Connecting New Media and the Political Unconscious

In two podcasts this week I have had the delightful opportunity to talk with colleagues from two distinct worlds about themes ranging from the political unconscious to new media.

Early this week Brad Rourke, whom I know through our mutual association with the Kettering Foundation, engaged me in a conversation on the subject of his own work, new media and civic life, picking up some of the themes in my previous post, Discerning Media. We made a couple of key points: (1) the distinction between professional media and citizen media is less helpful than the distinction between journalism (which one doesn’t need to get paid for to do) that engages the public in its work and news coverage that does not; and (2) perhaps the larger problem we face is that we live in a political culture that offers few spaces and ways for people to shape their own collective future and hence little incentive for people to seek out good journalism. Here’s a link to the podcast.

This morning fellow philosopher Chris Long of Penn State University uploaded a podcast of a conversation we had on my last book, Democracy and the Political Unconscious, the day after the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy held a panel discussion of the book. Chris has been using new media to explore what he calls Socratic Politics and to engage his students in a much deeper pedagogy that uses blogging and other new media formats extensively. Go here to hear our conversation that ranges from the phenomena of trauma and the war on terror to the role of new media in overcoming brutality and strengthening democracy. Also check around on his blog to get a virtual glimpse of his 24/7 class on ancient Greek philosophy.

Both Brad and Chris exemplify how to use new media to not only do one’s own work better but to strengthen public life.  It’s an honor to have both these conversations “go public” this week.

2 thoughts on “Connecting New Media and the Political Unconscious

  1. Thank you, Noëlle, for participating on the Digital Dialogue and for all the work you do with new media. I am really excited about the opportunities social media offer educators in our attempts to cultivate genuine communities of learning.

    In your book, Democracy and the Political Unconscious, you mention the idea that the web is “all about the links, man,” to which I would add that the connections those links establish are really what make the social web pedagogically transformative. I tried to articulate a bit of what I mean in concrete terms in this presentation I just gave at Utah Valley University about using technology to engage students:

    http://www.personal.psu.edu/cpl2/blogs/cplportfolio/2009/11/engaged-learning-with-technolo.html

    Thanks for coming on to the Digital Dialogue. I look forward to our continuing conversation.

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