© Douglas Kellner and Figure/Ground Communication Dr. Kellner was interviewed by Laureano Ralon and Justin Dowdall on August 13th, 2012 as part of the Figure/Ground Communication scholarly interview series.
Douglas Kellner is a “third generation” critical theorist in the tradition of the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research, or Frankfurt School. Kellner was an early theorist of the field of critical media literacy and has been a leading theorist of media culture generally. In his recent work, he has increasingly argued that media culture has become dominated by the forms of spectacle and mega-spectacle. He also has contributed important studies of alter-globalization processes, and has always been concerned with counter-hegemonic movements and alternative cultural expressions in the name of a more radically democratic society. Kellner has written with a number of authors, including (with Steven Best) an award-winning trilogy of books on postmodern turns in philosophy, the arts, and in science and technology. More recently, he is known for his work exploring the politically oppositional potentials of new media and attempted to delineate what they term “multiple technoliteracies” as a movement away from the present attempt to standardize a corporatist form of computer literacy. Previously, Kellner served as the literary executor of the famed documentary film maker Emile de Antonio and is presently overseeing the publication of six volumes of the collected papers of the critical theorist Herbert Marcuse. At present, Kellner is the George Kneller Chair in the Philosophy of Education in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.