74th Annual Conference (Imagination)
New York State Communication Association October 14-16, 2016
Villa Roma Resort & Conference Center – Callicoon, NY


Come listen to—and talk with—world class speakers.

rushkoffDouglas Rushkoff

Money is a Medium: The Economy as Media Environment, and How to Reprogram It

The economy is not a natural landscape, but a set of rules developed by particular people at particular moment in history. The tools of the media theorist are uniquely suited to help up de-naturalize the economy, reveal the media environment in which it was developed, and evaluate how it has been affected by our migration to the digital media environment.

Rushkoff will perform a tetrad on the corporation and central currency, and reveal the embedded biases of these media – as well as their openness to reprogramming once we decide what values we wish to promote. He will show how our leading digital technology developers and investors are accepting the rules of the industrial age as pre-existing conditions for any economic activity, and unwittingly amplifying dangerously extractive, winner-takes-all processes. They are unaware of the operating system on which all of their business plans are operating.

Rushkoff will show how media theory can save the economy.

Dr. Douglas Rushkoff is an author, teacher, and documentarian who focuses on the ways people, cultures, and institutions create, share, and influence each other’s values. He is Professor of Media Theory and Digital Economics at CUNY/Queens, technology and media commentator for CNN, digital literacy advocate for Codecademy.com and a lecturer on media, technology, culture and economics around the world.

His new book, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity, argues that we have failed to build the distributed economy that digital networks are capable of fostering, and instead doubled down on the industrial age mandate of growth above all. His previous best-selling books on media and popular culture have been translated to over thirty languages. They include Present Shock: When Everything Happens NowProgram or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age, a followup to his Frontline documentary, Digital Nation, and Life Inc, an analysis of the corporate spectacle, which was also made into a short, award-winning film.

He has written and hosted three award-winning PBS Frontline documentaries – The Merchants of Cool looked at the influence of corporations on youth culture, The Persuaders, about the cluttered landscape of marketing, and new efforts to overcome consumer resistance, and Digital Nation, about life on the virtual frontier. Most recently, he made Generation Like, an exploration of teens, marketers, and social media.


humphreysLee Humphreys

The Qualified Self: Social media and the accounting of everyday life. 

Many of the ways we use mobile and social media today have longstanding precedents in historical media like diaries, scrapbooks, and home movies. What we think of as the social media revolution is part of a much longer story about the use of media for connecting people through the documenting and sharing of everyday life. The qualified self explores the ways we come to understand ourselves, our social connections, and the world around us through the media traces we create. Placing mobile and social media into a longer historical context helps to reveal what is really new about these contemporary communication technologies, what future services might learn from historical communication practices, and what fundamental aspects of the human experience emerge through a variety of media platforms.


Dr. Lee Humphreys is an Associate Professor in Communication at Cornell University. She studies the social uses and perceived effects of communication technology. Recently her research examines historical media practices, everyday conceptions and practices regarding privacy on social media, and cultural differences in mobile social network use. Her research has appeared in such journals as Journal of Communication, New Media & Society, and the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. With Paul Messaris, she co-edited the book, Digital Media: Transformations in Human Communication (Peter Lang, 2006) and is working on the second edition of this book. Her own manuscript “The Qualified Self” is to be published with MIT Press next year. She is currently Chair of the Communication and Technology Division of the International Communication Association. She received her Ph.D. from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in 2007.