University of Propaganda: Public Universities and Corporate Communication

Event flyer featuring Joshua Hunt

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Online (Zoom)

Free Speech and the University Speakers Series presents: Joshua Hunt

 

University of Propaganda: Public Universities and Corporate Communication

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In 1928, Edward Bernays, the father of the modern public relations industry, outlined his vision for the role that propaganda might play in America’s public education system. In particular, he singled out the state university, which, he wrote, was “in an unfortunate position unless its president happens to be a man of outstanding merit as a propagandist and a dramatizer of educational issues.” Using the University of Oregon as a case study, with supporting examples from other state universities, the author argues that leaders of public universities have, as Bernays predicted, become skilled propagandists. But rather than improving public education by adopting corporate methods, as Bernays advocated, they have instead transformed the public university from a public good into a private one.

Bio:
Joshua Hunt  is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, where he earned an M.S. as a fellow at the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism. As an undergraduate, he studied at Waseda University, in Tokyo, and Portland State University, in Oregon, earning degrees in Japanese language and in communication studies. His first book, “University of Nike: How Corporate Cash Bought American Higher Education,” was published in October 2018 by Melville House. His next book, which explores the criminal underworld of counterfeit couture, will be published by Simon & Schuster in 2021.

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