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

Shots from the Block: Back in the Burgh

After an 18 month residency in Nashville I have returned to Pittsburgh. I had mixed feelings about coming back to the city where I lived for the six years prior to the pandemic. It’s not the move I was hoping to make. I treated my time in Tennessee as a temporary detour, an opportunity to … Continue reading Shots from the Block: Back in the Burgh

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

Reflections on a year of Zoom University

The spring semester is drawing to a close, bringing an end to a year of remote teaching and distance learning. For me, it’s been a fascinating and often challenging experience. The sudden shift to mediated modalities prompted by the pandemic forced a reckoning with questions about the continued relevance of traditional higher education. For years … Continue reading Reflections on a year of Zoom University

Thoughts on Nomadland and the 2021 Oscars

I finally got around to watching Nomadland this weekend, just ahead of the film’s anticipated Oscars triumph. My viewing was belated for a number of reasons. For one, the fact that the film was only available to stream on Hulu, necessitating that I create a Hulu account, made it easy to avoid. Secondly, I am … Continue reading Thoughts on Nomadland and the 2021 Oscars

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

Paris, Texas: Cinematic Space, Emotional Landscapes, and American Environments

Paris, Texas is a film about space. Space that you move through and space that you move beyond. The spaces between people, both inner and outer. It is a film utterly fixated upon landscapes: geographical landscapes, symbolic landscapes, and emotional landscapes. It offers one of the most evocative depictions of American environments in narrative cinema. … Continue reading Paris, Texas: Cinematic Space, Emotional Landscapes, and American Environments

The Fair City part 5: Urban Aesthetics & Spatial Justice

Richard Sennett’s perspective on the role of “disorder” in urban life was further developed in his book The Conscience of the Eye. In this work, Sennett strengthens the relationship between urban diversity and broad political perspectives, and argues for a connection between a concern for urban spaces and concerns with social justice. Building from the … Continue reading The Fair City part 5: Urban Aesthetics & Spatial Justice

The Fair City part 4: Equitable Development & Urban Justice

The following explores how notions of urban aesthetics and urban justice are implicated in contemporary concerns with gentrification and “equitable development.” The term “gentrification” was introduced by sociologist Ruth Glass in her 1964 book London: Aspects of Change. Glass coined the term from the English title “landed gentry,” denoting the land owning social class, to … Continue reading The Fair City part 4: Equitable Development & Urban Justice