Meenakshi Gigi Durham

Meenakshi Gigi Durham
Collegiate Scholar
Faculty Fellow, UI Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development
E338 AJB
Office Hours:
Spring 2017: Tuesday 1-2:30
PhD 1990, University of Florida

What is Gigi’s story? 

Her research addresses representations of gender and sexuality in the media, with a particular focus on the politics of the body, the intersections of race, class and gender, and youth cultures. Her articles have been published in leading communication journals, including Critical Studies in Media Communication, Communication, Culture & Critique, and Feminist Media Studies. Her books and other writings have earned her national and international media appearances, including on the BBC, Irish National Television, and the “Dr. Phil” show; she also appeared in the documentary Miss Representation.  In addition, she is a nationally recognized essayist.

She was a reporter and wire editor for The Times of India in Mumbai, India; a feature writer and copy editor for The Pensacola News-Journal (Florida); and an associate editor for Science Today and Wisconsin Ideas. She has also free-lanced for a number of publications. She is the former publications editor for the University of Wisconsin System.

Professor (jointly appointed in SJMC and Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies); Faculty Fellow, Office of the Vice President for Research & Economic Development; former Associate Faculty Director of the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies; member of the board of directors for the Project on Rhetoric of Inquiry.


  • JMC:3415  Writing Across Cultures
  • JMC:6220  Critical Cultural Theories in Media and Communication
  • JMC:3410  Magazine Reporting & Writing
  • JMC:2010  Journalistic Reporting & Writing
  • JMC:3175  Gender and Mass Media
  • JMC:6320  Qualitative Research Methods for Media and Communication 



Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. (2016). Technosex: Precarious Corporealities, Mediated Sexualities, and the Ethics of Embodied Technics.  London: Palgrave Macmillan.

**Durham, Meenakshi Gigi, and Kellner, Douglas M. (Eds). 2011.  Media and Cultural Studies: KeyWorks [second edition].  London and Malden, MA.: Blackwell Inc.  [First edition published in 2001.]

Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2008.  The Lolita Effect: The Media Sexualization of Young Girls and What We Can Do About It.  New York: Overlook Press.  The book was widely reviewed and generated interviews in national and international media.



  1. 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 (1), pp. 115-122.
  2. 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 (4), pp. 505-521.
  3. 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 (2), pp. 175-191.
  4. Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2014. “Sexy girls, malevolent moms: Motherhood and the media sexualization of girls.” Media Report to Women, 42 (4), pp. 6-11.
  5. 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(1), pp. 1-12.
  6. Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2012.  Blood, lust and love: Gender violence in the Twilight phenomenon. Journal of Children and Media, 6 (3), pp. 288-299.
  7. Durham, Meenakshi Gigi 2011.  Body matters: Resuscitating the corporeal in a new media environment.  Feminist Media Studies 11(1), 53-60. Reprinted in Lisa McLaughlin and Cynthia Carter (Eds.), Current Perspectives in Feminist Media Studies.  (New York: Routledge, 2012), pp. 47-54.
  8. Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2008.  Media controversies around girls’ sexuality.  Journal of Children and Media, 2(1), 79-80.
  9. **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 (1), pp. 39-56.
  10. **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 (3), 301-320.
  11. 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(2), 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).
  12. Durham, Meenakshi Gigi.  2003.  The girling of America: Reflections on gender and popular communication. Popular Communication 1(1), 23-31.
  13. Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2001. Displaced persons: Symbols of South Asian femininity and the returned gaze in U.S. media culture. Communication Theory 11(2), 201-217. 
  14. Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2001.  Adolescents, the Internet, and the politics of gender: A feminist case analysis. Race, Gender & Class 8(4), 20-41.
  15. 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 (2), 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).
  16. Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 1999.  Articulating adolescent girls’ resistance to patriarchal messages in mass media.  Women’s Studies in Communication 22(2), 210-229.
  17. Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 1998. On the relevance of standpoint epistemology to the practice of journalism: The case for “strong objectivity.”   Communication Theory 8 (2), 117-140.
  18. Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 1998.  Revolutionizing the teaching of magazine design. Journalism & Mass Communication Educator 53 (1), 23-32.
  19. Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 1998. Dilemmas of desire: The representation of adolescent sexuality in two teen magazines.  Youth and Society 29 (3), 369-389.
  20. Durham, Gigi. 1996. The taming of the shrew: Women’s magazines and the regulation of desire. Journal of Communication Inquiry 20 (1), 18-31.


Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2013. Children’s technologized bodies: Mapping mixed reality.  In D. Lemish (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Children, Adolescents, and Media Studies, pp. 156-163 New York: Routledge.

Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2013.  The audience in the graduate curriculum: Training future scholars.  In R. Paramesawarn (Ed.), The international encyclopedia of media studies. Vol. 3: Audience and interpretation in media studies, pp. 39-56.  Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2009.  Ethnic chic and the displacement of South Asian female sexuality in the U.S. media.  In Rhonda Hammer (Ed.), Media/Cultural Studies: Critical Approaches, pp. 501-515. New York: Peter Lang.

Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2007. Sex in the transnational city: Discourses of gender, body and nation in the ‘New Bollywood.’  In Corey Creekmur and Mark Sidel (Eds.), Cinema, Law and the State in Asia, pp. 45-62.  New York: Palgrave/Macmillan.

Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2007.  Myths of race and beauty in teen magazines: A semiological analysis.  In Pamela J. Creedon and Judith Cramer (Eds.), Women in mass communication (3rd ed.), pp. 233-246  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Durham, Meenakshi Gigi.  1999.  Out of the Indian diaspora: Mass media, femininity, and adolescence between two cultures.  In S. Mazzarella and N. Pecora (Eds.), Growing Up Girls: Popular Culture and the Construction of Identity, pp. 193-208. New York: Peter Lang.



Encyclopedia Articles

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.



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

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.


Durham, Meenakshi Gigi. 2010.  Annotated Bibliography: Cultural and Critical Studies (7,500 words). Patricia Moy (Ed.), Oxford Bibliographies Online: Communication.  Oxford University Press.


** Equal contribution


Honors Thesis Mentor Award                                                                                       2015
University of Iowa Honors Program

Teresa Award for the Advancement of Feminist Scholarship                                        2014
Feminist Scholarship Division
International Communication Association

Nominee                                                                                                                       2014
Distinguished Achievement Award
Celebration of Women
University of Iowa

Collegiate Scholar Award                                                                                              2012
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, University of Iowa

Faculty Scholar Award                                                                                         2009-2012
Office of the Provost, University of Iowa

Obermann Scholar                                                                                 Fall 2011, Fall 2006
Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, University of Iowa

Career Development Award                                                                                  Fall 2006
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, University of Iowa

Society for Professional Journalists Chapter Award for
Outstanding Faculty Member                                                                                       2003  
School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Iowa

Faculty Research Award                                                                                      1999-2000
College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin

Academic Excellence Award in Instructional Technology                                 Spring 2000
College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin