Mason Author Series: The Case Against Education with Bryan Caplan

The University Libraries, Mason Publishing,
and the University Bookstore
present

Bryan Caplan

Discussing his new book: The Case Against Education: Why the Education System is a Waste of Time and Money

Thursday, May 3
3:00-4:30 pm

Main Reading Room
Fenwick Library, Fairfax Campus

Case Against Education- book coverDespite being immensely popular—and immensely lucrative—education is grossly overrated. In The Case Against Education, Bryan Caplan argues that the primary function of education is not to enhance students’ skill but to certify their intelligence, work ethic, and conformity—in other words, to signal the qualities of a good employee. Learn why students hunt for easy As and casually forget most of what they learn after the final exam, why decades of growing access to education have not resulted in better jobs for the average worker but instead in runaway credential inflation, how employers reward workers for costly schooling they rarely if ever use, and why cutting education spending is the best remedy.

Caplan draws on the latest social science to show how the labor market values grades over knowledge, and why the more education your rivals have, the more you need to impress employers. He explains why graduation is our society’s top conformity signal, and why even the most useless degrees can certify employability. He advocates two major policy responses. The first is educational austerity. Government needs to sharply cut education funding to curb this wasteful rat race. The second is more vocational education, because practical skills are more socially valuable than teaching students how to outshine their peers.

headshot of Bryan CaplanBryan Caplan is professor of economics at George Mason University and a blogger at EconLog. He is the author of Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent Is Less Work and More Fun than You Think and The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies (Princeton). He lives in Oakton, Virginia.

“Would-be students and their parents are rethinking the assumption that a good life is impossible without an expensive degree–not to mention the chase for college admission that begins at kindergarten if not before. [This new book] may help to let out a little more air.”–Naomi Schaefer Riley, Wall Street Journal

 

Refreshments will be provided.

The Mason Author Series is co-sponsored by the University Bookstore.

Virginia Wine book and author event

The University Libraries, George Mason University Press,
and the University Bookstore
present

Virginia Wine: Four Centuries of Change

Featuring author Andrew Painter

Tuesday, April 10
4:30-6:00 pm

Main Reading Room
Fenwick Library, Fairfax Campus

Cover: Virginia Wine“[An] impressive work celebrating the collective and individual achievements of the commonwealth’s wine industry “
Gerald L. Baliles, Governor of Virginia 1986-1990

No state can claim a longer history of experimenting with and promoting viticulture than Virginia—nor does any state’s history demonstrate a more astounding record of initial failure and ultimate success. Virginia Wine: Four Centuries of Change presents a comprehensive record of the Virginia wine industry, from the earliest Spanish accounts describing Native American vineyards in 1570 through its astonishing rebirth in the modern era. The author chronicles the dynamic personalities, diverse places, and engrossing personal and political struggles that have established the Old Dominion as one of the nation’s preeminent wine regions, an industry that now accounts for nearly $1 billion in annual sales, with more than 275 wineries growing more than 30 varieties of grapes.

head shot of author Andrew Painter

Andrew A. Painter is an attorney specializing in land use and zoning. A Virginia native, Andrew has spent more than eight years researching the growth of its wine industry. He is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington, the University of Virginia, and the University of Richmond.

“A detailed, yet readable history that addresses an unmet need for a written record similar to those already available for the world’s more established wine regions. Virginia viticulture and winemaking have come of age, and deserve no less.”
Felicia Warburg Rogan, Founder, Oakencroft Vineyard & Winery

Refreshments will be provided.

The Mason Author Series is co-sponsored by the University Bookstore.

Book launch: Playfair

The University Libraries, George Mason University Press,
and the University Bookstore
present

Playfair: The True Story of the British Secret Agent Who Changed How We See the World

Thursday, March 22
2:00-3:30 pm

Main Reading Room
Fenwick Library, Fairfax Campus

Featuring author Bruce Berkowitz

Cover of Playfair by Bruce BerkowitzWilliam Playfair may be the most famous person you have never heard of. Best known today as the inventor of “statistical graphics”—the line, bar, and pie charts we all use today—Playfair was also a pioneer in strategic analysis, and a secret agent who carried out espionage and subversion against France on behalf of Great Britain.
This is the first book to uncover the full, true account of this remarkable, colorful man—undeniably brilliant, hopelessly flawed, and fundamentally important. Its pages reveal the astounding inventions and adventures of this larger-than-life swashbuckler, rogue, genius, and patriot.

“In addition to being a draftsman, inventor, company promoter, land speculator, economist, patriotic pamphleteer and bank-note counterfeiter, Playfair was a secret agent and international conspirator… He was adept at ducking and weaving from the truth, covering his tracks, mystifying his motives, and protecting his sources. Mr. Berkowitz’s Playfair is above all a work of ingenious detection and reconstruction.”
—The Wall Street Journal

Bruce Berkowitz is the author of several books and articles about national security, history, and international relations.

 

Refreshments will be provided.

The Mason Author Series is co-sponsored by the University Bookstore.

Mason Author Series: Lincoln Mullen

Cover of "The Chance of Salvation" by Lincoln A. MullenThe University Libraries, Mason Publishing,
and the University Bookstore
present

Lincoln Mullen

Discussing his new book: The Chance of Salvation: A History of Conversion in America

Thursday, March 1
3:00-4:30 pm

Main Reading Room
Fenwick Library, Fairfax Campus

While United States has a long history of religious pluralism, Americans have often believed their faith determines their eternal destiny. The result is that Americans switch religions more often than any other nation. The Chance of Salvation traces the history of the distinctively American idea that religion is a matter of individual choice.

Lincoln A. MullenLincoln Mullen shows how Americans’ willingness to change faiths has created a shared assumption that religious identity is a decision. As Americans confronted a growing array of religious options in the 19th century, pressures to convert altered the basis of American religion. Evangelical protestants, enslaved and freed African Americans, Mormons, American Jews, and Catholics each developed different views on conversion, divine justice, and redemption.

Lincoln A. Mullen is Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University. An historian of American religion, Mullen’s digital historical work has also taken him into U.S. legal history and the history of early American elections.

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Refreshments will be provided.

The Mason Author Series is co-sponsored by the University Bookstore.

Wall Street Journal Reviews “Playfair”

William Playfair is best known today as a Scottish adventurer of questionable repute who happened to invent “statistical graphics”—the line, bar, and pie charts familiar today. Some may be aware of his theories explaining trade and investment, or his contributions to concepts like price indexes and measures of national power. Even those familiar with his work, however, will be surprised to learn that Playfair was, in fact, a secret agent. Working for top British officials, Playfair planned and executed clandestine operations against the radicalized French Republic. He may have changed the course of the French Revolution; he most certainly transformed statistics, economics, and strategic analysis.

In PLAYFAIR: The True Story of the British Secret Agent Who Changed How We See the World (January 2018), author Bruce Berkowitz uncovers the exploits of this remarkable, colorful man and his most audacious project—an operation to wreck the French economy with counterfeit money. Combining Internet Age methodologies with old-fashioned detective work, Berkowitz proves Playfair’s role in this long-rumored operation.

The Wall Street Journal published a review of Playfair in the paper’s Saturday-Sunday, January 13-14, 2018 edition. Reviewer Richard Davenport-Hines calls the book “a work of ingenious detection and reconstruction.”

Other excerpts from the review include:

“In addition to being a draftsman, inventor, company promoter, land speculator, economist, patriotic pamphleteer and bank-note counterfeiter, Playfair was a secret agent and international conspirator. He used his network of contacts to become a pioneer provider of “all-source” intelligence. He was adept at ducking and weaving from the truth, covering his tracks, mystifying his motives, and protecting his sources.”

Line chart by Playfair: Commercial and Political Atlas, 1786
Source: Wikimedia Commons

“Mr. Berkowitz’s fascinating visuals show how pie charts, bar graphs, trend lines and suchlike were developed and popularized by Playfair.”

“Mr. Berkowitz’s precision extends to his punctuation, which will delight old-style grammarians who like to see commas and colons used plentifully, and also correctly.”

“Mr. Berkowitz compares Playfair to Forrest Gump, but this frenetic optimist, both crafty and unlucky, who although constantly ambushed and battered by events, irrepressibly sprang back from his bad breaks, is more likely a cartoon character. He was the Wile E. Coyote of his age.”

 

A lifeline for online instructors: Best Practices in Online Teaching and Learning Across Academic Disciplines

Online courses have surged in recent years, making online teaching an inevitable part of higher learning. While convenient for students and faculty, the lack of facetime can be a challenge. Best Practices in Online Teaching and Learning Across Academic Disciplines (George Mason University Press, 2017) explores strategies for online teaching with an emphasis on distinct approaches for different academic disciplines. The book  offers innovative, practical and successful teaching tools from Indiana University East faculty in a wide range of disciplines designed to keep students engaged.

Best Practices covers online teaching and learning with a three-fold approach. Each chapter discusses and analyzes best practices and pedagogical approaches for online teaching. Attention is also given to instructional design and delivery, useful for course designers or academic administrators. Finally, the authors provide applicable and proven techniques that can be integrated into online courses across more than 15 disciplines.

The first and largest section of Best Practices opens with chapters for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Faculty across these disciplines, from English to Psychology, break down innovative and actionable teaching tools you can use for online teaching. Editor Ross C. Alexander notes, “Three chapters in particular—chapters three, seven and nine, dealing with composition, foreign languages, and drawing—may be of particular interest as they showcase disciplines that one may not typically associate with online teaching and learning, but are effectively taught using approaches and techniques described here” (Best Practices in Online Teaching and Learning Across Academic Disciplines, page 5).

The second section focuses on the natural sciences and mathematics. While these disciplines may also not be commonly associated with online instruction, the authors of these two chapters share why laboratory instruction online can be superior to a traditional, face-to-face model.

The third section handles professional programs, including education, economics and finance, and nursing. While online teaching is fairly common at the graduate level, these chapters zero in on these programs at the undergraduate level, which may not see as much online education. Faculty will learn how to support students on their way to becoming teachers, business leaders, or nurses.

With detailed examples, charts and rubrics, Best Practices provides faculty members the tools to design better curriculum and enhance online learning for their students.

Best Practices in Online Teaching and Learning Across Academic Disciplines

Edited by Ross C. Alexander. Paperback. 300 pages. George Mason University Press. $30.

This book can be purchased from Amazon, or from your favorite independent bookseller.
George Mason University Press titles are distributed by the University of Virginia Press.

 

Table of Contents
Introduction: Ross C. Alexander, Ph.D.

Part One • Humanities and Social sciences

1    Communication Studies: Fostering Effective Communication in Online Courses
Rosalie S. Aldrich, Renee Kaufmann, Natalia Rybas

2    Composition and Writing: Embedding Success: Supplemental Assistance in Online Writing Instruction
Sarah E. Harris, Tanya Perkins, J. Melissa Blankenship

3    English: Facilitating Online Learning through Discussions in the English Classroom: Tools for Success and Stumbling Blocks to Avoid
Margaret Thomas-Evans, Steven Petersheim, Edwina Helton

4    Political Science: Engaging Students through Effective Instruction and Course Design in Political Science
Chera LaForge, Kristoffer Rees, Lilia Alexander, Ross C. Alexander

5    Criminal Justice: Calming, Critical Thinking, and Case Studies: The Politics, Pitfalls, and Practical Solutions for Teaching Criminal Justice in an Online Environment
Stephanie N. Whitehead, M. Michaux Parker

6    Psychology: Student misconceptions of psychology: Steps for helping online students toward a scientific understanding of psychology
Beth A. Trammell, Gregory Dam, Amanda Kraha

7    World Languages (Spanish and French): Best Practices in Online Second Language Teaching: Theoretical Considerations in Course Design and Implementation
Dianne Burke Moneypenny, Julien Simon

8    History: Teaching History Online: Old Struggles, New Pathways
Justin Carroll, Christine Nemcik, Daron Olson

9    Fine Arts (Drawing): Best Practices in Online Teaching for Drawing
Carrie Longley, Kevin Longley

10  Sociology, Anthropology, and Geography: Igniting the Passion:  Examples for Sociology, Anthropology, and Geography
Denise Bullock, Katherine Miller Wolf, Wazir Mohamed, Marc Wolf

11  Philosophy: The Proof is in the Pedagogy: A Philosophical Examination of the Practice of Backward Design
Mary A. Cooksey

Part Two • Natural Sciences and Mathematics
12  Biological Sciences: Online Teaching and Learning in Biological Sciences
Parul Khurana, Neil Sabine

13  Mathematics: Best Practices of Online Education in Mathematics
Young Hwan You, Josh Beal

Part Three • Professional Programs
14  Education: Building Online Learning Communities on the Foundation of Teacher Presence
Jamie Buffington-Adams, Denice Honaker, Jerry Wilde

15  Economics and Finance: Using Simulation Games to Engage Students in Online Advanced Finance Courses
Oi Lin Cheung, Litao Zhong

16  Nursing: Meeting QSEN Competencies in the Online Environment
Paula Kerler Baumann, Tonya Breymier, Karen Clark

Author Biographies

Playfair and the search for elusive truth

In our current political and social environment, it’s no secret that truth, and the value of truth, is taking a beating. When truth is under attack, fallacious theories get repeated and “alternative facts” promoted, and when a preference for the spurious is favored, the search for truth becomes ever more critical.

Of course, it can be argued, and frequently has been stated, that truth itself is elusive if not unattainable. “There is no such thing as absolute truth and absolute falsehood,” wrote Henry A. Rowland. “The scientific mind should never recognise the perfect truth or the perfect falsehood of any supposed theory or observation. It should carefully weigh the chances of truth and error and grade each in its proper position along the line joining absolute truth and absolute error.” (Rowland, Henry A. “The Highest Aim of the Physicist,” Science, New Series, Vol. 10, No. 258, Dec. 8, 1899, 825-833, as of November 6, 2017: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1627046 )

Nevertheless, the job of historians, biographers, journalists, and others is to seek out the truth to the best of their ability, relying on facts. Facts can be discovered and brought to light, or manipulated and distorted; the difference is consequential.

This is why university presses exist: to reveal and elucidate facts and bring us ever closer to truth, or at least the threshold of truth.

In our new, forthcoming title, Playfair: The True Story of the British Secret Agent Who Changed How We See the World, author Bruce Berkowitz reveals a journey to uncover a truth that is often hidden, opaque, distorted, refracted by lenses of luck, fate, and personal conflicts of interest.

Line chart by Playfair: Commercial and Political Atlas, 1786
William Playfair, Commercial and Political Atlas, 1786. Source: Wikimedia Commons

William Playfair, when he is known today, is remembered as the inventor of “statistical graphics,” including the line, bar, and pie charts that we still use regularly today (and built into Microsoft Excel). He’s a sometime-hero of the Infogeek community. Edward Tufte cited him extensively in The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, and called Playfair one of the great inventors of modern graphical design, who created the “first time series using economic data.” (Tufte, Edward, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Graphics Press, 1983, 9, 32-34, 64-65, 91-92)

William Playfair also pioneered strategic analysis, essential to our understanding of today’s world, and developed theories explaining international trade and investment while making contributions to important concepts like price indexes and measures of national power.

Yet Playfair is generally not well known, some of his contributions remain largely forgotten or ignored, and his reputation has suffered with characterizations by historians that he was a lightweight, flimflam artist, or worse.

As Berkowitz writes: “One might say Playfair is the most famous man you have never heard of. He appears everywhere; he knows everyone. Time and again, he’s at the hinge point of history: the Industrial Revolution, the French Revolution, the founding of the United States, the birth of modern economics, the Age of Napoleon. Documents and artifacts link him to influential ideas and famous men. He’s the Forrest Gump of his era—except, unlike Gump, he’s brilliant, and, unlike Gump, he’s not just an accidental witness stumbling on the scene—he’s shaping and driving events.” (Playfair: The True Story of the British Secret Agent Who Changed How We See the World, page 334)

Line chart from William Playfair, Commercial and Political Atlas, 1786
William Playfair, Commercial and Political Atlas, 1786. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Berkowitz’s marvelous book is as much detective story as biography, a history of Playfair, his exploits and inventions, as well as a history of how the facts and truth about Playfair have been obscured over time.

The booby trap pinning Playfair as a blunderer provides an illustrative example. Playfair apprenticed to James Watt, inventor of the steam engine, who is frequently quoted in articles about Playfair as claiming: “I must warn you, Playfair is a blunderer.”

The often-repeated quote makes an early appearance in James Watt and the Steam Engine, by Henry William Dickinson and Rhys Jenkins, first published in 1927. Statisticians Patricia Costigan-Eaves and Michael Macdonald-Ross wrote an influential article about Playfair in Statistical Sciences that repeated the quote. But an examination of the original source, Watt’s letters, finds that the quote is a misleading snippet of what is, in fact, Watt’s recommendation that Playfair receive a promotion: “I would recall Playfair who can do part of the business, & I think now you are at home you can contrive to gett him proper assistance—I must warn you that Playfair is a blunderer but I dare say he will be assiduous and obedient and plain direction must be given him.” While the word “blunderer” sounds a bit damning, it was a frequent epithet employed by Watt, even to himself. (Playfair, 344)

Historian Randolph G. Adams said, “Each generation has to rewrite history for itself-and some­times from the same sources used by previous generations.” (Romney, Rebecca and J.P. Romney, Printer’s Error: Irreverent Stories from Book History, Harper Collins, 2017, 284, quoting from Lawrence C. Wroth, Notes for Bibliophiles in the New-York Herald Tribune, 1937-1947, ed. Richard J. Ring, Ascencius Press, 2016, 128) Indeed, in Playfair’s case, the various misquotations, passages taken out of context, and even complete fabrications began to accumulate over time, taking on a life of their own, seeping into scholarship as well as popular media.

Line chart from William Playfair, Commercial and Political Atlas, 1786
William Playfair, Commercial and Political Atlas, 1786. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Another example uncovered by Berkowitz regards Playfair’s involvement in the first major political scandal in the newly formed United States. The so-called Scioto Affair was a land speculation gone bad involving Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and George Washington. One historian, Ephraim C. Dawes, largely pinned part of the scandal on Playfair. Berkowitz describes the historical puzzle as a bit like Akira Kurosawa’s famous samurai classic, Rashômon, where the witnesses all believe and describe different versions of the same event. Berkowitz shows how Dawes, however, was the great-grandson of Manasseh Cutler, and used his version of the affair to clear his relative’s name. A later historian, Theodore Thomas Belote, made Playfair the heavy, as a confidence man, embezzler, and schemer, without relying on historical evidence. Berkowitz uncovers the real story, however, by carefully analyzing original source documents, digging up existing transcriptions of letters that have disappeared, and discovering an unlikely source, a bilingual French schoolteacher who wrote her thesis and, later, a book published in French, about the tangled Scioto affair.

L.S. Stavrianos wrote, “Each generation must write its own history, not because past histories are untrue but because in a rapidly changing world new questions arise and new answers are needed.” (Stavrianos, L.S., Lifelines from Our Past: A New World History, M.E. Sharp, 2004, 13).

The most remarkable discovery in Playfair is how the author uncovers evidence that William Playfair diligently proposed, planned, and executed the first covert operation in history to collapse a nation’s economy. By printing vast amounts of counterfeit assignats, the paper currency France had adopted to pay for their government and wars, Playfair hoped to dismantle the French economy, in 1793, hindering the French revolution on behalf of the British.

Cover of Playfair by Bruce BerkowitzUncovering the true story was a challenge: Playfair never bragged about it, he never even mentioned it in his unpublished memoirs, and Playfair pioneered and employed elements of espionage “tradecraft” often used today to hide his tracks. Berkowitz uncovered substantial evidence for the op during his journey of writing the book, including various documents and letters. Among them was Playfair’s original plan for the counterfeiting operation, written in his hand and dated March 1793, but lost until now, found among Playfair’s other correspondence to British Secretary of State for War Henry Dundas. Also among the evidence for the operation were physical specimens: three paper molds found at the Haughton Castle mill. Two of the molds were used for counterfeiting assignats, and a third used for making notes for Playfair’s Original Security Bank (a story in and of itself). Berkowitz’s book offers an amazing story of finding the molds, mislabeled and misplaced, in Newcastle’s Discovery Museum, as he describes, “…Like the last scene of Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark: warehouse workers box the Ark of the Covenant, slot it into a vast sea of crates, and the credits roll as the artifact vanishes into the maw of a bureaucracy” (Playfair, 240).

Berkowitz writes about the importance of examining original source documents when uncovering facts and revealing the elusive truth to a story: “Transcripts [and citations] usually don’t include marginal notes, scribbles on the backs of documents, addresses, and postal markings, all of which can sometimes provide clues to piecing together a story. Besides, there’s nothing like handling an actual artifact. It’s a physical connection between you and the man you’re trying to figure out” (Playfair, 239). For this reason, Playfair’s endnotes include references not only to the citation used but also, wherever possible, to the original source document.

Berkowitz writes: “Analysis should also be cumulative. Everyone builds on others’ work, adding information and insight along the way. (And, when necessary, making corrections.) It’s all part of the process of creating knowledge. By making the source material easier to obtain, we hope to encourage others to follow up with their own research” (Playfair, 372).

The book has been an incredible journey, for the author and for our new, fledgling university press. We look forward to your comments and reaction.

 

Playfair: The True Story of the British Secret Agent Who Changed How We See the World, by Bruce Berkowitz, will be published by the George Mason University Press in November 2017.

Order from Amazon or from your favorite independent bookseller. George Mason University Press titles are distributed by University of Virginia Press and Longleaf Distribution.

 

This blog post is part of UP Week 2017: A Celebration of University Presses

See also:

Why University Presses Matter by Daniel Heath Justice

Scholarship Making a Difference by Gary Kramer

Tools for Surviving in a Post-Truth World

Scholarship Makes a Difference, by Al Bertrand

The Struggle for Equality, Recognition, and Reward, by Athena Coustenis and Thérèse Encrenaz

Winning Hearts and Minds: Publishing that Matters, by Anne Brakenbury

Knowledge and Facts Matter, by Nicole Mitchell

Mason Author Series with Patricia Ferrell Donahue

The University Libraries, Mason Publishing,
and the University Bookstore
present

Patricia Ferrell Donahue

Discussing her new book: Participation, Community, and Public Policy in a Virginia Suburb

Thursday, November 16
3:00-4:30 pm

Main Reading Room
Fenwick Library
Fairfax Campus

Participation, Community, and Public Policy in a Virginia Suburb (Cover)Participation, Community, and Public Policy in a Virginia Suburb challenges conventional wisdom about the nature of modern American communities. Through the story of Northern Virginia’s Pimmit Hills, she finds many more types of activities shape a community, than just those few typically tracked by social scientists, such as volunteering. Communities are the sum of a wide variety of participation—positive, negative, formal, informal, direct, and indirect. Pimmit Hills’s rich history will be familiar to those who grew up in middle-class suburbs, while its proximity to Washington, D.C. makes its story unique.

 

Patricia Ferrell DonahuePatricia Farrell Donahue received her M.A. in public policy from Georgetown University and Ph.D. in public policy from George Mason University. She is the 2014 Recipient of Mason’s Robert L. Fisher Award for Best Dissertation and Academic Achievement. She works as a senior policy analyst in the federal government, studying community and economic development, health, banking, defense, housing and other topics. She also serves as a Policy Fellow at Mason’s Schar School of Policy and Government.

Refreshments will be provided.

The Mason Author Series is co-sponsored by the University Bookstore.

Open Educational Resources Workshop—October 18, 2017

Workshop on Open Educational Materials, October 18, 2017
Discovering and Developing Open Educational Resources for Your Courses

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm, Fenwick Library, Room 1009.

Open Educational Resources (OERs) include materials for teaching, learning, and research that may be freely used and repurposed by others, because they reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license (such as Creative Commons) that permits their use and reuse. The high costs of textbooks have led universities including Mason to advance OER adoption to reduce the cost of instruction for students, improve teaching and learning outcomes, and enable better opportunities for students through open access to quality educational resources.

Mason 4-VA, in collaboration with Mason Publishing in the University Libraries and the Office of Digital Learning in the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning, has announced a call for proposals to encourage the use of OERs in innovative course redesign.

Competitive grants will be awarded ranging from $1000-$5000, depending on the nature of the work and the level of team collaboration. Larger amounts will be considered for projects that develop original materials. Courses targeted for the pilot include those with high enrollment numbers, are required courses for majors, count in the Mason Core, or carry high textbook costs. As part of this pilot project, Mason Publishing is assisting instructors in developing open textbooks and other open access materials.

RFP Open Educational Resources 2017

Attendees will learn from teams who have successfully incorporated OERs in online and face-to-face classrooms. Participants will also learn about opportunities to develop textbooks and other materials with Mason Publishing, and how to identify and quality open textbooks as a replacement to higher cost textbooks.

Mason Author Series with Sam Lebovic

The University Libraries, Mason Publishing,
and the University Bookstore
present

Sam Lebovic

Discussing his book: Free Speech and Unfree News: The Paradox of Press Freedom in America

Thursday, October 4th
3:00-4:30 pm

Book cover: Free Speech and Unfree News
Free Speech and Unfree News: The Paradox of Press Freedom in America

Main Reading Room
Fenwick Library
Fairfax Campus

Does America have a free press? Many who answer yes appeal to First Amendment protections that shield the press from government censorship. But in this comprehensive history of American

press freedom as it has existed in theory, law, and practice, Sam Lebovic shows that, on its own, the right of free speech has been insufficient to guarantee a free press.

Winner of the prestigious 2017 Ellis W. Hawley Prize, Organization of American Historians.

Free Speech and Unfree News compels us to reexamine assumptions about what freedom of the press means in a democratic society.

 

Sam Lebovic is Assistant Professor of History at George Mason University
Professor Sam Lebovic

Sam Lebovic is Assistant Professor of History at George Mason University, where he directs the Ph.D. program in History and serves as associate editor of the Journal of Social History.  His research focuses on the history of American politics, culture, and media, and his essays and articles have been widely published.  Lebovic teaches a wide range of subjects in modern American and global history, and he is currently researching the mid-century history of cultural globalization.

Refreshments will be provided.

The Mason Author Series is co-sponsored by the University Bookstore.