AOC invokes McLuhan with “Tax the Rich” Gala dress

Last week congresswoman and media-discourse-lightning-rod Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez kicked off a firestorm of hot takes by wearing a ball gown emblazoned with the message “Tax the Rich” to this year’s Met Gala. The annual super-exclusive social event and big money fundraising soiree typically attracts buzzing commentary over its dramatic displays of eye-catching haute couture. The buzz … Continue reading AOC invokes McLuhan with “Tax the Rich” Gala dress

2021 Pittsburgh Negro Leagues Commemoration at PNC Park

This past week marked the 50th anniversary of the Pittsburgh Pirates fielding the first all Black and Latino starting lineup in Major League Baseball history. The historic game -- played September 1st 1971 at Three Rivers Stadium -- made the Pirates the first franchise to start an all-minority lineup in the major leagues. While all … Continue reading 2021 Pittsburgh Negro Leagues Commemoration at PNC Park

Niantic responds to Pokemon Go players, acquires scanning company

In an earlier post I wrote about how Pokemon GO developer Niantic was rolling back some gameplay changes implemented during the pandemic, and how many players were pushing back against the reversion to the pre-pandemic status quo. Last week Niantic posted a response to the Pokemon GO community: “We have heard your feedback about one … Continue reading Niantic responds to Pokemon Go players, acquires scanning company

Pokemon Go & post-pandemic mobility expectations

I haven’t played Pokemon Go since the early days of its release. It was nearly impossible to avoid the buzz surrounding the game’s launch. And as I wrote back in July 2016, the hype around the game was infectious and the game itself offered an exciting new way of interacting with public spaces in your … Continue reading Pokemon Go & post-pandemic mobility expectations

2021 Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book Award

Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2021 Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book Award. More information is available at the Urban Communication Foundation website, and you can read the full call below: The annual Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book Award recognizes an outstanding book, published in English, which exhibits excellence in addressing issues of urban … Continue reading 2021 Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book Award

New Book: Urban Communication Reader vol. IV

The Urban Communication Reader vol. IV: Cities as Communicative Change Agents is now available. I am grateful to have been part of bringing this project to fruition, along with my co-editors erin mcclellan and Yongjun Shin. As with previous readers in the series, this volume brings together an international array of scholarship that illustrates the … Continue reading New Book: Urban Communication Reader vol. IV

The MediuM: The home version of McLuhan’s maelstrom

Marshall McLuhan’s tetrad of media effects now has its own board game. Designed by Paolo Granata and his students at the University of Toronto, The MediuM gamifies McLuhan’s “laws of media.” From the promotional website: The Medium is played in teams of two or more players. With each round, one player, the Messenger, takes a … Continue reading The MediuM: The home version of McLuhan’s maelstrom

Pittsburgh-Paris Climate Rhetoric Returns

As is now tradition in American politics, the first days of the Biden administration have brought the initial efforts at reversing Trump-era policy positions. Many of these opening salvos have to do with signaling a recommitment to acknowledging climate change. The president has issued several executive orders related to environmental concerns, and the White House … Continue reading Pittsburgh-Paris Climate Rhetoric Returns

Smoke Signals: Buda’s Wagon and Infrastructure Terrorism in Nashville

“The car bomb, in other words, suddenly became a semi-strategic weapon that under certain circumstances was comparable to air-power in its ability to knock out critical urban nodes and headquarters as well as terrorize populations of entire cities. [...] It is the car bombers’ incessant blasting-away at the moral and physical shell of the city, … Continue reading Smoke Signals: Buda’s Wagon and Infrastructure Terrorism in Nashville

Sick of Serial Killing: The Virulence of Hate in a Time of Contagion

The following reflections were originally written several years ago for a graduate seminar. I’ve decided to share these thoughts here because they seem highly resonant with the current moment. For one thing, the essay links metaphors of contagious disease with activist rhetoric deployed against public apathy and racialized violence. These connections take on a renewed … Continue reading Sick of Serial Killing: The Virulence of Hate in a Time of Contagion