May 27, 2004

McMaster attracts widely acclaimed U.S. scholar Henry Giroux

Former Penn State professor known for groundbreaking thinking on culture, education

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Henry Giroux, internationally-renowned educator and holder of the Global Television Network Chair in Communications in the Faculty of Humanities at McMaster University.

Hamilton, ON - Peter George, President of McMaster University, today announced that Henry Giroux, an internationally-renowned educator from Pennsylvania’s Penn State University has accepted the Global Television Network Chair in Communications in the Faculty of Humanities at McMaster University. He will begin lecturing this fall in the Communication Studies Program and the Department of English.

Giroux was named in 2002 as one of the 20th century’s top contributors in “Fifty Modern Thinkers on Education”. He ends a 12-year term at Pennsylvania State University as the Waterbury Chair in the College of Education. He has written more than 300 articles and 40 books and had his work translated into languages around the world.

“McMaster’s community is extremely pleased to welcome Henry Giroux as Global Television Chair,” the McMaster president said. “We have a culture of innovation at our University which is second to none in the country. Henry Giroux is renowned for breaking down barriers in cultural and education studies and we look forward to the explosion of ideas we know he will generate on campus.”

For more than a decade, Giroux has focused on linking education and cultural studies with developing a more democratic culture and citizenry in a series of books and articles. Giroux is particularly well known for his work on critical pedagogy, youth studies, film studies, and cultural politics. For example, in The Mouse that Roared, he critically examined how the Disney corporation has turned childhood into a function of consumerism.

“McMaster is a cutting edge university that takes the study of humanities very seriously,” said Mr. Giroux of his decision to choose McMaster and move to Canada. “I am excited about continuing my career at a University which is so entirely committed to an interdisciplinary approach to learning.”

“McMaster Humanities prides itself in thinking outside the box, encouraging learning that crosses boundaries and disciplines,” says Nasrin Rahimieh, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities. “Henry Giroux has been a magnet for students in the United States and we are pleased that our students and faculty will now be challenged and have an opportunity to grow with Henry. He will play a pivotal role in shaping our Faculty's vision of interdisciplinarity.”

McMaster launched its Communication Studies program housed within the Faculty of Humanities in fall 2001. The Chair in Communications, made possible by a $1-million gift from the CanWest Global Foundation, advances the inter-disciplinary program’s mandate in communication research.

“CanWest endowed the Chair at McMaster precisely because we wanted to help attract scholars with an international reputation of the calibre of Henry Giroux,” said Leonard J. Asper, President and CEO, CanWest Global Communications Corp. “McMaster has already proved it lives on the frontier of new teaching and judging by Henry Giroux’s resume, I have no doubt he will push this frontier.”