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Lana F. Rakow (born April 17, 1952) is a professor emerita of communication at the University of North Dakota and author of Gender on the Line: Women, the Telephone, and Community Life (1992).[1] In 2000, she was identified as a top woman scholar in journalism and mass communication, and her research results were reported by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication on the Status of Women.[2] She also has numerous other published works that are primarily in the fields of communication and feminist theory.

Lana Rakow
Born (1952-04-17) April 17, 1952 (age 67)
Academic background
EducationUniversity of North Dakota

Rakow was born in North Dakota,[1] where she spent a majority of her life as a student and, later, as a professor, writer, and researcher. As of June 2016, Rakow is in retirement from her position at University of North Dakota.[3] She is currently the Associate Editor of the Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly.[3] Rakow has continued to research, write, and travel in her retirement.[3]


Education and careerEdit

Rakow began her secondary education in her home state at the University of North Dakota. There, she graduated in 1974 with degrees in both Journalism and Humanities.[4] She pursued her master's degree at UND as well, earning a degree in American Literature with a minor in English Language in 1977.[4] During this time, she taught as a graduate assistant within the English department.[4]

From 1981 – 1985, Rakow taught first as an assistant professor of Journalism at Franklin College in Indiana and then as a graduate assistant in the College of Communications at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.[4][better source needed] She later earned her Ph.D at the latter school in Communication Cultural Studies in 1987.[4]

Rakow's long-term career as a professor and researcher began at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside where she was an assistant professor from 1980 – 1986 and an associate professor from 1990 – 1994 in the department of Communication.[4] Finally, she returned to the University of North Dakota, where she taught Communications from 1994 until her retirement in 2016. During this time, she also served as the founder and director of the Center for Community Engagement.[4]

In 1984, Rakow became an associate of the Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press (WIFP).[5] WIFP is an American nonprofit publishing organization. The organization works to increase communication between women and connect the public with forms of women-based media.

Scholarly WorkEdit

The focus of Rakow's research deals largely with subjects such as communication, feminist theory, and technology. One of her major works, Gender on the Line: Women, the Telephone, and Community Life (1992), combines all three of these subjects. Rakow's book, based on her dissertation at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Chaimpaign, looks at the way that women use telephones as a form of communication.[6] Her research, conducted using personal interviews with women in Prospect, Illinois, sheds light on the complexity of women's use of telephones through the feminist perspective.[6] Gender on the Line received the 1993 Book Award from the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender.[1]

Another of Rakow's published works that is also written from the feminist perspective is an article titled "Rethinking Gender Research in Communication" from the Journal of Communication. This article, published in 1986, examines how gender has historically been addressed in communication research and combines it with the way feminist theory addresses gender.[7] The point of this particular work from Rakow is to assert that gender research in communication should look at gender as evolving social systems created through communication, rather than as simple categories used to compare communication in men and women.[7] In order to change this thinking and adapt gender research, Rakow argues that other social sciences disciplines and especially feminist theory need to be incorporated in to research in the field of communications.[7]

Honors and awardsEdit

  • James E. Murphy Memorial Award for Top Faculty Paper, presented by the Cultural and Critical Studies Division for “Who Uses Dewey and Why? Remembering and Forgetting John Dewey in Communication Studies,” at the annual conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (August 4, 2016)[8]
  • Teresa Award for the Advancement of Feminist Scholarship, presented by the Feminist Scholarship Division, International Communication Association, Singapore, June 2010[9]
  • Who's Who (Marquis, New Providence, NJ): Who's Who of American Women, 2005, 2006; Who's Who in American Education, 2006, 2007; Who's Who in the World, 2006; Who's Who in America, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011[10]
  • Identified as a top woman scholar in journalism and mass communication. Research results reported in the newsletter of the AEJMC Commission on the Status of Women, 9, no. 2 (Spring/winter 2000)[2]
  • Named to the Plaza of Heroines, located at Wichita State University, 1998[11]

Further readingEdit

  • “On Dewey: Public Relations and the Eclipse of the Public.” In Oyvind Ihlen and Magnum Fredriksson, eds., Public Relations and Social Theory: Key Figures and Concepts, 2nd ed. New York: Routledge. [in preparation]
  • “Feminist Historiography and the Field: Writing New Histories.” In David W. Park and Jefferson Pooley, eds., The History of Media and Communication Research: Contested Memories, New York: Peter Lang. 2008, pp. 113–139.
  • Rakow, Lana (2016-09-01). "Academics and Imaginary Communities". Journalism & Communication Monographs. 18 (3): 160–165. doi:10.1177/1522637916656376. ISSN 1522-6379.
  • Rakow, L. F. (2013). Worldviews and mediatization: in search of a metatheory. Journal of Multicultural Discourses, 8(3), 190-194. doi:10.1080/17447143.2013.849712
  • “Feminist Theory.” Oxford Bibliographies Online: Communication. Ed. Patricia Moy. NY: Oxford University Press, 2012
  • Rakow, L. F. (2007). Follow the Buzz: Questions about Mobile Communication Industries and Scholarly Discourse. Communication Monographs, 74(3), 402-407. doi:10.1080/03637750701543535
  • Rakow, L.F. & Wackwitz, L.A., eds. and authors. (2004). Feminist Communication Theory: Selections in Context (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage).
  • Rakow, L. (1995). New Curricular Categories for the Future: University of North Dakota School of Communication. Journal of the Association for Communication Administration, (3), 211-215.
  • Rakow, L. F., & Davis, D. K. (1989). Feminist Studies: The Next Stage. Critical Studies In Mass Communication, 6(2), 209.
  • Rakow, Lana F. (1992-10-01). "Revisioning the Curriculum: A Commentary". Women's Studies in Communication. 15 (2): 92–96. doi:10.1080/07491409.1992.11089767. ISSN 0749-1409.
  • Rakow, L. F. (1988). Gendered Technology, Gendered Practice. Critical Studies In Mass Communication, 5(1), 57.
  • Rakow, L. F. (1986). Rethinking Gender Research in Communication. Journal of Communication, (36)4: 11-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-2466.1986.tb01447 [7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Signorielli, Nancy (1996-01-01). Women in Communication: A Biographical Sourcebook. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780313291647.
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b c "June 30 retirement reception honors Lana Rakow | UND University Letter". Retrieved 2017-04-23.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Rakow, Lana (April 23, 2017). "LinkedIn". LinkedIn.
  5. ^ "Associates | The Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press". Retrieved 2017-06-21.
  6. ^ a b Moyal, Ann (1993-06-01). "Gender on the Line. Women, the Telephone, and Community Life by Lana F. Rakow. (University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago, 1992), pp. xiii + 165, $US24.95, ISBN 0-252-01807-9". Prometheus. 11 (1): 125–126. doi:10.1080/08109029308629146. ISSN 0810-9028.
  7. ^ a b c d "Rethinking Gender Research in Communication (PDF Download Available)". ResearchGate. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
  8. ^ "Rakow paper receives academic award | UND University Letter". Retrieved 2017-04-23.
  9. ^ Daymon, Christine; Demetrious, Kristin (2013-08-15). Gender and Public Relations: Critical Perspectives on Voice, Image and Identity. Routledge. ISBN 9781136758560.
  10. ^ "Women Studies Annual Report" (PDF).
  11. ^ "Plaza of Heroines at Wichita State University". Retrieved 2017-04-23.