July 08, 2009

Global Media Research Center plans lecture series

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Global Media Research Center fall 2009 speaker series will explore a variety of topics, including feminism, racism, digital gaming and Japanese animation.

The topics are “alternately hot-button and sensitive,” said John Downing, a professor in radio-television and Global Media Research Center director.

“These issues are American, but also global,” he said. “They are often interlinked and in many ways. Gender and ‘race’ issues almost always intersect; media-makers persist in exploring fresh options, (and) communication technologies convey the worst and best.”

All of the events are free and open to the public.

Meenakshi Gigi Durham, an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Iowa, leads off the fall series at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 14. She will discuss girls and sexuality in international media, Downing said.

Established in 2004, the Global Media Research Center’s mission includes assembling a core group of faculty, graduate and undergraduate students to research global media issues, establish national and international partnerships to promote research and play host to visiting scholars and artists as it seeks to develop new courses addressing global media issues.

The Global Media Research Center is within the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts. The center’s Web site is http://gmrc.siu.edu/.

Other speakers during in the fall 2009 GMRC speaker series are:

  • Sept. 28 -- 4:30 p.m., Communications Building, room 1032. Anne Elizabeth Moore, School of the Art Institute, Chicago. “The Advantage and Disadvantage of Zine: The First Generation of Khmer Feminists Reinvent Democracy.” Moore will discuss how young Cambodian women “combated their marginalization by developing their own publishing media,” Downing said.
  • Oct. 8 -- 4:30 p.m., Communications Building, room 1032. Angharad Valdivia, research professor, College of Media, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Uses and Abuses of Hybridity: Contemporary Mainstream Latinidad as the Malleable Construct.” Valdivia will discuss the contradictory ways Latinas and Latinos get defined in the media system, Downing said.
  • Oct. 12 -- 4:30 p.m., Communications Building, room 1032. Margaret Hunter, associate professor of sociology, Mills College, Oakland, Calif. “Skin Color, Global Racism, and the Shifting Policies of Feminism.” Author of the 2005 book, “Race, Gender, and the Politics of Skin Tone,” Hunter will address the issue of skin tones, “especially the strong media tendency across the planet to favor light skin-tones among actors and models of color,” Downing said.
  • Oct. 21 -- 4:30 p.m., Communications Building, room 1032. Satoshi Toyosaki, assistant professor, Department of Speech Communication, SIUC. Toyosaki will look at ecological feminism in Miyazaki’s animation movies, Downing said.
  • To be determined in November. Deborah A. Tudor, associate dean, College of Mass Communication and Media Arts, SIUC. Tudor’s presentation will explore masculinity in videogames, Downing said.

For more information about the fall speaker series, contact Laura Germann at SIUC’s Global Media Research Center at 618/453-6876 or by email at felix@siu.edu.