Global Studies Prof. Awarded 2020 Piskor Lectureship
St. Lawrence University’s 2020 Frank P. Piskor Lectureship has been awarded to John Collins, professor of global studies. The position includes research funding for a scholarly project and a public lecture to be held in in the spring semester.
Collins’ project, titled “The Deepest Fake News: Establishment Media and the Erasure of the Colonial Present,” explores patterns in news coverage in influential U.S. media outlets, such as The New York Times, CNN, and National Public Radio. His specific focus is on the issue of settler colonialism, a term used by scholars to designate forms of colonization that seek to displace or eliminate one or more indigenous societies in order to create a new, settler-based society.
“The project begins from the assumption that settler-colonial projects, rather than being located only in the past, are a defining aspect of present-day realities—in effect, the deepest of deep structures—in a range of locations including the U.S., Canada, Australia and Palestine/Israel,” writes Collins. “My working hypothesis is that establishment media play a significant role in rendering these realities invisible or poorly understood, thereby blunting the power of the critiques offered by the indigenous victims of settler colonial projects and making it difficult for members of settler communities to come to terms with their privileges and ethical responsibilities.”
Collins has published widely on the Palestinian liberation struggle, most recently in his 2011 book, Global Palestine (Hurst and Oxford University Press). He is currently working with Somdeep Sen ’07, postdoc at Roskilde University in Denmark, on an edited volume examining the global proliferation of “collateral language” in the two decades following the attacks of September 11, 2001.
In addition to his scholarly work, Collins is a founder of Weave News, an independent media platform focused on underreported stories, and currently serves at the organization’s editorial director. He earned his master’s and Ph.D. in comparative studies in discourse and society from the University of Minnesota and is an original member of St. Lawrence’s Global Studies department, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2020.