In another of our continuing series of programs with Tangier's King Fahd School of Translation (part of Abdelmalek Essaadi University), TALIM hosted a full house of students in the communications master's program.
The topic was reception theory.
Now, your correspondent may be a practitioner of communication – blogging, public speaking, media interviews – but I had never before come across reception theory.
For me, since most of the presentations were in Modern Standard Arabic, I enjoyed the capsule summaries provided by Prof. Tayib Boutbouqalt, sitting next to me. Especially his take on the students in his program, probably a good third of whom would be known in the US as "continuing education," "non-traditional," or "mature" students. According to Dr. Boutbouqalt, this is a very recent phenomenon in Morocco, which is to be lauded for including professionals in the mix of these graduate classes.
Yesterday's group, for example, included several working journalists and practitioners of corporate communication. One of the mature students even did a stint as a political prisoner in the days when Morocco had a number of people who paid the price for nonconformity. Now this person is a civil servant, practicing his journalism in the cause of his country – and taking classes in things like reception theory.
Okay, back to RT. Reception theory, in case you didn't look at the cartoons, is the study of how messages are understood differently by people with different backgrounds. You can see a whole bunch of slides on RT by clicking here.
After a wide range of presentations from different schools of thought and linguistic sources, the students engaged in some Q & A. One question – unanswered – was how reception theory has fared in these days of Facebook, Twitter, etc. I have a feeling – simply from the average age of much work done on RT, as seen in these JSTOR search results – that the field may have had its heyday in the pre-internet 1980s.
But then, what do I know? Did you receive me? Over and out.