Michael Niman, professor of communication at SUNY Buffalo State, has been invited to speak at “Deep Capture: Psychology, Public Relations, Democracy, and Law,” a conference to be held at the Harvard Law School on April 13. Other featured speakers include noted scholar and activist Noam Chomsky, cultural studies expert Sut Jhally, and consumer culture authority Stuart Ewen.
Several Harvard faculty members, including Francesca Gino, Jon Hanson, and Susan Linn will also speak.
The conference’s organizers are the National Lawyers Guild, Harvard Law School Chapter, and the Project on Law and Mind Sciences, also of the Harvard Law School. According to its website, the conference hopes to explore the history of public relations, the industry’s strategies and tactics, and the public’s vulnerability to marketing manipulation.
“I’m honored to be sharing a podium with some of the top scholars in my field,” said Niman, author of People of the Rainbow: A Nomadic Utopia and an award-winning syndicated columnist. “These folks have had a great influence on my work.”
Niman, a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, is currently focusing his research on propaganda, the influence of consumer culture, temporary autonomous zones, nonviolent conflict resolution, and nonhierarchical societies and movements.
His April 13 presentation, “Journalism in a PR World,” will examine “the migration of talent from journalism to the PR industry, the collapse of mainstream journalism and the role of an emergent alternative media as American journalism goes through metamorphosis from what it was to what it could become.”