Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Reflections on "Global Women" course

At the end of the semester, I ask students in my class, titled "Resistance and Rights: Global Women," to reflect on their experiences. We cover a wide variety of challenging topics in this class, and it is very satisfying to see how students evaluate their own learning. 

One student wrote, for example, "This course has been unlike any other that I have taken before and it has been one of the most eye-opening of my academic career thus far." Another wrote: "This semester has been a transformative journey for me in gaining a deeper understanding of women's struggles, achievements, and the complexities of gender-based issues through the lens of women's rights as human rights." 

In addition to Shawn Meghan Burn's textbook, "Women Across Cultures: A Global Perspective," we studied Joni Seager's Atlas and Sisonke Msimang's autobiography, "Always Another Country." I am looking forward to teaching two sections of Global Women in Spring 2024. 

Friday, November 17, 2023

And just like that ...

And just like that, it is almost the end of this semester. After almost 20 years of college teaching, I can say it does not get easier. It gets super busy and we struggle to stay on top of work. But I always get to the end of the semester somehow!

This semester, I taught three classes. I wrote three book chapters with one more in progress. I chaired two college committees. And more. But I am thankful for a full and rewarding life.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

First day of the semester

Today is the first day of classes for the Fall 2023 semester. This is the beginning of my 19th year at Butler University! 

I am happy to be teaching courses that are interesting and important to me. Below are some of the books I am using this semester. 

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Back to school!

My sabbatical is over and I am getting ready for the new semester. I am also moving into a new office, in Fairbanks Building 106. Beautiful view from inside my office. 

Fall semester officially begins next Wednesday, August 23. I will be teaching three classes: Gender and News: Global Views, Global Media, and Resistance and Rights: Global Women. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Two new books of interest

I learned of two new books of interest at the AEJMC conference in Washington, DC, last week. Both of them deal with journalism and violence in the #MeToo era. 

The first book is titled "Reporting on Sexual Violence in the #MeToo Era," edited by Andrea Baker and Usha Manchanda Rodrigues and published by Routledge. The second, also edited by Andrea Baker, but with Celeste Gonzalez de Bustamante and Jeannine E. Relly, is titled "Violence Against Women in the Global South: Reporting in the #MeToo era." This book is published by Palgrave MacMillan. 

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Another AEJMC in the books

I had the privilege of serving as discussant for a panel titled "Digital and Social Media Presentations of Women's Rights Internationally" on Tuesday at the annual AEJMC conference. Here are some of my comments:

"What makes this panel so special is the focus on women’s issues in non-Western countries and those in the Global South. We know that there is a lack of research on gender and journalism outside of the Global North, so all of these papers have the potential to make important contributions.

" Looking at the papers presented here, we have two papers about women in Iran, one on women in Ghana, one on women in Uganda, and one on women in Saudi Arabia. At least three were presented by students, which is very encouraging. I think several of the authors are also 'from' one of these countries, which gives them great advantage in terms of positionality. But I also want to acknowledge the difficulty of moving in between spaces and adjusting to academic life in the United States. Please know that you have valuable contributions to make.

"Methods used here vary from a visual rhetorical analysis of 520 tweets, to a quantitative analysis of 600 news articles in both Arabic and English, and in-depth interviews. For interview papers, we see the importance of an intersectional approach, where we look not just at gender but also nationality...." 

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Teaching in a time of AI

Just like many other teachers, I am wondering about the impact of AI such as ChatGPT on our class assignments. I once asked ChatGPT to write a biographical blurb about me and the results were very wrong. This week, I am participating in an asynchronous training by the Hypothesis Academy called "Social Annotation in the Age of AI." As part of the training, we watched a video by Dan Lametti in which he explains that AI basically is trained to complete a sentence based on the most likely word that would follow next. AI does not think, AI does not evaluate. I am also learning from Hypothesis how students can annotate class readings together. I am excited to try this out in my classes this coming Fall semester. 

Thursday, June 01, 2023

ICA Reflections

I just returned from the International Communication Association's conference in Toronto, where I participated in a panel on undergraduate student research. It was busy! I was excited to attend a pre-conference titled "Media and Communication Studies in a Global Context: A Critical History." That was a perfect way of starting out the conference by thinking about the global south, coloniality, intersectionality, and power differences. I then attended numerous panels, especially those on women and news in a global context.

One paper that stood out to me was "Exploring Feminist Pedagogy" by Adrienne Wallace, Regina Luttrell, and Christopher McCollough. This is something I want to think about more and implement in my classes.

I also networked in the hallways of the conference hotel and visited the exhibition hall, where I picked up a copy of Daniela Dimitrova's edited book on "Global Journalism" and learned about a new book, titled "Gender and Journalism: An Intersectional Approach," by Mary Angela Bock, which will be available by the end of this year. Overall a very productive conference and looking forward to next year's conference in Australia. 

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Panel on Promoting Undergraduate Student Research

It was a privilege to participate in an AEJMC panel on Undergraduate Research at the ICA Conference yesterday. Here is my abstract:

At Butler University, research is one of the key institutional initiatives for an excellent undergraduate college experience, together with community service and study abroad. I will address here two opportunities for undergraduate research: for all students in advanced classes, and through independent studies. In my upper division journalism classes (Gender and News, and Global Media), students read peer-reviewed journal articles during the semester to expose them to outstanding research in these fields. I then require a research paper from each student by the end of the semester. To facilitate this, I have developed a staged approach for introducing students to research that culminates in an 8-10 page paper. Students share their research by presenting their work to the class in our last week of meetings. Another opportunity to engage students in research is through independent studies or honors theses. I have worked with students individually through the semester to write research papers. Students are encouraged to present these papers at Butler University’s Undergraduate Research Conference. To encourage undergraduate students to understand the research process better, we decided this year to invite them to Works in Progress presentations by faculty members in our College of Communication. Finally, I will address some barriers to overcome in this area.