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Meenakshi Gigi Durham is a distinguished scholar, professor and writer. Durham was born in Mangalore, India but moved to the United States and then Canada at a young age. She is employed at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Iowa's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.[1] Durham is currently a joint Professor of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies as well as the Dean for Outreach and Engagement for The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences [2] She was previously a Faculty Fellow in the Office of the Vice President for Research & Economic Development. She was also the Associate Faculty, Director of the Obermann Center of Advanced Studies, and she is a member of the board of directors for the Project of Rhetoric of Inquiry. [3][better source needed]

Meenakshi Gigi Durham
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Main interestsMedia and the politics of the body

Durham sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Communication, Feminist Media Studies, Critical Studies in Media Communication, Communication, Culture & Critique and Sexualization, Media, and Society. From 2007-2016, she was executive editor of the Journal of Communication Inquiry.



Undergraduate Degree

  • University of West Florida. Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Communication Arts, Magna cum laude. 1982 – 1984 [2]
  • Women's Christian College. Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.), Chemistry, with Math and Physics minors, First Class. 1977 – 1980 [2]

Master's degree

  • Louisiana State University. Master of Journalism, Journalism and Mass Communication. 1984 – 1985 [2]

    Doctorate Degree

    Current University

    • Associate Dean for Outreach & Engagement and Director of Diversity, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, University of Iowa
    • Professor and Collegiate Scholar of Journalism and Mass Communications and Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies at the University of Iowa [3][better source needed]
    • Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications at University of Iowa [3]


Scholarly WorkEdit

Durham’s main focus of research is the representation of gender and sexuality in the media, issues of gender, sexuality, race, sexual violence and youth cultures. She predominantly focuses on the politics of the body [2]

Noteworthy ArticleEdit

  • “Race and Gender Speaker Series with Meenakshi Gigi Durham” (2012) [2]


  • Durham, Meenakshi G. (1990). Is it all in the telling?: A study of the role of text schemas and schematic text structures in the recall and comprehension of printed news stories (Ph.D. thesis). University of Florida. OCLC 49246593.
  • Durham, Meenakshi G. (2009). The Lolita effect: the media sexualization of young girls and what we can do about it (2nd ed.). Woodstock, New York: Overlook Press. ISBN 9781590205945.
    • See also: Lolita and the sexualization of childhood. Pajamas Media. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  • Durham, Meenakshi G.; Kellner, Douglas M. (2012). Media and cultural studies: keyworks. (2nd ed) Malden, Massachusetts: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 9780470658086.
  • Durham, Meenakshi G. TechnoSex: technologies of the body, mediated corporealities, and the quest for the sexual self. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Under contract with University of Michigan Press.

Chapters in booksEdit

  • Durham, Meenakshi G. (1999), "Out of the Indian diaspora: mass media, femininity, and adolescence between two cultures", in Mazzarella, Sharon; Pecora, Norma O., Growing up girls: popular culture and the construction of identity (third ed.), New York: Peter Lang, pp. 193–208, ISBN 9780820440217.
  • Durham, Meenakshi G. (2002), "Girls, media, and the negotiation of sexuality: a study of race, class and gender in adolescent girls' peer groups", in Williams, Christine; Stein, Arlene, Sexuality and gender, Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell, pp. 304–320, ISBN 9780631222729.
  • Durham, Meenakshi G. (2007), "Myths of race and beauty in teen magazines: a semiological analysis", in Creedon, Pamela J.; Cramer, Judith, Women in mass communication (3rd ed.), Thousand Oaks, California: Sage, pp. 233–246, ISBN 9781412936958.
  • Durham, Meenakshi G. (2007), "Sex in the transnational city: discourses of gender, body and nation in the "New Bollywood"", in Creekmur, Corey; Sidel, Mark, Cinema, law, and the state in Asia, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 45–62, ISBN 9781403977519.
  • Durham, Meenakshi G. (2009), "Ethnic chic and the displacement of South Asian female sexuality in U.S. media", in Hammer, Rhonda; Kellner, Douglas, Media/cultural studies: critical approaches, New York: Peter Lang, pp. 501–515, ISBN 9780820495262.
  • Durham, Meenakshi G. (2011), "Constructing the "new ethnicities": media, sexuality and diaspora identity in the lives of South Asian immigrant girls", in Dines, Gail; Humez, Jean, Gender, race, and class in media: a critical reader, Thousand Oaks, California: Sage, pp. 389–398, ISBN 9781412974417.
  • Durham, Meenakshi G. (2012), "Girls, media, and the negotiation of sexuality: a study of race, class and gender in adolescent girls' peer groups", in Shaw, Susan; Lee, Janet, Women's voices, feminist visions: classic and contemporary readings (fifth ed.), New York: McGraw-Hill, ISBN 9780073512327.
  • Durham, Meenakshi G. (2013), "Chapter 8 Body matters: resuscitating the corporeal in a new media environment", in Carter, Cynthia; McLaughlin, Lisa, Current perspectives in feminist media studies, London New York: Routledge, ISBN 9780415540117.
  • Durham, Meenakshi G. (2013), "Children's technologized bodies: mapping mixed reality.", in Lemish, Dafna, The Routledge international handbook of children, adolescents and media, London New York: Routledge, pp. 156–164, ISBN 9780415783682.

Journal ArticlesEdit

  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2015. “Children, the media, and the epistemic imperative of embodied vulnerability.” DOI: 10.1080/17482798.2015.1121895. Journal of Children and Media 10 , pp. 115-122.
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2015. “Quvenzhané and the comedians: Black girlhood and sexuality at the ‘edge’ of comedy.” DOI: 10.1111/cccr.12099. Communication, Culture & Critique 8, pp. 505-521.
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2015. “Scene of the crime: U.S. news discourse of rape in India and the geopolitics of sexual assault.” Feminist Media Studies 15, pp. 175-191.
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2014. “Sexy girls, malevolent moms: Motherhood and the media sexualization of girls.” Media Report to Women, 42 , pp. 6-11.
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2013. “Vicious assault shakes Texas town”: The politics of gender violence in The New York Times’ coverage of a schoolgirl’s gang rape. Journalism Studies 14, pp. 1-12.
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2012. Blood, lust and love: Gender violence in the Twilight phenomenon. Journal of Children and Media, 6 , pp. 288-299.
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi 2011. Body matters: Resuscitating the corporeal in a new media environment. Feminist Media Studies 11, 53-60. Reprinted in Lisa McLaughlin and Cynthia Carter (Eds.), Current Perspectives in Feminist Media Studies. (New York: Routledge, 2012), pp. 47-54.
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2008. Media controversies around girls’ sexuality. Journal of Children and Media, 2, 79-80.
  • **Schaefer, Peter and Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2007. On the social implications of invisibility: The iMac G5 and the effacement of the technological object. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 24 , pp. 39-56
  • **Oates, Thomas P., & Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2004. The mismeasure of masculinity: The male body, race and power in the enumerative discourses of the NFL Draft. Patterns of Prejudice 38 , 301-320.
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2004. Constructing the “new ethnicities”: Media, sexuality and diaspora identity in the lives of South Asian immigrant girls. Critical Studies in Media Communication 21, 140-161. Reprinted in Gail Dines and Jean Humez (Eds.), Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Text Reader, pp. 389-398 (New York: Routledge, 2011).
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2003. The girling of America: Reflections on gender and popular communication. Popular Communication 1, 23-31.
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2001. Displaced persons: Symbols of South Asian femininity and the returned gaze in U.S. media culture. Communication Theory 11, 201-217.
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2001. Adolescents, the Internet, and the politics of gender: A feminist case analysis. Race, Gender & Class 8, 20-41.
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 1999. Girls, media, and the negotiation of sexuality: A study of race, class and gender in adolescent girls’ peer groups. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 76 , 193-216. Reprinted in Christine L. Williams and Arlene Stein (Eds.), Sexuality and Gender, pp. 304-320. (Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 2002). Reprinted in Susan Shaw and Janet Lee (Eds.), Women’s Voices: Feminist Visions. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006).
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 1999. Articulating adolescent girls’ resistance to patriarchal messages in mass media. Women’s Studies in Communication 22, 210-229.
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 1998. On the relevance of standpoint epistemology to the practice of journalism: The case for “strong objectivity.” Communication Theory 8 , 117-140.
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 1998. Revolutionizing the teaching of magazine design. Journalism & Mass Communication Educator 53 , 23-32.
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 1998. Dilemmas of desire: The representation of adolescent sexuality in two teen magazines. Youth and Society 29 , 369-389.
  • Durham, Gigi. 1996. The taming of the shrew: Women’s magazines and the regulation of desire. Journal of Communication Inquiry 20 , 18-31.

Encyclopedia Articles [2]Edit

  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2010. Cultural studies. In C. McIlwain and S. M. Callendo (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Race and Ethnicity. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2007. The sexualization of children. In J. J. Arnett (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Children, Adolescents and the Media, pp. 768-769. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2004. Sexuality and the subject. In G. Ritzer (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Social Theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Essays [2]Edit

  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2015. India’s Daughter and the limits of transnational feminist solidarity. E-International Relations,
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2013. Mirror, mirror, on the wall: Struggling with body image. Your Teen 6(1), 22-23.
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2012. Hunger Pangs. Essay published in The Iowa Review 42 (2), pp. 1-9. Nominated for inclusion in Best American Food Writing 2012.
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2010. Grieving. Essay published in The Harvard Review (under the pen name Meenakshi G. Venugopal), Issue 39, pp. 190-199. Reprinted in Edwidge Danticat (Ed.), The Best American Essays 2011. New York: Houghton Mifflin, pp. 59-67.
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2009, January 9. X-Rated America. The Chronicle of Higher Education, pp. B14-15.
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2008, July 12. Lolita and the sexualization of childhood. Pajamas Media,
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2006. Response to Douglas Kellner. In Journal of Interdisciplinary Crossroads, 2(2): 253-260.

Short Stories [2]Edit

  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2011. Someone like you. Short story published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, 137:5, pp. 31-39.
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2008. Storm surge. Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, 133:3-4, pp. 83-89.
  • Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2004. The drum. Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, 124:6, 73-81.

Awards/Honors [2]Edit

Durham's work has caught attention and she has been recognized publicly multiple times. She has appeared on The Dr. Phil Show, Irish National Television, BBC, Iowa Public Radio and Illinois Public Radio. Durham was featured in the popular documentary, “Miss Representation”, which was aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network. [2]

  • Faculty Research Award (1999-2000)
    • College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin
  • Academic Excellence Award in Instructional Technology (2000)
    • College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin
  • Outstanding Faculty Member (2003)
    • Society for Proessional Journalists Chapter Award
    • School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Iowa
  • Career Development Award (2006)
    • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Iowa
  • Precense in the 2011 Best American Essays Anthology (2010)
    • Recognition for her essay “Grieving”
    • Harvard Review
  • Obermann Scholar (2011 & 2006)
    • Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, University of Iowa
  • Collegiate Scholar Award (2012)
    • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Iowa
  • Faculty Administrative Fellowship (2013)
    • Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development
  • Nominee of Distinguished Achievement Award (2014)
    • Celebration of Women, University of Iowa
  • International Communication Association’s Teresa Award (2014)
    • Feminist Scholarship Division
    • International Communication Associations
    • College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin
  • Honors Thesis Mentor Award (2015)
    • University of Iowa Honors Program
  • President and Provost Teaching Excellence Award (2017)
    • Highest award for teaching, University of Iowa

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. "Meenakshi Gigi Durham, Joint Professor of Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies (profile)". School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Iowa's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l School of Journalism & Mass Communication. (2017, January 11). Retrieved February 16, 2017, from
  3. ^ a b c Durham, M. (n.d.). LinkedIn: Meenakshi Durham. Retrieved February 21, 2017, from

External linksEdit