CARGC Book Talk with Patrick Murphy

The Media Commons: Globalization and Environmental Discourses
31 Aug 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
3901 Walnut Street, 6th Floor

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Today's global media sustains a potent new environmental consciousness. Paradoxically, it also serves as a far-reaching platform that promotes the unsustainable consumption ravaging our planet. Patrick Murphy musters theory, fieldwork, and empirical research to map how the media communicates today's many distinct, competing, and even antagonistic environmental discourses.

The media draws the cultural boundaries of our environmental imagination--and influences just who benefits. Murphy's analysis emphasizes social context, institutional alignments, and commercial media's ways of rendering discussion. He identifies and examines key terms, phrases, and metaphors as well as the ways consumers are presented with ideas like agency and the place of nature. What emerges is the link between pervasive messaging and an "environment" conjured by our media-saturated social imagination. As the author shows, today's complex, integrated media networks shape, frame, and deliver many of our underlying ideas about the environment. Increasingly--and ominously--individuals and communities experience these ideas not only in the developed world but in the increasingly consumption-oriented Global South.

"Murphy skillfully unpacks the links among the institutions, ideology, and messages of global media systems and our imaginaries of the environment. The result is a scathing critique of the absorptive capacity of a market-driven, 'Promethean' discourse that elides social agency in response to our global ecological tensions."--Robert Cox, coeditor of The Routledge Handbook of Environment and Communication 

"How is it that in less than four years Discovery replaced Ten Ways to Save the Planet with programming encouraging meat consumption, while The Walking Dead now provides post-apocalyptic survival techniques to a global audience? Murphy provides essential scholarship of environmental discourses within the politics and economies of transnational media."--Libby Lester, author of Media and Environment: Conflict, Politics and the News 

"This book is addressing a universal crisis that right now, as we speak, is rapidly mainstreaming. It is a text that will be recognized as a critically important, highly innovative, and possibly paradigm-changing contribution to our understanding of how mediated discourses work to destroy our planet."--Oliver Boyd-Barrett, author of Communications Media, Globalization, and Empire

Patrick D. Murphy is the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at Temple University’s School of Media and Communication. His research focuses on global media, media and the environment, and Latin American media and cultural theory.  He is author of The Media Commons: Globalization and Environmental Discourses (University of Illinois Press), co-editor of Negotiating Democracy: Media Transformation in Emerging Democracies (SUNY Press) and Global Media Studies (Routledge), and numerous journal articles and book chapters. He has also translated into English articles by some of Latin America’s most prominent communication scholars. 

Lunch begins at 11:45. Space is limited, RSVP to

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