What Would WEB Du Bois Tell Henry Jenkins and Soulja Boy?

As Henry Jenkins and other scholars have observed, contemporary remix culture has disrupted both hierarchies of taste and capitalist models of cultural production. However, less attention seems to have been paid to the degree to which these emergent models of cultural production reinforce oppressive stereotypes and destructive social norms. This essay muses upon efforts to create socially responsible media in the current environment.

Why is the state allowed to define sex for the purpose of assigning rights?

This question has been simmering in the back of my mind for a long time. As a result of covering stories related to LGBT rights, and particularly, debates over hate crimes (see the “small murders” section) and same-sex marriage, it occurred to me that laws that use sex as a criteria for assigning marriage rights require […]

The danger of a single story

This explains why I do what I do – and what I am trying to teach. I too come from a place and a people defined by one-dimensional stories. I find myself struck by the fact that African American literature was apparently not part of her youth in Nigeria, but Mariah Carey was.

The Enlightenment’s Contradictory Legacy and the Evolution of American Journalism

The European Enlightenment fostered ideals that still animate democratic societies, but those ideals were freighted with received notions of white supremacy and patriarchy. This presentation traces the ways in which those ideas affected the development of the norms and practices of American journalism in the 18th and 19th centuries. The contradictory legacy of the Enlightenment […]

The Black Press, Soldiers Without Swords

Here is my 2005 tribute to one of those pioneers, Dr. Edna McKenzie (who became a newspaper reporter about the time that that video below was created. Here is the transcript of her interview for the documentary, Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords:

About Journalism: 1940

I remember movies like this from elementary school. No wonder that I never conceived that I could grow up to be a reporter or editor.

Women in the Newsroom: Burned Out and Fed Up

That’s the title of a live chat held by the Association for  Education in Journalism and Mass Communications last week about a recent study showing that women are being driven from the newspaper field. The survey, published in the summer, 2009 Newspaper Research Journal, found that 60 percent of respondents either plan to leave the […]

Freedom of the Press, part 1: Ideals and Ideas

These slides accompany an assigned reading of John Milton’s Aeropagitica for my Race, Gender and News class.  My goal is to demonstrate that the ideals underlying the libertarian model of the press contain embedded assumptions about human nature that ensured unequal access to the marketplace of ideas. Freedom Of The Press View more presentations from […]