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IU Northwest Fall 2006 Convocation will focus on blogging and higher education

Nationally renowned speakers with Chicago-area ties discuss the Web log phenomenon, Oct. 13

The public is invited to attend the Indiana University Northwest Fall 2006 Convocation on Oct. 13, where nationally renowned speakers Daniel W. Drezner, Ph.D. and Eszter Hargittai, Ph.D. will lead a stimulating inquiry into the significant cultural intersection between education and the Internet phenomenon known as blogging.

The event will take place from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. in the IU Northwest Savannah Center Auditorium at 3400 Broadway in Gary, Ind. An open question-and-answer session will follow the keynote presentations. Students, educators, and anyone who posts, reads or has an interest in Web logs are invited to participate.

Web logs, or blogs, have become a popular form of online expression. University students and professors alike use blogs to discuss their personal or academic interests, express political viewpoints, or keep running commentaries on their day-to-day lives.

How do blogs affect our perceptions of communication and knowledge? How does the public yet personal nature of blogging interact with the sometimes politically correct atmosphere of higher education? What is the nature of blogging in comparison to other forms of academic writing?

What happens when college professors, whose academic work is carefully scrutinized by peers and administrators, express themselves in this freely available format? What implications does blogging have for students whose ideas and opinions online may be more extreme or unguarded than those expressed in term papers? Can blogging influence tenure, promotion, and hiring cases? How do the concepts of privacy and confidentiality apply to blogging?

To discuss these issues, IU Northwest is honored to welcome to campus Daniel W. Drezner, Ph.D., associate professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and Eszter Hargittai, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology and communication studies at Northwestern University and a 2006-07 Fellow at the Stanford Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences. Drezner is a former University of Chicago political science professor who received his doctorate in political science from Stanford; Hargittai received her doctorate in sociology from Princeton University.

Both Drezner and Hargittai are active bloggers who have written and lectured on the blogging phenomenon. Each will deliver a 20-minute convocation address and then will participate in a question-and-answer session. Drezner’s presentation is titled: “The Promise and Perils of Academic Blogging”; Hargittai’s presentation is titled “Got Blog?”

Hargittai leads the Web-Use Project at Northwestern; her research focuses on the social and policy implications of information technologies, with particular interest in how IT may contribute to or alleviate social inequalities. Her work has been featured on CNNfn, the BBC Web site, and several national dailies. Hargittai’s blog is

Drezner was a non-resident Transatlantic Fellow for the German Marshall Fund of the United States in 2005-06. He is the author of several books and numerous scholarly articles and has provided expert commentary on U.S. foreign policy and the global political economy for C-SPAN, CNNfn, CNN International, and ABC’s “World News Tonight.” Drezner’s blog is

For more information on the IU Northwest Fall 2006 Convocation, contact Robin Hass Birky, interim associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, at



Media Contact:

Christopher Sheid

Michelle Searer

Robin Hass-Birky
Academic Affairs
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