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Dr. Jean Kilbourne to keynote 2012-13 Convocation Series

Dr. Jean Kilbourne
Dr. Jean Kilbourne, an expert on women in advertising, will deliver the Maytum Convocation Lecture on Sept. 19, kicking off the 2012-13 series theme, “A Time for Change: Shifting Paradigms, Creating Possibilities.”

This fall SUNY Fredonia will welcome Dr. Jean Kilbourne, the author, speaker and filmmaker who is internationally recognized for her work on the image of women in advertising and her critique of alcohol and tobacco advertising and its impact on today’s youth.

Dr. Kilbourne, who is also credited with introducing the idea of promoting media literacy as a way to prevent problems she views as originating from mass media advertising campaigns, will deliver the 2012 Maytum Convocation Lecture on Wednesday, Sept. 19, in King Concert Hall. Her appearance kicks off the year long theme, “A Time for Change: Shifting Paradigms, Creating Possibilities.”

Kilbourne’s films, lectures and television appearances have been seen by millions of people throughout the world. She is perhaps best known for the films that are based on her lectures, including, “Killing Us Softly,” which chronicles how advertising depicts women over a 20-year span. Other Kilbourne films include, “Slim Hopes: Advertising and the Obsession with Thinness,” and “Pack of Lies: The Advertising of Tobacco.”

Kilbourne also authored the book, “Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel,” in which she discussed advertising’s effects on gender roles, alcohol and substance addiction, relationships, violence, and the objectification of women and men. That won the 1999 Distinguished Publication Award from the Association for Women in Psychology, while Publishers Weekly called it “a profound work that is required reading for informed consumers.”

She also co-authored, “So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids.”

“Once again, our committee has worked hard to ensure that the keynote speaker is widely applicable to a variety of academic disciplines and student interests,” said Convocation Committee Chair Jack Croxton, a member of Fredonia’s psychology faculty. “Dr. Kilbourne is among the most sought-after speakers on college campuses today because of the relevance of her work and her understanding of the daily social pressures faced by today’s youth.”

Kilbourne has lectured at colleges, universities, conferences and organizations. She has written many articles, including editorials in The New York Times, USA Today and The Journal of the American Medical Women’s Association. She has been interviewed by Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Globe and Mail, and The Boston Globe, among many others. She has been a guest on hundreds of television and radio programs, including, “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” “All Things Considered,” “The Today Show,” “20/20,” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

Through her lectures, films and articles, many of her original ideas and concepts have become mainstream. These include the concepts of the tyranny of the beauty ideal, the connection between the objectification of women and violence, the themes of liberation and weight control exploited in tobacco advertising aimed at women, the targeting of alcoholics by the alcohol industry, addiction as a love affair and many others.

She has served as an advisor to former Surgeons General C. Everett Koop and Antonia Novello and has testified for the U.S. Congress. In 1993, she was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to the National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

“Jean Kilbourne’s appearance will be both an enriching and eye-opening experience for students,” said sophomore Public Relations major Lauren Orlowski, one of two student members on the Convocation Committee. “I think it is crucial that students understand the effects mass media has on our generation, and I feel that Dr. Kilbourne exceeds every expectation when addressing these issues.”

The Maytum Convocation Lecture will once again be free and open to the public, although tickets are required and available at the SUNY Fredonia Ticket Office.

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posted @ Friday, August 24, 2012 2:15 PM by Christine Davis Mantai

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