James W. Carey, CBS Professor of International Journalism at Columbia, died in his sleep last night. Carey is a giant among those who see communication and culture as inseparable. As such, many of the students in my former department at Buffalo were likely only briefly exposed to his ideas. Nonetheless, there are few–myself included–who have not benefited by his broad view of the importance of communication to the structure of society and the way we know ourselves.
While the popularity of cultural studies in the United States may wax and wane, thoughtful theoretical work will always be needed, and Carey will remain vitally important to the field. He knew that scholarship is more than knowledge, it is about telling a story. Go now and read Where journalism education went wrong to get a feel. He will be missed, even by those who knew him only through his writing.