Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Michael C. Keith to retire from Boston College

Michael C. Keith

 My friend Michael C. Keith is retiring after many years teaching at Boston College. Mike has written extensively about radio and the media in general, and has regaled me with many stories from the trenches. He is one of the most noted scholars on the social impact and the role of the radio in American culture. Keith has written prolifically in this genre as well as in fiction, poetry, and memoir. I have used his memoir The Next Better Place in many of my creative writing classes at Endicott College. The students always respond well to his sad and comic recount of his youth spent on the road with his gone-to-seed dad. Keith has lectured in my classes and has been very supportive of my work. I met him through Robin Stratton--founder of the Newton Writing and Publishing Center. Keith--who is a board member at the center--was one of the folks who awarded me their Allen Ginsberg Award.  Keith--to use a cliche is a "regular guy" despite his distinguished career. He is always quick with a handshake and a smile. I am sure he is going to continue to do great things in the years to come...


Michael C. Keith (born in Albany, New York) is an American media historian and author. He has served as a faculty member of the Boston College Communication Department [1] since 1993 and is the author of some two dozen books on media. He is one of the country's foremost authorities on the social impact and role of radio in American culture. He has lectured in Russia, Spain, Tanzania, and at several institutions in the U.S. and Canada.

Keith served as a visiting professor at George Washington University and Marquette University and Director of Telecommunications at Dean College. He frequently appears in both American and foreign media as an authority on electronic media. Prior to becoming a full-time academic in the late 1970s, he worked as a broadcast professional for more than a decade.

Keith's substantial published output melds his own experience, an excellent network of contacts in and beyond the radio business, and careful research, to produce solid analysis of what a growing number in and out of the industry see as the growing crisis of broadcast radio. A number of his books have been co-authored with Robert Hilliard, now retired from Emerson College. The team usually works this way—with Keith conceiving the topic and doing much of the initial legwork research and Hilliard taking on the initial book manuscript draft. They both work on the final version. Their co-authored works, and those of Keith alone, often tackle controversial topics such as the demise of local radio programming (2005); the legal intricacies of indecent or even obscene programming (2003); the use of radio by extreme hate groups (1999), a title on President's Clinton's summer reading list one year; and the use of radio by Native Americans (1995), the first monograph to appear on that topic. Keith has been a Stanton Fellow of the International Radio & Television Society and received the Distinguished Scholar Award given by the Broadcast Education Association and the Achievement Award in the Humanities by the University of Rhode Island.

In addition to his many media books and academic articles, Keith has written a well-reviewed memoir of his unconventional childhood years—The Next Better Place (Algonquin Books, 2003) [2] [3] [4] [5] —as well as a coming of age novel, Life is Falling Sideways (Parlance, 2009). Recently, he has written an ever-expanding list of short stories, which have appeared in numerous online journals, such as The Literati Quarterly, "The Penmen Review," "Lowestoft Chronicle," and annual anthologies. Collections of his stories––"Hoag's Object" (Whiskey Creek Press), "And Through the Trembling Air" and "Of Night and Light" (Blue Mustang Press),"Sad Boy" (Big Table Publishing), "Everything is Epic" (Silver Birch Press), "The Collector of Tears" (Underground Voices), "If Things Were Made To Last Forever" (Big Table Publishing), "Caricatures" (Strange Days Books), "The Near Enough" (Cold River Press), "Bits, Specks, Crumbs, Flecks" (Vraeyda Literary), "Slow Transit" (Cervena Barva Press) and "Perspective Drifts Like a Log on a River" (PalmArtPress) are available in paperback editions and in ebook formats. His fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Pen/O.Henry Award, among others.

1 comment:

  1. I have been so proud, happy and honored to know Sir Michael C. Keith (I dubbed him "Sir"). I have learned much from him no only in his writing, but also from his kind friendship. He will continue to be an inspiration to me in writing better prose. Thank you, so much, Sir Michael!