Translating Knowledge: From Academic Discourse to Popular Representation

May 1, 1998 - May 2, 1998, Daily, 12:00am - 12:00am
The Sokal hoax, controversies over the Smithsonian's Hiroshima and Freud exhibitions, media frenzy over cloning, the heated debate over using the film Amistad to teach history--these recent events all point to the difficulties academic knowledge encounters when it goes public. But rather than simply bewailing the stupidity of journalists and audiences, denouncing "public intellectuals" for betraying their vocation, or turning our backs on the non-academic world, we need to come to grips with what happens to facts, concepts, and experiences developed in academic settings when they are exported into the mass media. How does the reframing of specialized knowledge for general audiences change its meaning? And what strategies might help scholars collaborate more effectively with media producers? The University of Chicago's Master of Arts Program in the Humanities invites the public to hear Ric Burns, George Chauncey, Susan Douglas, Tom Gunning, Bruno Latour, W.J.T. Mitchell, Paul Sereno, Lawrence Rothfield, Barbara Stafford, and Paul Young discuss the history, theory, and practice of documenting the humanities.
Co-sponsored by MAPH Humanities