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Perceiving Death in the News

Images of people about to die surface repeatedly in the news and their appearance raises questions: What equips an image to deliver the news; how much does the public need to know to make sense of what they see; and what do these images contribute to historical memory? These images call on us to rethink both journalism and its public response, and in so doing they suggest both an alternative voice in the news – a subjunctive voice of the visual that pushes the ‘as if’ of news over its ‘as is’ dimensions – and an alternative mode of public engagement with journalism – an engagement fueled not by reason and understanding but by imagination and emotion.

In About to Die: How News Images Move the Public, Barbie Zelizer suggests that a different kind of news relay, producing a different kind of public response, has settled into our information environment.
Click through to watch a video from the Annenberg School for Communication.

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I want to be an advocate for racial justice. Now what?

Mark R. Warren is Associate Professor of Education at Harvard University. He is a sociologist and has published widely on community organizing and on efforts to build alliances across race and class to revitalize urban communities, reform public education and expand democracy. Warren is the author of Fire in the Heart: How White Activists Embrace Racial Justice and you can read his previous OUPblog post on racism here.

In these videos, he discusses his book, race relations in schools, and activism.

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Black Youth, the Tea Party, & American Politics

Yesterday, Cathy Cohen published an article with the Washington Post titled, Another Tea Party, led by black youth?” In it, she shares,

In my own representative national survey, I found that only 42 percent of black youth 18-25 felt like “a full and equal citizen in this country with all the rights and protections that other people have,” compared to a majority (66%) of young whites. Sadly, young Latinos felt similarly disconnected with only 43 percent believing themselves to be full and equal citizens.

In the video below, Cohen further discusses the involvement of black youth in American politics.

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Tariq Ramadan & Christopher Hitchens: Is Islam a Religion of Peace?

With the Obama administration in its nascent years, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict proving as intractable as ever, relations with Iran reaching a boiling point and the political landscape changing rapidly both in the United States and the Middle East, wrestling with the issue of Islam is more crucial than ever and will be a defining feature of the 21st century. In this video clip, famous atheist and prolific author Christopher Hitchens and the accomplished and controversial scholar Tariq Ramadan debate one of the most pertinent questions of our modern age.

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War and Peace Part One: Tolstoy and Moscow

By Amy Mandelker
Moscow is choked with smoke from surrounding fires. I follow developments online, reading over the weekend that they have been digging trenches to cut off the path of the blaze before it detonates nuclear stockpiles.

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Geeks – Episode 2 – The Oxford Comment

In the second episode of The Oxford Comment, Lauren and Michelle celebrate geekdom. They interview a Jeopardy champion, talk sex & attraction with a cockatoo, discover what makes an underdog a hero, and “geek out” with some locals.

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Mustang – Podictionary Word of the Day

Around 500 years ago the Spanish brought horses to the Americas and in the ensuing mêlée enough of those horses escaped captivity that they reestablished themselves as wild animals in the new world. Evidently more than 50 million years ago they evolved here but had become extinct. Although the name for wild horses in North America only emerged into English as mustang in 1808 this name was actually in the works by those same Spanish speakers before they ever shipped the horses across from Europe.

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