Professor Paul Levitz To Teach The Future

Pace University of New York City and Westchester County has appointed Paul Levitz as a professor for their upcoming semester. But rather than just concentrating on his past in publishing, he’ll be teaching about the future. He’ll be teaching PUB 615, Comics & Graphic Novels this autumn, before moving to PUB 619, The Future of Publishing: Transmedia.

Paul Levitz writes about his upcoming position;

If you told me when I first sat down at an Assistant Editor’s desk that I’d be trading in my typewriter, rubber cement and rubdown Letraset for a computer more powerful than the multi-million one that filled the publishing company’s basement, I would have accused you of escaping from one of the science fiction comics I wrote.  So I hesitate to predict what technologies the current Pace Publishing students will end up commanding.  But I am convinced that the core competencies of managing creative people and processes will remain vital to our society, and as media change and converge, the need for publishing skills will continue.  With that in mind, the new PUB 619, The Future of Publishing: Transmedia, was shaped to give students an overview of how to think about managing content as it travels across different forms.

Part of the joy of my years running DC Comics was looking at my calendar, and seeing my day move from discussions with writers and artists to directors, animators, video game creators, television showrunners, and even people experimenting in media forms that didn’t really exist (yet).  It’s an experience that will be shared by more people in the future, as media collide, converge, and become increasingly reliant on each other.  With numberless channels to choose from, and all of our centuries of creativity becoming available in the cloud, brands and curators become more important, not less, and many future guides through this confusing time may come from our halls.

So let’s look backward, and examine how and why Baum’s OZ lived on in forms as varied as THE WIZ and WICKED, and whether losing Kansas helped its survival; consider the commonalities of POKEMON, Harry Potter, and…oh…perhaps the ADDAMS FAMILY, to deduce the qualities that enable properties to prosper across media; talk about our roles working with talent in the varied structures that unique forms demand; and imagine together what the future might be like.

There’s got to be a certain pleasure in a class where the instructor comes in admitting he not only doesn’t know all the answers, he’s not sure what the questions are going to be, right?”

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