Limestone University Professor Dr. Randy D. Nichols recently presented at the Popular Culture Association's 2023 National Conference in San Antonio.
The annual conference highlights the work of hundreds of scholars across various fields related to contemporary issues.
During the conference last month, Nichols presented a paper titled, “The Book of the Machines (Redux),” which examines the development of mechanical consciousness and the relationship of humans to technology. Over time, Nichols argues, “we (users) are being changed by the accommodations we make for our machines.”
The presentation was in partnership with a report by UX Research Specialist and Director of the Usability Testing Facility at Clemson University, Dr. Tharon Howard. It highlighted changes in social media platforms and suggested critical responses for educators to emerging issues in digital culture.
“I have been a long-time digital optimist and have seen my job as that of preparing my students to create, compete, and excel in the increasingly digital landscape of the future,” Nichols said. “But, in light of recent trends, I now feel it is also my job to teach them to be wary of the very environment in which they must communicate in the brave new digital world.”
The mission of the Popular Culture Association (PCA) is to promote the study of popular culture throughout the world through the establishment and promotion of conferences, publications, and discussion. The PCA actively tries to identify and recruit new areas of scholarly exploration and to be open to new and innovative ideas.
Nichols is Professor of Professional Communication at Limestone where he teaches communication courses and directs the undergraduate program in Professional Communication. He received a bachelor’s degree in Pastoral Ministries from Southeastern University in 1982, a master’s in English Literature from Rutgers University in 2006, and his doctorate in Rhetorics, Communication, & Information Design in 2011 from Clemson University.
He was presented the Fullerton Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award in 2014 and the 2021 Presidential Excellence Award for Classroom High Impact Practices.