Hall Center For The Humanities


Siva Vaidhyanathan
Cultural historian & media scholar

"Be Evil: Google and the Perils of Corporate Social Responsibility"
Special Events – (Digital Media Lecture Series)

Tue., Sep. 27, 2011, 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Location: Alderson Auditorium, Kansas Union

In this age of radical transparency, can corporations that mistreat their users or cause harm in the world get away with it? Does the market discipline companies so that responsibility is now an essential part of doing business? Or is corporate responsibility just a clever trick to gain a slight marketing advantage and defer state regulation? Is the first and only duty of a company to provide value to its shareholders?

Siva Vaidhyanathan, a cultural historian, media scholar, and professor of Media Studies and Law at the University of Virginia, will consider these issues through the lens of Google, the most significant promoter of a corporate moral ethos. He will consider the ethics of doing business in authoritarian places such as China, pursuing environmentally sustainable infrastructure, and treating labor fairly. The lecture is free and open to the public and will be followed by a book signing.

Vaidhyanathan is a frequent contributor on media and cultural issues in The Chronicle of Higher Education, New York Times Magazine, The Nation, MSNBC.com, and Salon.com. He is a fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities and the Institute for the Future of the Book.

The Digital Media Lecture Series is a new addition to Hall Center programs, an outgrowth of the 2010-2011 Digital Media Workshop. The ongoing Series will feature one visiting lecturer each semester, as well as occasional talks by KU faculty and graduate students. For more information, please contact Series co-director Nancy Baym, Associate Professor of Communication Studies, at nbaym@ku.edu. Allan Hanson, Professor of Anthropology, also co-directs the Series. He is on leave for Fall 2011.

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