Media Literacy Week Author Talk with Renee Hobbs - National Council of Teachers of English

Author Talk with Renee Hobbs


NCTE presented this event in partnership with the National Association for Media Literacy Education as part of Media Literacy Week on October 27, 2020. Hobbs was interviewed by NCTE members Lauren Leigh Kelly and Nicole Mirra.

Propaganda is inescapable. It’s everywhere. Students need to analyze, resist, critique—and create.


Media literacy educators have always insisted that we are both creators and receivers of media messages. The truth of this is even more apparent in today’s digital environment, with children and adults alike participating in a ubiquitous, nonstop stream of social media. Clearly, students need the tools to interpret news and information critically—not just for school but for life in a “post-truth” world, where the lines blur between entertainment, information, and persuasion.


Renee Hobbs demonstrates how a global perspective on contemporary propaganda enables educators to stimulate both the intellectual curiosity and the cultural sensitivities of students. Replete with classroom and online learning activities and samples of student work, Mind Over Media: Propaganda Education for a Digital Age provides a state-of-the-art look at the theory and practice of propaganda in contemporary society, and shows how to build learners’ critical thinking and communication skills on topics including computational propaganda, content marketing, fake news, and disinformation.



RENEE HOBBS is a world-renowned authority on digital and media literacy education. Through community and global service and as a researcher, teacher, advocate, and media professional, Hobbs has worked to advance the quality of digital and media literacy education in the United States and around the world. She is founder and director of the Media Education Lab, whose mission is to improve the quality of media literacy education through research and community service. She is the author of 10 books and over 150 scholarly articles on digital and media literacy. She is also a long term and highly active NCTE member!



LAUREN LEIGH KELLY is an assistant professor in the Urban Social Justice Teacher Education program at Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Education. She is also the founder of the annual Hip Hop Youth Research and Activism Conference. Kelly taught high school English for ten years in New York, where she also developed courses in Hip Hop Literature and Culture, Spoken Word poetry, and Theatre Arts. She was also the recipient of a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Boston University, studying the development of critical consciousness amongst high school students. Kelly’s research focuses on adolescent critical literacy development, Black feminist theory, Hip Hop pedagogy, critical consciousness, and the development of critical, culturally sustaining pedagogies. Her work on Hip Hop literacies and critical consciousness has been published in academic journals such as Learning, Media, & Technology, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, English Journal, and Youth & Society, and has been featured in Education Week, Education Update, and School Library Journal.


NICOLE MIRRA is an assistant professor of urban teacher education in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She previously taught high school English language arts in Brooklyn, New York, and Los Angeles, California. Her research explores the intersections of critical literacy and civic engagement with youth and teachers across classroom, community, and digital learning environments. Central to her research and teaching agenda is a commitment to honoring and amplifying the literacy practices and linguistic resources that students from minoritized communities bring to civic life. In addition to Educating for Empathy: Literacy Learning and Civic Engagement (Teachers College Press, 2018), she is the lead author of Doing Youth Participatory Action Research: Transforming Inquiry with Researchers, Educators, and Students (Routledge, 2015).