Meenakshi Gigi Durham
Associate Dean for Outreach and Engagement
The Associate Dean for Outreach & Engagement, Meenakshi Gigi Durham, works with the Associate Provost of Outreach & Engagement to provide guidance for the College's efforts in those areas; collaborates with CLAS faculty, staff, students, and community partners across the state; and coordinates international education initiatives and linkages. In addition, Associate Dean Durham serves as the College's Director of Diversity.
Meenakshi Gigi Durham is Professor of Journalism & Mass Communication with a joint appointment in Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies. She served as Administrative Research Fellow in the UI Office of Research & Economic Development, and Faculty Associate Director in the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies. She earned her PhD in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Florida in 1990. She taught on the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin from 1994-2000, where she received an honorable mention for the campus-wide Gilbert Teaching Excellence Award in Women’s and Gender Studies, and also had a career as a professional journalist and editor in India and the U.S. She joined the UI faculty in 2000.
With a research focus on representations of gender and sexuality in the media, Durham is the author of three full-length books—including The Lolita Effect: The Media Sexualization of Young Girls and What We Can Do About It (Overlook Press, 2008)—which garnered national and international media attention—and numerous journal and encyclopedia articles, book chapters, essays, and short stories. She serves on the editorial boards of leading journals in communication and media studies, including Critical Studies in Media Communication, the Journal of Communication, and Feminist Media Studies. Her honors and awards include being named CLAS Collegiate Scholar in 2012 and receiving the 2014 Teresa Award for the Advancement of Feminist Scholarship from the International Communication Association.