Lecture Programs

Pockrass Memorial Lecture

The Pockrass Lecture was named after the late Professor Robert M. Pockrass, a member of Penn State’s journalism faculty from 1948 to 1977. Pockrass, who specialized in public opinion and popular culture, served as the graduate officer and taught radio news writing.


Apr 4

Spring 2016 Pockrass Lecture

Christian Sandvig

Time: 5:00 pm

Location: Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library

Free public lecture by Christian Sandvig, an associate professor at the University of Michigan. Sandvig's research examines communication and information technology infrastructure and public policy. 

Previous Lectures

April 11, 2014

“What Story Survives?”

Carolyn L. Kitch

A free public lecture by Carolyn L. Kitch, will focus on journalism and public memory of voilent events. The Pockrass Lecture, titled “What Story Survives? The Intersections of Journalism, Place, and Vernacular Culture in Public Memory of Violent Events,” is co-sponsored by the College of Communications and University Libraries. Kitch is a professor of journalism at Temple University’s School of Media and Communications. She also teaches in the school’s Mass Media and Communication doctoral program and has been faculty director for the school’s study-abroad programs in London and Dublin. Her research and teaching areas include memory studies, media history, journalism theory, magazines, gender studies and visual communication.

October 06, 2014

“The World Wise Web?”

Eszter Hargittai

Professor Eszter Hargitti of Northwestern University will present the Pockress Lecture. Hargittai's research focuses on the social and policy implications of digital media with a particular interest in how differences in people's web-use skills influence what they do online. The event is free and open to the public.

“ESPN Culture”

April 13, 2015

“ESPN Culture”

Travis Vogan

Travis T. Vogan, a leading sports and media scholar, will present the spring 2015 Robert M. Pockrass Memorial Lecture titled "ESPN Culture." The session is free and open to the public. Vogan is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication and the Department of American Studies at the University of Iowa.  He is the author of "Keepers of the Flame: NFL Films and the Rise of Sports Media" (University of Illinois Press, 2014) and "ESPN: The Making of a Sports Media Empire" (Forthcoming, University of Illinois Press).

“The Science of Stories and the Stories of Science”

September 28, 2015

“The Science of Stories and the Stories of Science”

Melanie Green

Melanie Green, an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Buffalo, will present a free public lecture. Her research examines the power of narrative to change beliefs, including the effects of fictional stories on real-world attitudes. Her theory of "transportation into a narrative world" focuses on immersion into a story as a mechanisim of narrative influence. She has edited two books and published numerous articles in leading communication, psychology and interdisciplinary journals.