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  • Carol Wilder

  • Carol Wilder Emeritus

    Carol Wilder is a Professor Emerita of Media Studies and Film.  

    She was the chair and associate dean of the Department of Media Studies and Film from 1995 to 2007 and the dean of the School of Media Studies from 2015 to 2017. In 1997, she co-founded the Graduate Program in Media Management. Wilder was formerly a professor and the chair of Communication Studies at San Francisco State University, at which sinshe has been a Professor Emerita since 1996. She also served on the faculties of Oberlin College and Emerson College.

    Wilder received a BS in English and an MA in Communication and Theatre from Miami University and a PhD in Rhetoric and Communication from Kent State, where she was a student and Teaching Fellow at the time of the May 4, 1970, shootings. She has published dozens of book chapters and articles in numerous journals, including Human Communication Research, the Journal of Communication, the Journal of Applied Communication Research, and Family Process. She served on the Board of Directors of the International Communication Association, as president of the New York State Communication Association, and as associate editor of the Journal of CommunicationCommunication Studies, the Journal of Applied Communication Research, and the Western Journal of Communication

    Wilder was awarded a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award for 2007-2008 and a Senior Specialist Award for 2010-2015 for her media research and teaching in Vietnam, where she established the first media lab in the country. Her first book, Rigor and Imagination: Essays from the Legacy of Gregory Bateson (1982), received the National Communication Association Golden Anniversary Book Award. Her book Crossing the Street in Hanoi: Teaching and Learning About Vietnam (2013) was published by Intellect/University of Chicago Press. The book was reviewed by Academy Award-winning director Peter Davis (Hearts and Minds), who wrote:

    Carol Wilder's illuminating Crossing the Street in Hanoi enriches us on every page with its seductive mix of storytelling, philosophy and insights into both Vietnam and the United States. The names of her chapters themselves — "The War That Won't Die," "Life on Vietnam," "Reading Graham Greene: A Promise to the Dead," "Reinventing Rambo," "Murder on May 4th" to name a few — are like invitations to a party you want to go to. You can read each chapter for itself as a stand-alone like a short story, but also, like Junot Diaz' recent story collection, This Is How You Lose Her, Wilder's chapters knit together into a pattern, and hers consists of compassion, personal daring, and thinking outside the box about both the United States and Vietnam. The current relevance of Crossing the Street in Hanoi is that Wilder manages to cast light, and unfortunately a good deal of shadow, on the long American wars of choice in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Wilder performs a magic trick by both charming a reader with her evocations of today's vibrant Vietnam and jarring us with the torments of what she calls "the undead war" that remains full of "secrets and lies" told not only by Americans but also by Vietnamese to themselves. She deftly mingles history with moving autobiographical reflections worthy of Mary Karr. The dissection of media representations of Vietnam in both war and peace would have endeared Wilder to Marshall McLuhan and should inspire every young journalist whose ambition is to portray the new global realities. Wilder's crowning achievement, and the reason for her book to attract a wide audience, is that once and for all she unifies the three designations of Vietnam: the war, the era, and finally the country itself.

    In 2016, Wilder was invited to make her short film Puttin' on the Dog part of the archive of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2016. In 2017, on the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Media Management, she was honored as co-founder of the program; in the same year, she received the distinguished Kent State University Centennial Award.

    In addition to these accomplishments, Wilder has been continuously involved in community service and advocacy, including 30 years on the board of directors and advisors of Swords to Plowshares, a preeminent veterans' support and advocacy organization in California. Wilder has recently written on subjects including the 1970 Kent State killings (Public Seminar, 2017), 21st-century propaganda techniques (Public Seminar, 2018), and the history of film at The New School (New School Histories, 2019).

    Following her January 2020 retirement, she will be a featured speaker at Kent State's 50th May 4th Commemoration. In September 2020, she will return to Hanoi University to participate in its newly created Multimedia Communication Program and continue writing a series of essays based on an extensive archive from teaching political media and communication.


    Carol Wilder CV

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