My University of the World

Adventures of an International Film & Media Maker

Non-Fiction - Memoir
522 Pages
Reviewed on 10/26/2023
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Author Biography

I am a creative nonfiction writer based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This memoir is a stand-alone sequel to my first travel memoir, Finding Myself in Borneo: Sojourns in Sabah, which has won three awards. I hope this book will entertain and educate readers on the wider world, as well as stimulate others to explore and travel while deciding on a career, or challenge more experienced people to write about their own careers. I hold a bachelor’s degree from the University of Calgary, Canada, and a master’s degree in Communication from Florida State University. I worked internationally for 45 years, becoming an expert in the field of communication for behavior and social change. I directed and produced a number of award-winning documentary films/videos, popular multimedia initiatives, and have written numerous articles and three books in the field of development communication. During my international career, I was employed by Canadian University Service Overseas (now Cuso International); the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada; UNICEF in Asia and Africa; Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland; the Academy for Educational Development and FHI 360, Washington, D.C. I worked and lived in Malaysia, Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, and Russia for a total of 18 years and traveled to over 80 countries on short-term assignments. In 2015, I settled in New Mexico, where I use my varied experiences, memories, and imagination in creative writing.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

My University of the World: Adventures of an International Film & Media Maker is a work of non-fiction in the memoir, adventure, and culture subgenres. It is suitable for the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Neill McKee. This captivating work takes readers on an incredible journey through the evolving landscapes of the developing world. McKee's narrative is a rich tapestry of his experiences, told with humor and poignant insights, which provide a unique perspective on world development. From his early days as a one-man film crew documenting the lives of Canadian CUSO volunteers in Asia and Africa to his time with Canada's Development Research Centre, McKee's journey is a testament to the power of storytelling through film. The book is filled with vivid descriptions of the people and places he encounters, along with striking images that breathe life into the narrative.

Author Neill McKee has crafted a compelling read for those interested in global affairs, international development, media production, and unique career trajectories. What makes this memoir special is its combination of adventure, personal challenges, and dedication to making a difference in the world, all wrapped in a highly immersive and friendly narrative style that feels like you really get to know Neill personally. Readers will appreciate the depth of McKee's experiences thanks to the clear passion with which he writes about the positive impact he desires to have on the world, and it’s this enthusiastic storytelling that gives the memoir its most inspiring moments. Overall, My University of the World is a poignant and uplifting reflection on the enduring effects of media creation for social change and development, and I sincerely hope that all who read it are also inspired to create positive change in the world around them.