Borer Gives 2015 George Herbert Mead Lecture

Michael Ian Borer (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) gave 2015 George Herbert Mead Lecture during the annual convention of National Communication Association (NCA), November 19-22, Rio Conference Center, Las Vegas, NV.  Denise Polk (West Chester University) presided at the lecture.

Borer’s lecture is entitled, “Sensuous Knowledge and the Rise of Aesthetic Urbanism.”  In the lecture, Borer indicates that cities are dense sensory environments.  He notes that cities are chock full of distinctive smells, sounds, and tastes, as well as visual and tactile stimuli, each needing interpretation and subsequently endowed with a range of symbolic meanings. In order to recognize the sensuous ways that cities communicate with those who live, work, or play within them, Borer argues that we need to attune our bodies-as instruments of knowledge and power-to the production and consumption of aesthetic urban experiences.  Borer discusses classical and contemporary symbolic interactionism-broadly defined-provides analytical and methodological support for such an endeavor.

George Herbert Mead Lecture Series is an annual presentation established by the branch unit of Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction (SSSI) in NCA conventions since 2008.  The purpose of the lecture series is to promote the study of symbolic interactionism in the field of communication. The lecture serves to engage dialogues, discussions, and collaboration efforts between sociologists and communication researchers.  NCA is the oldest academic organization in the field of communication, with a membership of more than 9000 worldwide.  NCA Convention is attended by more than 5000 scholars, researchers, practitioners and students in the field of communication annually.  Past Mead Lecture presenters include Michael Katovich (2008), Gary Alan Fine (2009), Kathy Charmaz (2010), Christopher Faircloth (2011), Carolyn Ellis (2012), Natalia Ruiz-Junco (2013).

For more information about Mead Lecture Series, please contact Shing-Ling Sarina Chen (, coordinator of SSSI-NCA Unit.