September 10, 2009

GMRC’s fall speaker series begins Sept. 14

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Topics that include feminism, racism, neoliberalism and Japanese animation comprise Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Global Media Research Center fall 2009 speaker series that begins next week.

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. Durham will discuss girls and sexuality in international media during her discussion, “Superhighway of Sex: Adolescent Girls, Sexuality, and the Media in an Era of Globalization,” at 4:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 14.

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

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

  • Monday, 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.
  • Thursday, 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.
  • Monday, 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.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 21 -- 4:30 p.m., Communications Building, room 1032. Satoshi Toyosaki, assistant professor, Department of Speech Communication, SIUC. “Girls Have Agency?!: Eco-Feminist and Cultural Analysis of Heroines in Miyazaki’s Animation Movies.” Toyosaki will look at ecological feminism in Miyazaki’s animation movies, Downing said.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 17 -- 4:30 p.m., Communications Building, room 1032. Deborah A. Tudor, associate dean, College of Mass Communication and Media Arts, SIUC. “21st Century Neoliberal Man.” Tudor said: “Numerous scholars have stated that neoliberalist economic practices produce a culture that places high value on white male dominance. While social justice movements have challengedcultural dominance based in race and gender, neoliberalism has been identified as a philosophy and practice that is in fact, reinstating a white-male controlled class structure.”

Her discussion “examines key contemporary media works from television and cinema in order to understand if this is indeed happening in media culture, and if it is, how do media images ofcontemporary masculinity differ from earlier representations of males (what has been called ‘hegemonic masculinity’)?” She will discuss images of men in relationship to images of women in films and series such as “Star Trek,” “Terminator: Salvation,” “Mad Men,” “Dexter,” and “House.”

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