Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Urban Communication Foundation

Press Release

23 October 2006

The Urban Communication Foundation announces the recipients of

the 2006 Jane Jacobs Publication Award.

First Prize: Urban Nightmares: The Media and the Moral Panic over the City by Steve Macek (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006).

The University of Minnesota describes Urban Nightmares:

For the past twenty-five years, American culture has been marked by an almost palpable sense of anxiety about the nation's inner cities. Urban America has been consistently depicted as a site of moral decay and uncontrollable violence, held in stark contrast to the allegedly moral and orderly suburbs and exurbs.

In Urban Nightmares, Steve Macek documents the scope of these alarmist representations of the city, examines the ideologies that informed them, and exposes the interests they ultimately served. From exploring the conservative analysis of the urban poverty, joblessness, and crime that became entrenched during the post-Vietnam War era to how Hollywood filmmakers, advertisers, and journalists validate the right-wing discourse on the urban crisis, popularizing its vocabulary, Macek takes a hard-hitting look at the role of right-wing ideologues and the mass media in demonizing urban America.

The UCF Jane Jacobs Awards Committee in announcing its choice noted:

Steve Macek weaves a range of rich examples (from government reports to popular film to newspaper accounts) in an effort to show how public opinions have been formed about the inner city and the people who live there. The book challenges our preconceived notions of urban life and challenges us to re-think how we represent others and how we accept and/or reject representations put forth by public officials and mass media. The book is an outstanding representation of urban communication scholarship.

This recognition carries with it a $1500 award that will be presented at the Urban Communication Foundation reception at the National Communication Associations’ Annual meeting in San Antonio on Thursday, November 16 at 6:30 p.m.

Second Prize: More Philadelphia Murals and the Stories They Tell by Jane Golden, Robin Rice, and Natalie Pompilio. With Photographs by David Graham and Jack Ramsdale (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006). In their description of this volume Temple University Press said

More Philadelphia Murals and the Stories They Tell continues the remarkable
story of an unlikely artistic collaboration that began as part of
Philadelphia's Anti-Graffiti Network. In June 1984, Jane Golden, a young
muralist headed up a project that was originally planned as a six-week youth
program in the fledgling Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network. This small
exercise in fighting graffiti grew into the Philadelphia Murals Arts Program
(MAP), one of the most vibrant public art projects in the United States. Two
decades later, MAP is now partnering with the criminal justice system, the
Department of Human Services, and the Philadelphia School District to work
with students in public schools who have truancy issues or criminal records.
This collaboration has helped bolster the ways in which public art helps
transform lives-one of the goals of MAP

The UCF Jane Jacobs Awards Committee in citing this work stated:

Philadelphia Murals: More Philadelphia Mural and the Stories They Tell describes and shows how art and community building can be interconnected. The murals discussed in this book and presented through beautiful photographs are representations of efforts made by artists and everyday people to communicate pride and joy, hopes and fears, and to protest injustice in a fashion that simultaneously reflects on-going public conversations and helps shape those conversations. The author's discussion and description of the Philadelphia murals foregrounds the mural as a communal communicative artifact.

This recognition is accompanied by a monetary award of $500 and will be presented at the Urban Communication Foundation reception on Thursday, November 16 at the National Communication Association’s annual meeting in San Antonio at 6:30 p.m.

6 Fourth Road

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Tel: 516.466.0136 Fax: 516.466.1782

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

“Black Writing” and “Urban Nightmares” authors to hold book-signing

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (Oct. 18, 2006) — North Central faculty authors and Naperville residents, Richard Guzman, professor of English, and Steve Macek, assistant professor of speech communication, will hold a joint book talk and signing on Thursday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend this free event at Barnes and Noble Booksellers, 47 E. Chicago Ave., where the authors will read excerpts, followed by a discussion and signing.

Guzman will discuss his newest book, “Black Writing from Chicago: In the World, Not of It?” The book combines poems, stories, memoirs, analysis, newspaper writing and radio drama, taking readers on a fascinating literary journey through Chicago’s rich cultural history. He collected the literature of more than 60 Black authors representing the 19th century through current day. “[It’s] a book of great importance and a sheer delight to read,” says Carolyn Rodgers, a poet and National Book Award nominee.

Macek’s “Urban Nightmares: The Media, the Right and the Moral Panic Over the City” explores alarmist representations of the inner city and the urban poor created by the media, intellectuals and mainstream politicians. He analyzes Hollywood film, advertisements and television news in an attempt to find the sources of the negative perceptions of urban areas. One reviewer called the book’s approach “. . . a refreshing change of pace . . . in our current political environment.”

In addition, on Saturday, Oct. 21, Macek will be speaking about his book at the Wisconsin Book Festival in Madison, Wis. For more information: http://www.wisconsinbookfestival.org/presenters/presenters.php

Guzman may be reached at rrguzman@noctrl.edu or 630-637-5280 and Macek may be reached at shmacek@noctrl.edu or 630-637-5369.