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Gender Studies Conference 2014

2014 Gender Studies Conference Program 

Gender, Sex & Power - Date: April 4, 2014

Keynote Speaker - Sheri Davis-Faulkner, PhD

A graduate of the Institute of the Liberal Arts at Emory University, Davis-Faulkner completed an American Studies dissertation entitled, Precious Opportunities: Black Girl Stories and Resistance Pedagogies as Critical Race Feminist Responses to the Childhood Obesity Epidemic. For her dissertation research, she developed Camp Carrot Seed, a summer camp, for middle and high school youth where she examined their food decision-making. She worked directly with teenagers observing their eating habits and accessible foods and natural resources in their communities. The eight-week camp centered on four core pedagogic projects: organic gardening, food shopping and preparation, and local environmental stewardship activities intended to provide culturally relevant and age-appropriate interventions for public health concerns regarding youth.

Her research interests include feminist body studies, critical race studies, and media literacy with a specific focus on health and healthy body narratives for black girls. She is currently the Director of Community Engagement with the Westside Communities Alliance through the Ivan Allen College of the Liberal Arts at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is also an adjunct professor at Spelman College, and a blogging member of the Crunk Feminist Collective.

Precious Opportunities: A Critical Race Feminist Approach to Media

Mainstream U.S. televisual media has been inundated with news segments, talk shows, and reality shows about childhood obesity. On the surface it seems to function as a public service announcement, but the underlying marketing forces are significant and more difficult to assess. Through issue-focused and intersectional subject-driven research on childhood obesity, I discuss how media organizations impact audiences beyond the point of media reception. I assert that Critical Race Feminist media praxis is necessary because a simple critique of media representations OR media institutions is limited. My work demonstrates an oppositional method of inquiry within, across, and beyond media texts, pushing the boundaries of media epistemology in order to address the ethical engagement of actual bodies depicted in reality media. I assert that media entities must be made visible and accountable for ideologies they produce and circulate for profit, especially when black girls’ bodies are circulated absent of black girl stories.

Sponsored by UHD's Cultural Enrichment Center