Feminism, Multiculturalism, and the Media: Global Diversities


Edited by: Angharad N. Valdivia

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    This book would not have been possible without the assistance of many individuals and institutions. The impetus for the book came from the relative lack of materials available for a class on gender, race, and the media that I was assigned to teach upon arriving at Penn State in 1989. Conversations with others who taught similar classes, notably H. Leslie Steeves at the University of Oregon, convinced me of the need to do this project now.

    Once I decided to go ahead and put this book together, I had the good fortune of having close friends and colleagues whose suggestions, conversations, and support were indispensable. Jeanne Brady and I had long conversations about all of the themes in this book and life in general. Without her friendship, company, and support I couldn’t have finished it. Nina Gregg was also a constant source of encouragement and clarification. A diasporic network of colleagues and friends, including Benedicte Monicat, Steve Hanson, Mary Ellen Brown, and Aida Barrera, helped me sort out many of the relevant issues.

    I had the additional good fortune of having truly incredible research assistance. In particular, Víctor Rivera went well beyond the call of duty to help me with the manuscript. His expert knowledge of computer matters, his brilliant and sharp critique of critical theory in general and feminism in particular, his untiring dedication to the project, and his lighthearted singing in Spanish and English enabled me to finish faster than I would have thought possible. As well, Lisa Sanmiguel and Colleen Reagan were very helpful.

    I also want to thank my students in the Women, Minorities and the Media class. It was their feedback and questions that kept me convinced that this was an important project. In particular, I wish to thank Isabel Molina Guzmán, Shannon Kokoska, Kristen Lambertin, Kelly Lengel, and Jessica Hartshorn for their inspiring questions, challenges, and actions.

    This project was begun at the School of Communications at The Pennsylvania State University, continued at the Department of Communications at the University of California at San Diego, and finished at the Institute of Communications Research at the College of Communications at the University of Illinois—whose generous financial support in terms of equipment and research assistance underscores its commitment to issues and scholarship of diversity.

    Last but not least, I want to thank Rhiannon and Tobin for their support and inspiration, and for always reminding me that we owe it to our children to engage in interventions that will make their lives more meaningful.

    Angharad N.Valdivia
  • Name Index

    About the Contributors

    Carolyn M. Byerly is Assistant Professor in the Media Studies Department at Radford University in Virginia, where she teaches classes in newswriting, international communications, and critical theory of news. Her research is concerned with the ways in which marginalized groups, including those in Third World nations, use mainstream media to advance their political agendas. She has published in the European journal Development and in Journalism Educator. Her chapter “Feminism, News Frames, and the Dialectics of Gender Relations” is forthcoming in M. Meyer's Representations of Women in Popular Culture. She completed her doctoral and master's degrees in communications at University of Washington, and her bachelor's degree in social sciences at University of Colorado. Her professional background is in print journalism, government public information, and nonprofit community public relations.

    LisaM. Cuklanz holds a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa and is currently Assistant Professor of Communication at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA. She served as Chair of the Feminist Scholarship Division of the International Communication Association from 1992 to 1994 and is on the editorial board of Communication Quarterly and Communication Education. Her research interests include news coverage of social change and public policy issues, and discursive constructions of rape and sexual harassment. Her recent publications include the article “Truth in Transition: Discursive Constructions of Character in the Rideout Rape in Marriage Case” (in Women's Studies in Communication, 1993), and book chapters “Male Is to Female as ______ Is to ______: A Guided Tour of Five Feminist Frameworks for Communication Studies” (with K. Cirksena) in L. Rakow's Women Making Meaning: New Feminist Directions in Communication (1992), and “Mainstream News Frames: The Hill/Thomas Hearings,” in P. Siegel's He Said, She Said, We Listened: Communication Perspectives on the Hill/Thomas Hearings (forthcoming). She is currently working on an analysis of mainstream U.S. news coverage of NAFTA.

    Kasennahawi Marie David is a Traditional Mohawk within the Iroquois Confederacy. Born and raised in Kanehsatake, she still volunteers her time at the community radio station, CKHQ. Her participation includes on-air duties, as well as reporting on community news and events, and participating in organizing fundraising activities for the station. Her part-time, job-sharing position as a Curriculum Technician at the Resource Center, a branch of the Kanehsatake Education Center, allows her and the other two women she works with to continue to put their time in at the radio station. As part of the curriculum, she has written several stories for children based on the Mohawk community, three of which have been published by the Resource Center. As a journalist, she has written articles for Native publications, including Native Beat, a national monthly newspaper originating out of Ontario, and The Eastern Door, a biweekly newspaper published in Kahnawake. Her interests include following the struggles of other Indigenous Peoples, as well as other minority groups. For David, networking is a good way to publicize the issues that are important to the Traditional people of the Mohawk Nation.

    Katherine Toland Frith is Associate Professor in the School of Communications at The Pennsylvania State University and has been the Professor-In-Charge of the Advertising major for the School. Her areas of research interest are international advertising and environmental issues in advertising. She has been the recipient of two Fulbright awards: She spent the 1986–1987 academic year as a Visiting Fulbright Professor at Institute Technology MARA in Ma-laysia; in 1993 she taught in the School of Art and Design at Institute Technology Bandung in Indonesia. Prior to receiving her Doctorate in Education at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, she was a writer at a number of large advertising agencies in New York, including: J. Walter Thompson, N. W. Ayer, and Grey Advertising. Most recently she worked at InterAdmark in Jakarta, Indonesia—a Dentsu affiliate. She has published articles in Media Asia, Journalism Quarterly, Current Issues and Research in Advertising and has written chapters for Advertising Management Casebook, The Publicity Process, and Early Adolescence: Perspectives on Research, Policy and Intervention. Before coming to Penn State University she taught in the Department of Journalism at Iowa State University.

    Kyra D. Gaunt is a doctoral candidate in the ethnomusicology program at the University of Michigan. She holds several degrees in classical voice performance and has performed extensively in a variety of popular, jazz, and gospel music contexts. In addition to performing, she has taught several courses in black popular recorded music since 1920, African American women and feminism, and Western art music for non-majors. Her research interests include gender and the black music experience since 1970, analysis of hip-hop music and sampling practice as an extension of earlier musical aesthetics, oral histories and ethnographies of black music in everyday experience, and contemporary African American music and women's sexuality. She recently completed a series of biographical articles for the upcoming publication of The Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. She is an active member of the Society for Ethnomusicology and the International Association for the Study of Popular Music. She currently hosts an original radio program at an alternative college FM station in Ann Arbor called “Third World Diva Girls” that features the music and written word of women of color from around the world.

    Marina Heung is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Baruch College-CUNY, where she teaches courses in film, Asian literature, Asian-American literature, and writing. Her articles on the representation of gender, race, cultural ideologies, and mother-daughter relationships in film and Asian-American literature have appeared in The Journal of Popular Film and Television, Film Criticism, The Michigan Quarterly Review, Cinema Journal, and Feminist Studies. Her essay on “Family Romance of Orientalism” appeared in Genders(21). She recently completed her term as founding chair of the Asian/Pacific/American Caucus of the Society for Cinema Studies.

    Bette J. Kauffman received her Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. She has received awards for her still photography, and has professional experience in videography, journalism, and public relations. Her publications include an article on feminism and ethnography in Communication Theory; biographical pieces for the forthcoming reference work, Women in World History; and a book chapter on women artists and social identity. She is currently writing Woman Artist: Communicating Social Identity, based on her doctoral dissertation, as well as pursuing the intersections of class and gender in new research on women and hunting. She teaches in the School of Communications at The Pennsylvania State University, in the areas of critical cultural studies, visual communications, and qualitative research methods.

    Susan Kray earned her Ph.D. in Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne in 1991. Her research focuses on women in high-technology workplaces and on ways in which our culture excludes and stigmatizes minority women. Research on which this chapter is based was supported by the American Association of University Women, through a Beckman Fellowship. Her current research, sponsored by the Beckman Fellowship and by an NEH Summer Fellowship, centers on stigmatized images of Jewish women and Judaism in spiritual self-help literature, particularly the work of feminist Christians and neo-pagans, and in the work of Christian feminist theologians and scholars.

    Rashmi Luthra is Assistant Professor of Communications at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. She has published articles on social marketing of contraceptives, the use of sex determination tests for selective abortion in India, and the Indian immigrant press in the United States. Luthra teaches courses in international communication, critical media studies, and women's studies.

    Isabel Molina Guzmán is a doctoral candidate at the Annenberg School for Communication. She was a master's candidate at the school from 1992 to 1994. Guzmán's master's thesis dealt with the social construction of race and the communication of race as a sign among Spanish-Caribbeans living in the United States.

    Marguerite Moritz is Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Colorado. She has written extensively on depictions of lesbians and gays in the media and is currently working on a comparative study of civil rights for lesbians and gays in Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United States. She also writes on media representations of women in Eastern Europe. Before taking a faculty position, she worked as a television news producer and documentary maker for NBC's Chicago television station.

    Frances Negrón-Muntaner is a Philadelphia-based researcher, writer, and filmmaker. She has studied film at Temple University (M.EA.) and is currently a doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature at Rutgers University. She has published in many journals and newspapers in Puerto Rico and the United States, including Alba de America, Heresies, Radical America, Sinister Wisdom, Conditions, The Evergreen Chronicles, Center for Puerto Rican Studies Bulletin, Jump Cut, The Independent, and Mairena. She is the editor of the first collection of Latino poetry in the Delaware Valley, titled Shouting in a Whisper (1994). She was codirector and coproducer of the award-winning film AIDS in the Barrio: Eso no me pasa a mi/That Could Not Happen to Me. She is currently completing a narrative film on Puerto Rican identities, Brincado el Charco: Portrait of a Puerto Rican, and an experimental video commission for television, Puerto Rican I.D.

    Beverly Nelson is the mother of two teenage children and has always lived in Kanehsatake. When the idea of a Mohawk-run community radio station was introduced in 1984, she readily signed up as a volunteer and stayed with it as she learned all facets of broadcast radio. Through the years, she was an on-air announcer, producer, writer, sales rep, and manager. She has finally left CKHQ to pursue work in other fields outside her community, but she will always hold close to her heart the people she worked with and learned from at Kanehsatake Mohawk Radio, “The Heart of the Community.”

    Jasmine Paul graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 1994 with a B.A. in Media Studies and a B.A. in Women's Studies. Her previously published work includes three articles in The Individualist Perspective, published by Penn State's Philosophy department. She has also had several poems published by The Wayfaring, an independent literary magazine. Her work in visual media includes directing and editing a video program, “The Art of Oppression,” which has been incorporated into the Women's Studies curriculum. She is currently enrolled in the Film Studies Graduate Program at the University of California, Los Angeles.

    Lorna Roth is Assistant Professor in the Communication Studies Department at Concordia University in Montréal, Québec (Canada), where she teaches a variety of courses related to development, policy, and cross-cultural commu-nications. She has been actively involved in broadcasting policy analysis and consulting with First Nations and multicultural/multiracial groups since the late 1970s and is presently completing a book on the development of First Peoples’ Television Broadcasting in the Canadian North.

    Angharad N. Valdivia teaches and researches multicultural and international communications issues at the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She has published articles on gender and the press during the Nicaraguan revolution and continues to work on the issue of voice and postcolonial women. In particular, she is concluding a study on Rigoberta Menchu. Her current work focuses on issues of women of color in the United States, including a critique of active audience studies and analysis of Latina actress Rosie Perez. She is a former co-chair of the Feminist Scholarship Interest Group, and remains active in communications and women's studies organizations.

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