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Today’s episode of The Annex Sociology Podcast features a discussion about conspiracy theories and conspiracy entrepreneurs with Aaron Hyzen (University of Antwerp) and Hilde Van den Bulck (Drexel University). They recently published “Conspiracies, Ideological Entrepreneurs, and Digital Popular Culture” in Media and Communications.
Photo Credit. By 911conspiracy – https://www.flickr.com/photos/14638975@N04/2220050399/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14689462
In this episode, we discuss the early commercialization of the radio industry with Susan Smulyan, author of Selling Radio: The Commercialization of American Broadcasting, 1920 – 1934 (Smithsonian Press).
Smulyan is a Professor of American Studies and former director of the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage both at Brown University. Her newest book is Doing Public Humanities, (Routledge, 2020).
The very meticulous Professor Smulyan asked us to list the following notes/corrections to the show page:
- The “first” broadcasting station (she notes: “historians hate to name “firsts”) was KDKA, in Pittsburgh, begun in November 1920, by Dr. Frank Conrad, working for Westinghouse.
- The first broadcast licenses were given out by the Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover (not the Secretary of the Interior) until the Radio Act of 1924 when the Federal Radio Commission took over.
- The British Broadcasting Company was founded in October, 1922.
Other books mentioned:
- Susan J. Douglas, Listening In: Radio And The American Imagination, First edition (Minneapolis: Univ Of Minnesota Press, 2004);
- Michele Hilmes, Network Nations: A Transnational History of British and American Broadcasting (New York: Routledge, 2011);
- Jason Loviglio, Radio’s Intimate Public : Network Broadcasting and Mass-Mediated Democracy (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005).
Other histories of American radio broadcasting recommended by Professor Smulyan:
- David Goodman, Radio’s Civic Ambition : American Broadcasting and Democracy in the 1930s (New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2011);
- Michele Hilmes, Only Connect: A Cultural History of Broadcasting in the United States, 4 edition (Australia: Cengage Learning, 2013);
- Alexander Russo, Points on the Dial: Golden Age Radio beyond the Networks (Durham, N.C: Duke University Press Books, 2010).
Photo Credit. By Joe Haupt from USA – Radio Collection: Vintage Large Wood Westinghouse Tombstone Radio, Circa 1930s, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35191546
Public radio has sometimes criticized as being “too white”. Today’s episode examines the idea that NPR is a racialized organization.
Laura Garbes is a doctoral student at Brown University. She studies the racialization of voice in public radio. Laura recently posted “When the “Blank Slate” Is a White One: White Institutional Isomorphism in the Birth of National Public Radio” to SocArXiv.
Victor Ray is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Iowa. Victor recently published “A Theory of Racialized Organizations” in the American Journal of Sociology.
In this episode of The Annex, we sit down with Michael Siciliano of Queen’s University (Canada). Michael is currently working on a book for Columbia University Press about YouTubers, tentatively titled Creative Control: Platforms, Labor Relations, and the Aesthetics of Precarious Work. We talk about YouTube, content creation, and media.
By YouTube/Google – Unknown, Public Domain, Link
Today, we sit down with Philip Cohen (University of Maryland) to discuss the American Sociological Association’s opposition to a Trump Administration proposal to mandate the immediate public release of federally-funded research.
The Trump Administration recently proposed a regulation that would require that publicly-funded research be distributed openly upon publication. This policy drew immediate opposition from the publishing industry, who makes money by selling licenses to view this research within the first 12 months of publication.
The American Sociological Association co-signed a public letter opposing the regulation, arguing:
The current 12-month embargo period provides science and engineering society publishers the financial stability that enables us to support peer review that ensures the quality and integrity of the research enterprise. Further, it enables us to drive advancement in our respective scientific fields through our meetings, programs and outreach…
…To take action to shorten the 12-month embargo would undermine cooperative efforts to address these bigger, higher priorities, and risks the continued international leadership for the U.S. scientific enterprise.
Some sociologists, including members of the ASA Publications Committee.
I’m a member of the Publications Committee, and no one asked me, obviously. Because rushing out a statement on a hypothetical new policy is too important to the scientific enterprise to allow for deliberation by the actual elected membership. You know, sociologists.— Philip N Cohen (@familyunequal) December 19, 2019
Committee member and University of Maryland sociologist Philip Cohen assembled a petition of sociologists opposing the ASA’s decision to immediately oppose this regulation proposal.
Good #OAintheUSA news. ASA Committee on Publications passed this today: “The ASA Committee on Publications expresses our opposition to the decision by the ASA to sign the December 18, 2019 letter.” Thanks to 220+ people who signed the letter. Background: https://t.co/Uz2awc4BX4.— Philip N Cohen (@familyunequal) January 23, 2020
In this episode, we invited Philip Cohen to discuss the ASA’s position.
Statement from ASA
We reached out to the ASA Communications Office for comment. They responded:
The letter ASA signed, along with more than 50 other learned societies with similar missions related to advancing science and scientific scholarship, expressed concern about an Executive Order rumored to be coming out with almost no notice or consultation with the scientific community. The letter asked President Trump to slow down and “engage with a broad array of stakeholders to collaboratively ensure openness and reliability in research and development.” In signing the letter, our primary goal was to encourage discussion by the Administration with the scientific community before moving forward precipitously and unilaterally with policy changes that will affect scientific publishing. Given (as you probably know) that the Trump administration has not been particularly friendly to scientific advancement (see https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/28/climate/trump-administration-war-on-science.html for some examples), an unexpected and hurried executive order related to science policy was met with skepticism.
Given that we still do not have full information about the content of the possible Executive Order, we are focused on ensuring consultation as it is developed so we have no additional comment now.
I should also mention that the decision to sign the letter was made following ASA’s policy for responding to time-sensitive public issues—with a vote of the President, President-elect, Past President, and Secretary. Needless to say, these elected leaders take this responsibility very seriously and do their best to reflect the interests of the sociologists who are our members.
In this episode, we discuss #scicomm, its role in academic work, and its intersection with gender in the academic workplace. What is the value of a scholar’s production on new media?
By Unknown – postcard, Public Domain, Link
Today, we meet the gang from a great teaching-oriented sociology podcast, The Social Breakdown, and the three University of Hawaii sociologists who developed it: Ellen Meiser, Penn Patumsinchai, and Omar Bird. We talk about their show, and academic podcasting more generally.
Used from Social Breakdown producers. Fair use.
Today, we meet Eric Schwartz, Editorial Director at Columbia University Press. Eric has been a fixture in academic sociology publishing, having worked at several major presses, including Springer, Oxford, Princeton, and now Columbia. We asked Eric for insights about the publishing industry and the task of reviewing and choosing books for publication.
By Blekinge museum – https://www.europeana.eu/portal/sv/record/916119/blm_item_21325.html?q=maja+m%C3%A5nsson#dcId=1564138565638&p=1, Public Domain, Link
We discuss a recent article in Cognition, linking partisan affiliation and public trust. We ask whether its findings help cast light on the pressure to go partisan when doing public sociology.
Michelle Silver is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society. She recently published Retirement and Discontents: Why We Won’t Stop Working, Even If We Can (Columbia University).