Best-selling author visits teaches U classes

by Sam Kean

Jon Katz, a journalism professor in residence, has written two recent best-selling books, “Geeks” and “Running to the Mountain.”
Katz has worked as a columnist at Wired, Rolling Stone and the Boston Globe and as an executive producer for CBS Morning News. Currently he writes for and the Freedom Forum Web site.
Drawing on his insights on the social aspects of technology, Katz is teaching two University courses during the month of October.
Currently, Katz is teaching a one-month course titled “Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, and the Unabomber,” which deals with free speech and ethics surrounding technology. He also instructs a class on essay writing.
In his time here, Katz said, he will help the University adjust its curriculum to address students who have grown up in a highly technological world.
In part, his teaching focuses on student restlessness in traditional education and the resistance of others to change.
Katz said he chose to teach at the University because of the school’s commitment to adapt to new technology, pointing to the renovations at Murphy Hall. This commitment, he says, is not held at many top universities.
Outside the classroom, Katz will join Star Tribune restaurant critic Jeremy Iggers in a discussion titled, “Is the Media Dead?” on Oct. 24 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the School of Journalism’s Conference Center.
He’s also holding a book signing for “Geeks” at the University Bookstore at 1 p.m. on Oct. 25.
Katz will speak at the College of Liberal Arts Symposium on Wednesday from 3 to 5 p.m. in Humphrey Center’s Cowles Auditorium. A reception in the Humphrey atrium will follow the symposium.

Sam Kean welcomes comments at [email protected]