Gregory Hargreaves, Program Officer at Hagley Center, interviews Dr. Deirdre Evans-Pritchard about her media literacy project “Screentime: An Interactive Exhibition.” In support of her project, Evans-Pritchard, an art historian & film studies scholar at the University of Maryland, Global and Executive Director of the DC Independent Film Festival, received a Henry Belin du Pont Research Grant from the Center for the History of Business, Technology, & Society.
Are screens neutral carriers of information, or do they reshape messages and reshape society, too? In “Screentime,” Evans-Pritchard considers the contrasting values assigned to television by businessman David Sarnoff, famous for running RCA & NBC, and for evangelizing television, and media critic Marshall McLuhan, who insisted that the medium was the message. This twentieth-century debate rings ominously in the ears of early-twenty first-century Americans embroiled in their own controversies over the role media play in ordering, and disordering, society. Research in the Hagley collections sheds light on this past moment with striking significance to the present.
The audio-only version of this program is available on our podcast.
Interview available at https://www.hagley.org/research/history-hangout-deirdre-evans-pritchard .
Recorded on Zoom and available anywhere once they are released, our History Hangouts include interviews with authors of books and other researchers who have use of our collections, and members of Hagley staff with their special knowledge of what we have in our stacks. We began the History Hangouts earlier this summer and now are releasing programs every two weeks on alternate Mondays. Our series is part of the Hagley from Home initiative by the Hagley Museum and Library. The schedule for upcoming episodes, as well as those already released, is available at https://www.hagley.org/hagley-history-hangout.
Carol Ressler Lockman