Harvey Jassem

Harvey Jassem

“When I grew up in New York City, there were about 8 million people living there. There still are, though the icon of tall brick and stone and iron buildings built upon the bedrock of New York, and the eight million number might suggest a stability that does not exist in that city nor many others. Cities are some of our oldest places, yet they are awash in change. Immigrants flock to cities. The middle class leaves. Power brokers and moneyed interests rub up against the homeless. Outsiders say they want to visit but not live there. Dreamers come to make it in the city. Those who leave failed or simply chose to live a “simpler life.” In my youth, Al Kooper cried out “New York City, you’re a woman. Cold-hearted bitch, ought to be your name. Oh you ain’t never loved nobody, still I’m drawn to you like a moth to flame.” Cities light us up. But they are not easy.

Cities are complex and multifaceted. There are big ones and small ones. Growing ones and shrinking ones. Hot, cold, new, old, artistic, repressive. And so it goes. Still, there are things that are unique to cities. At their core, they are crowded places where people live and work in close proximity to one another. And what makes that interesting to me is all of the communication interactions that affords and demands. That both the social butterfly and the hermit live next to each other, that the power of the city is in all of the stuff that transpires between its inhabitants, and that while the uniform stays the same, the players who make up the city constantly change, make an intellectual gaze on urban communication fascinating.”

Harvey Jassem , Ph.D., is Professor of Communication at the University of Hartford. His research focuses on communication and media policy and has appeared in a wide variety of outlets. His interest in democratizing communication opportunities, coupled with a New York City upbringing, lead naturally to an appreciation for the study of communication in urban contexts. Urban areas have traditionally been the centers for culture and idea formation/dissemination. Focusing on urban communication sheds light on both the urban contexts and the resultant communication which affects cultures and nations more broadly.