthier food.
In addition to being featured on PBS's  Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy, Josh Kun - director of the Lear Center's Popular Music Project - recently interviewed Patti Smith. He also joined David Byrne and Trent Reznor in a discussion on the joys, history and business of making music.

The 2013 Walter Cronkite Award for excellence in television political journalism will be presented April 19 at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. Find out more at
Is Democracy Over? How Big Money, Big Media, Big Data, Bad Science and
the Entertainmentization of Everything Are Undermining America - Feb. 16

The Shoah - Can It Be Studied? And If So, How?
- April 4

The Art of the Crossfade: A Live Musical Lecture - April 16

In his essay accompanying the newly-released All in the Family: The Complete Series, Marty Kaplan writes, "Watching All in the Family now is a way to recapture the original electricity of mass-culture mischief."
Norman Lear Center Staff
The Norman Lear Center is a nonpartisan research and public policy center that studies the social, political, economic and cultural impact of entertainment on the world. The Lear Center translates its findings into action through testimony, journalism, strategic research and innovative public outreach campaigns. On campus, from its base in the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, the Lear Center builds bridges between schools and disciplines whose faculty study aspects of entertainment, media and culture. Beyond campus, it bridges the gap between the entertainment industry and academia, and between them and the public. Join our mailing list here. 
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