Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Speaking of Israel

I thought I would share with you some items from my trip to Israel this past March.  I was a guest of the College of Management and Academic Studies in Rishon LeZion, a town not far from Tel Aviv.  COMAS is the acronym they use, at least when they use the Roman alphabet, and it's the largest college in Israel according to its Wikipedia entry.

COMAS is much more than a business school; it is, in fact, a full-fledged university, but has held onto its original name because it's an established brand here in Israel.  Anyway, within the College there is a School of Media Studies, and the Dean is an old friend of mine from my graduate school days at New York University, Eva Berger.

While I was there, I gave a talk about media ecology to the faculty on Sunday, March 11.  As you may know, in Israel, Sunday is the first day of the week.  Well, actually, Sunday is the first day of the week everywhere, that's why it goes all the way on the left side of calendars, but in Israel it's the first day of the work week, and Friday is the first day of the weekend.  By the way, the days of the week in Hebrew literally translate as First Day, Second Day, Third Day, Fourth Day, Fifth Day, Sixth Day, but the seventh day (Saturday) is actually called Shabbat, which of course means Sabbath.

Anyway, on Monday, March 12 I gave a guest lecture to a class on new media, the students were bright and attentive, and it was a real pleasure.

Then, on Wednesday, I gave the keynote address at a school-wide seminar on Media, Protest, and Social Change.  Here's what the poster for the event looked like:

Sorry, I don't have a translation for it, but I think you get the idea.  The title of my talk was "Media and Protest: Technological Change and Cultural Disturbance" and I also received a copy of the press release that the College's PR person sent out, so I thought I'd share that as well:

Thankfully, my talk didn't generate too much protest on the part of the participants, although things did get a bit heated in the panel discussion that followed, between organizers of an Israeli protest movement from last summer, and a TV news executive who called their movement a failure. Of course, it wouldn't be Israeli without some arguing, and great debates are a part of our tradition (see the previous post on this blog, Judaism's Great Debates Now in Print!).

During my visit, I also got to spend a little time with my cousins, who also live in the Tel Aviv-Rishon LeZion area, and with some old friends, for which I am grateful.  And I was asked to do a couple of media interviews, which I will share in the next two blog posts here.

No comments:

Post a Comment