As the Communications and Media Studies program at Carleton University celebrates its 40th anniversary, last week’s annual Attallah Lecture celebrated a milestone of its own, marking its tenth year of bringing a leading scholar to offer insights about key issues or debates facing the field.
Presented by The School of Journalism and Communication, the Attallah Lecture features experts in communications and media studies who share their ideas, thoughts, and perspectives with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the community.
Through this lecture, the School commemorates the contributions of the late Paul Attallah, who was Associate Director of the School of Journalism and Communication and head of the Mass Communication program from 1991 to 2005. Dr. Attallah died of cancer in 2009 at the age of 54.
McGill University Professor Will Straw delivered a thought-provoking lecture on Media Forensics: Reading the Canadian Cultural Commodity to a packed room of over 120 people. Focusing on pulp magazines and vinyl records, the lecture explored practices of disguise and deception, through which the Canadian character of certain cultural commodities has been obscured so as to enhance their cultural legitimacy and commercial appeal.
Professor Straw opened his lecture by thanking the School for inviting him to speak on the 10th anniversary of the event, as a way to celebrate Paul’s life and work.
“I knew Paul Attallah for over 40 years. We went to McGill together as graduate students. It is a great honour to be invited back to Carleton University, at one of the best communications departments in Canada, to celebrate Paul’s life and work.”
Professor Straw joins a long list of distinguished international scholars who have delivered the Attallah Lecture over the past decade. School director Josh Greenberg described the decision to select Professor Straw as this year’s speaker as a “no brainer.”
“Will is a long time friend of the communication and media studies program. He taught many of our faculty members, was a close friend to Paul, and is regarded as one of this country’s most influential and important scholars,” Professor Greenberg said. “He was the perfect choice for this year’s lecture and we were thrilled that he so enthusiastically accepted our invitation.”
A questions and answers period took place after the lecture and finished with a reception in the Richcraft Hall Atrium, where attendees carried on in conversation over drinks and food.
The Attallah Lecture is the Communication and Media Studies program’s marquee annual event that was a featured event during Carleton’s 2018 Throwback.
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