We are a politically polarized nation, causing some of our way-too-many pundits to ask if we are back to being a house divided against itself. The future appears frightening: Will we stand or fall? And who is really to blame? “History never repeats itself but it often rhymes,” Mark Twain supposedly said. Since history brought us here, let’s turn back to it and see what it can tell us. During these sessions, we will look at the barely-a-century-old history of mass communications, the fascinating fights and government interventions that shaped how we communicate. We will look at prescient movie moguls, who in the early 1900s predicted live sporting and entertainment events being broadcast directly into our homes. And we will explore the impact of government efforts to regulate the industries and our public discourse—a Sisyphean proposition as government by its very nature will always lag behind technology. The sessions are designed to exercise those liberal arts muscles we all earned at Lawrence.
Susy Schultz '81 is a storyteller, a journalist, an educator, a nonprofit executive and a researcher. She recently stepped down as executive director of the Museum of Broadcast Communications, where she kept this Chicago gem alive during the pandemic, raising nearly $1 million while organizing and authoring two of its current main exhibits. Schultz is the principal author of “The Great Debates: The Influence of Broadcast Media on Presidential Elections” and the academically reviewed, “Riding the Wave: A 100-years of Radio.” She has worked in government, the foundation world and academia, having taught at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Roosevelt University and Columbia College Chicago. She is the founding president of the Association for Women Journalists Chicago and former president of the national Journalism and Women’s Symposium (JAWS). @Susys