FSU’s Raney delivers prestigious Pockrass Lecture at Penn State

Dr. Arthur A. Raney, an associate professor and director of doctoral studies in FSU’s School of Communication, was invited to give the prestigious Robert M. Pockrass Memorial Lecture this week at The Pennsylvania State University.

Raney, a leading media effects scholar, spoke about “The Ongoing Morality Play: Media Entertainment and Our Sense of Right and Wrong.” His research examines the psychological processes associated with enjoying media entertainment, addressing the question “how and why do we enjoy what we enjoy?” More specifically, he explores the role that moral judgment plays in the enjoyment of dramatic, violent, sports and interactive content.

His work has been published in many entertainment and media-effects anthologies, as well as the Journal of Communication, Media Psychology, Communication Theory and the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. He also is the lead editor of the Handbook of Sports and Media.

The Pockrass Lecture was named after the late Professor Robert M. Pockrass, a member of Penn State’s journalism faculty from 1948 to 1977. Pockrass, who specialized in public opinion and popular culture, served as the graduate officer and taught radio news writing for the School of Journalism, which later became the College of Communications.

Raney’s invitation to deliver the Pockrass Lecture put him in good company. Previous speakers included William Safire of The New York Times, Joseph Turow of the University of Pennsylvania, Richard Cole of the University of North Carolina, Michael Schudson of the University of California-San Diego and ZiZi Papacharissi, professor and head of the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois-Chicago. The annual lecture s sponsored by Penn State’s College of Communications and University Libraries.