Race and Gender Speaker Series with Meenakshi Gigi Durham

April 25, 2012 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm | Flaherty Community Room, Basile Hall

GigiMeenakshi Gigi Durham, acclaimed author of The Lolita Effect, will serve as the speaker for Mount Mercy’s Race and Gender Speaker Series on Wednesday, April 25, at 7:00 p.m. in Flaherty Community Room of Basile Hall. Durham is an associate professor of journalism and mass communication at The University of Iowa. With a joint appointment in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at The University of Iowa, Durham centers her work on media and politics of the body, emphasizing gender, sexuality, race, and youth cultures.

The Lolita Effect The Media Sexualization of Young Girls and What We Can Do About It (Overlook 2008) brought an explosive review of the myths young boys and girls face in society about sex and sexuality. In her book, Durham emphasizes how the “Lolita Effect” diminishes confidence in young girls and can ultimately lead to sex crimes. By understanding the myths associated with the “Lolita Effect,” Durham says girls are better able to make healthy decisions regarding their sexuality, and protect themselves from a potentially harmful image created by media and society.

Durham, recipient of a Faculty Scholar Award from The University of Iowa, has also been published in academic journals including Critical Studies in Media Communication, Communication Theory, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, and Women’s Studies in Communication. She co-authored Media and Cultural Studies: KeyWorks (Blackwell, 2001, rev. 2006) with Douglas M. Kellner.

She has served on a number of editorial boards for scholarly journals, including Feminist Media Studies and the Journal of Communication. She was also on the advisory board for the Encyclopedia of Children, Adolescents and the Media. In 2010 her essay “Grieving,” was published by the Harvard Review, and was selected for publication in the 2011 Best American Essays anthology.

The Race and Gender Speaker Series provides an opportunity for a greater understanding of global trends with presentations on race, gender, minorities, and cultural differences. Offered every other year at Mount Mercy, this series is designed to provide new perspective on issues affecting the region and the world, both past and present.


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