Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Mass Communication and Media Arts

First Advisor

Metz, Walter


This project adopts the framework of World Systems Analysis [WSA], formulated by global sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein, to take the entire world system as the unit of analysis. Drawing on the work of Paulo Freire, the seminal theorist of critical pedagogy, this project couples WSA with the analytic lens of public pedagogy to overcome the conceptual limitations of ideology and of various postmodern critiques. Primary media sources are used for purposes of critical political economy, to outline the contours of economic changes and class formations from the first world revolution. A detailed descriptive history of the revolutions that swept across Europe in 1848 recovers narratives from that critical juncture. I discuss prominent public pedagogies via analysis of primary print media sources like the London Times. Focusing on hegemonic shifts in the world system around 1848, I throw light on movement-media cracks in the British Empire, while also uncovering oft-ignored resistance, insurrections and utopian experiments in the Americas. Pedagogies of conspiracy theory and Manifest Destiny legitimated US aggression against Mexico as the former took initial steps toward becoming a world system superpower. Problems and pedagogies from 1848 are also updated and examined in light of the contemporary society-media context to consider cracks in the existing system and learn from the past new possible paths out of the world system’s terminal structural crisis.




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