Race & media conference
(l. to r.): Beverly Singer, Ilia Rodriguez and Jaelyn DeMaria.

The University of New Mexico Communication and Journalism Department recently held a national conference on "Race and Media" that explored racial identities and the treatment of people of color in a wide range of topics.

The interdisciplinary conference focused on research at the intersections of critical race theories and media studies by bringing together emerging and established scholars. The conference was an opportunity to share research in a space especially created for working through difficult questions on race.

Conference planning committee member and Communication and Journalism graduate student Erin Watley said, “The conference was a great opportunity to hear engaging and relevant research from scholars and other grad students. I felt confirmed in my research interests and glad that I got the chance to network with people doing related work.”

Other goals of the conference were reinvigorating the conversation about the complex relationship between race and the media.

UNM faculty members who participated include: Associate Professor of Art and Art History Kirsten Buick as part of a panel on Spectacles of Race and Sexuality; Jaelyn DeMaria, a post-doctoral fellow in Communication and Journalism, who delivered a talk “Postcards for Querencia: Digital Storytelling from the Inside Out; Associate Professor of Communication & Journalism Ilia Rodriguez, who spoke on Multimodality and Constructions of Race in Documentaries about Diasporic Puerto Rican Identity; and Associate Professor of Anthropology and Acting Director of Native American Studies Beverly Singer, who talked about The Blank Stare of Movie Indians.

Also participating were Visiting Associate Professor of American Studies Cynthia Young, who discussed Glenn Beck, the Tea Party and the Hijacking of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream for Whiteness, as part of a panel on “Narratives and Politics of Whiteness and Multiculturalism.”

Conference organizer and Assistant Professor of Communication and Journalism Myra Washington spoke about Rachel Dolezal, Racial Mixing and Transracial’s Utility, as part of a panel titled, Disrupting Post-Racialism: Identity, Authenticity and Ambiguities.

Assistant Professor of Communication and Journalism Shinsuke Eguchi spoke about Gay Asianness and Media: A Quare Critique of Queer Asian/American (in)Visibility,and Communication and Journalism graduate student Santhosh Chandrashekar discussed, The One Thing The Media Never Talked About: Militarized Neo-Orientalism and the Oak Creek Massacre, as part of a panel on Knowledge Production from the Inside.

The conference was cosponsored by the UNM Department of Communication & Journalism, the College of Arts & Sciences, Student Affairs, American Indian Student Services, Latin American & Iberian Institute, the Office of the Provost, the Division for Equity and Inclusion, the Office of Graduate Studies, the Feminist Research Institute, ENLACE, Africana Studies, the Department of American Studies, African American Student Services, El Centro de la Raza, Black Graduate and Professional Students Association, the Project for New Mexico Graduates of Color, Chicana and Chicano Studies, and Women’s Studies.