Junck Research Colloquium with Mary Beth Oliver

Thursday, February 23, 2017 -
4:00pm to 5:00pm

Freedom Forum Conference Center

About the Event

The Junck Colloquium with Mary Beth Oliver will occur on Thursday, Feb. 23, in the Freedom Forum Conference Center from 4-5 p.m.

Oliver — a distinguished professor from the Pennsylvania State University College of Communication — will deliver her keynote: "The Promises and Challenges of Newer Entertainment Environments in Eliciting Inspiration."


Mary Beth Oliver, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor
College Communication, Pennsylvania State University

"The Promises and Challenges of Newer Entertainment Environments in Eliciting Inspiration"

Foundational research in entertainment psychology has tended to focus on harmful effects of media entertainment. However, over the last decade a growing number of scholars have begun to recognize the myriad ways that entertainment can serve higher-order and transcendent needs such inspiration, connectedness, and contemplation of questions such as meaning-in- life. Although this line of research has demonstrated that media entertainment has great promise of eliciting feelings of inspiration, the vast majority of studies have examined “traditional” media – films, books, and music. Newer media entertainment (e.g., social media, YouTube videos, etc.) differs in countless ways, calling into question whether or not these contemporary forms of entertainment afford the same capabilities. This talk will overview recent scholarship that points to the promise of newer entertainment to accompany viewers/users in their search for meaning, but will also consider the challenges and potential pitfalls that newer entertainment may present. Unique aspects of newer entertainment such as user generation will be discussed as novel ways of harnessing the potential of media entertainment for social good and enhanced well-being.

About the Junck Colloquium

The Mary Junck Research Colloquium series was formally established in 2007 to nurture an intellectually vibrant climate with both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary shades, by scheduling scholarly presentations on diverse topics.

The speakers represent various disciplines and units on campus as well as other universities and organizations in the Triangle. The series has been particularly successful in attracting scholars and researchers of national and international renown from within the U.S. and abroad. The series attracts a diverse audience comprising faculty, graduate students and researchers from around the Triangle.

2016-17 Junck Colloquium Series:

For more information

For more information, please contact Kriste Patrow at patrowk@live.unc.edu.