Critical Media Literacy Conference is April 6

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Promoting critical awareness and social justice to be focus of conference at Lewis University

Published: February 27, 2013.

Lewis University College of Education is sponsoring a Critical Media Literacy Conference at 8 a.m. April 6 at the university’s main campus in Romeoville. The conference will center on providing attendees an understanding on how mass media and media-generated messages impact today’s world through informative sessions, panel presentations, keynote speakers and featured performances.

There will be paper sessions and a panel presentation led by experts from various colleges and universities. Dr. Carl James, director of The New York Center for Education and Community, and Ira Shor, researcher and educator, will be the keynote speakers.

James’ research and teaching interests include examination of issues of equity, particularly in relation to access and inclusivity in schooling and education for marginalized youth. He has written on the educational, social, athletic and occupational experiences and attainment of black youth, issues of identification/identity pertaining to race, ethnicity, gender, class and immigrant status for students and the possibilities, challenges and limitations of suburban life for second-generation working class youth.

Shor researches the integration of social critique in education. He is an active supporter of dialogical teaching and a critic of a teacher-centered, authoritarian form of teaching. Shor is dedicated to the proposition that the classroom is the venue for the construction of knowledge, not merely for its inculcation.

In addition to the keynote speakers, there will be two featured presenters. Debangshu Roychoudhury, doctoral student in psychology at City University of New York, is a rapper and artistic director of the Hip Hop Psychology Performing Arts Movement.

Lauren M. Gardner, doctoral student in psychology at the City University of New York, is the operations and organization specialist for The Hip Hop Psychology Performing Arts Movement. Gardner is a dancer and choreographer who performs nationally and internationally.

For more information, contact Dr. Bradley Porfilio, associate professor of education and director of the conference, at (815) 836-5103 or To register for the conference, visit

The Critical Media Literacy Conference is being presented as a part of Lewis University’s Arts & Ideas Program, providing cultural and educational programming for students and the community. A portion of the Arts & Ideas events is sponsored by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. For additional information, please contact Dr. Michael Cunningham, director of Arts & Ideas, at (815) 836-5385.

Lewis University is a Catholic university offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.

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