Meenakshi Gigi Durham's work centers on media and the politics of the body, with an emphasis on gender, sexuality, race, and youth cultures. She holds a joint appointment in the Department of Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies. She was named a CLAS Collegiate Scholar in 2012.
Her work has appeared in leading academic journals, including Critical Studies in Media Communication, Communication Theory, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, and Women's Studies in Communication. She is the author of The Lolita Effect (Overlook, 2008) and the co-editor, with Douglas M. Kellner, of Media and Cultural Studies: KeyWorks (Blackwell, 2001, rev. 2006).
She serves on the editorial boards of a number of scholarly journals, including Feminist Media Studies and the Journal of Communication. She also served on the advisory board for the Encyclopedia of Children, Adolescents and the Media. Her essay, "Grieving," published in the Harvard Review in 2010, has been selected for inclusion in the 2011 Best American Essays anthology. She is the recipient of a Faculty Scholar Award from The University of Iowa. In 2013, she was awarded a faculty administrative fellowship in the UI's Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development.
She teaches classes in gender and media, critical theories of the media, and magazine writing. Her professional journalism experience includes reporting, editing, and design for various newspapers and magazines including The Pensacola News-Journal, The Times of India, and Science Today. She coordinated a statewide public information campaign on family involvement in education for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. She served as publications editor for the University of Wisconsin System from 1992–94.
Before coming to Iowa in the Fall of 2000, she taught magazine journalism at the University of Texas at Austin for six years, where she was the recipient of an honorable mention for the campus-wide Gilbert Teaching Excellence Award in Women's and Gender Studies.