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Center for Policy Studies

Public Affairs Discussion Group

Mass Murder for the Media: The Breivik Case in Norway

Mark Turner, Ph.D. - Institute Professor and Professor of Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University
Friday April 19, 2013
12:30-1:30 p.m.

***Special Location: Inamori Center, Crawford Hall Room 9***
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

Audiences are increasingly familiar with shocking news reports of multiple murder by a shooter whose motives, actions, and goals seem strange, disproportionate, even unaccountable. The deep, sustained, almost unparalleled media attention is predictable, with elaborate analyses of cause, motive, and goal. Could it be that the attention we are giving these stories is backfiring, and itself becoming a causal factor in triggering these events?

Mark Turner, Institute Professor and Professor of Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University, will be joined through videoconference by Francis Steen, Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, to present a case study of a shooter that suggests that this is a real danger.

In July of 2011, Anders Behring Breivik planned and executed a carefully laid out set of strategies that resulted in bombed government buildings, 77 dead, and 319 injured. Leading up to the events, Breivik prepared an elaborate press kit, including a manifesto and a YouTube publicity video. The media coverage predictably opens up a demand for an explanation; Breivik acted to create such a demand in order to fill it with his message. He studied how to increase his media reach by choosing multiple high-profile targets and combining an urban explosion with a lone shooter’s hours-long sustained massacre of innocents. His proactive use of media attention raises ethical questions, not easily answered, about the responsibility of viewers and the media. Steen and Turner co-direct the Red Hen Lab, which is dedicated to research on multimodal communication, using a vast and growing
archive of recordings of international network news broadcasts. They were fellows of the Centre for Advanced Study at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo during the Breivik events.

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guest...

Mark Turner is Institute Professor and Professor of Cognitive Science at Case Western Reserve University. He is the founding director of the Cognitive Science Network and co-director of the Red Hen Lab. His most recent book publications are Ten Lectures on Mind and Language 2011. Eminent Linguists Lecture Series. Beijing: FLTR Press) and two edited volumes, The Artful Mind: Cognitive Science and the Riddle of Human Creativity, from Oxford University Press, and Meaning, Form, & Body, edited with Fey Parrill and Vera Tobin, published by the Center for the Study of Language and Information. His other books and articles include Cognitive Dimensions of Social Science: The Way We Think about Politics, Economics, Law, and Society (Oxford), The Literary Mind: The Origins of Thought and Language (Oxford), Reading Minds: The Study of English in the Age of Cognitive Science (Princeton), and Death is the Mother of Beauty (Chicago). He has been a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the National Humanities Center, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Advanced Study of Durham University, and the Centre for Advanced Study at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. He is a fellow of the Institute for the Science of Origins, external research professor at the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study in Cognitive Neuroscience, distinguished fellow at the New England Institute for Cognitive Science and Evolutionary Psychology, and Extraordinary Member of the Humanwissenschaftsliches Zentrum. In 1996, the Académie française awarded him the Prix du Rayonnement de la langue et de la littérature françaises.

Parking Possibilities

The Inamori Center is located in the lower level of Crawford Hall, which is the first building on your right if you enter the campus area from the west, driving on Euclid. There is a small pay-parking lot in between Crawford Hall and Amasa Stone Chapel, and a few spaces may be available there. Otherwise, it may be necessary to park further away, such as in the Severance Hall underground garage or Veale Center or one of the hospital garages. From Severance it would be simplest to go from the garage into Severance Hall and out the door on Euclid Ave; then cross Euclid and Adelbert, walk up the diagonal path into the Case Quad, and turn right to get to Crawford.

The entrance to Crawford Hall is at the plaza level, so uphill from the parking lot. It might be possible to enter from Crawford's garage, but I don't want to promise that. From the main entrance one can walk down the stairs or take the elevator to G to get to the Inamori Center.

Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

April 26: From a Moment to a Movement for Children? Doug Imig, Professor of Political Science, University of Memphis
***Special Location: Spartan Room, Thwing Student Center**
April 15, 2013

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Upcoming Events

The Myth of the Rising Tide: Do Immigrants Threaten the West?

A discussion with Doug Saunders, European Bureau Chief for the Toronto Globe and Mail, Wednesday April 17, 2013 at 12:30 p.m., 1914 Lounge, Thwing Student Center. This event is free and open to the public and refreshments are provided.

Doug Saunders is European Bureau Chief for the Toronto Globe and Mail and contributes a weekly column on global social and political trends. His second and current book, "The Myth of the Muslim Tide: Do Immigrants Threaten the West?", details both the popular myths of the "Islamic threat" to the West after 9/11 and the actual realities of Muslim immigration, integration, and public perception. Saunders’s visit to Cleveland is sponsored by the British Council’s Our Shared Future program, which seeks to “improve the public conversation about Muslims and intercultural relations in the US and Europe.”

The Facebook Disruption: How Social Media May Transform Civil Litigation and Facilitate Access to Justice

A discussion with Cassandra Burke Robertson, J.D., Professor of Law, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Wednesday May 8, 2013, 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m., the City Club of Cleveland, 850 Euclid Ave., 2nd floor.

Facebook and other social media are likely to have a disruptive effect on civil litigation. They supply a tremendous amount of information, connectivity, and communication in ways that may empower self-represented litigants — and they do so at a time when the American middle class is under a great deal of economic pressure and faces substantial difficulty in paying for legal representation. This presentation describes how middle-class litigants may embrace the legal support offered online, including easier access to relevant evidence, crowd sourcing of legal information and advice, automated and semi-automated legal services, and assistance from offshore legal service providers. At the outset, these services may initially appeal primarily to those who currently struggle to afford access to the justice system. Nevertheless, if they follow the trend of other disruptive innovations, online legal support services may well compete in higher-end legal markets in the future. This presentation will discuss the professionalism issues raised by the growing use of social media and will discuss how the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct interact with social media issues.

April 2013







































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