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Monday, September 12, 2011 - Communication and journalism scholars to present speaker series
Scholars in Oakland University’s Department of Communication and Journalism will offer expertise and insight during the department’s Fall Speaker Series, which runs from Friday, Sept. 16 through Monday, Nov. 14. The six campus talks will focus on an array of topics, from relationships and politics to media and education. Free and open to the public, all lectures will take place from noon-1 p.m. in the Oakland Center Heritage Room.

Friday, Sept. 16

• Taking Some of the Hurt Out of Hurtful Teasing in Close Relationships

Dr. Rob Sidelinger, assistant professor of communication

Although romantic relationships are often an arena for positive interactions, they also provide a battlefield in which hurtful teasing may occur. Using interdependence theory as a lens, Dr. Sidelinger will present his research examining hurtful teasing and explain whether positive factors or attributes within individuals can help temper the negative effects hurtful teasing may have in close relationships. 

• Constructing the Victim: Representation, Agency, and Politics in Contemporary European Advocacy for Roma Rights

Dr. Adina Schneeweis, assistant professor of journalism

Dr. Schneeweis will present her study of advocacy discourses about the Roma (Gypsies) in contemporary Europe. She will explain the discourse of victimization as constructed, appropriated, and challenged in communication materials of five non-governmental organizations of the emerging movement for Roma rights. 

Friday, Oct. 14

• Calling All Cars: Radio Dragnets and the Technology of Policing

Dr. Kathy Battles, assistant professor of communication

Dr. Battles will investigate the link between radio crime dramas of the 1930s and significant changes in the practices of policing. Even though these crime dramas sound downright silly to today's listeners, during the Depression era they played a key role in improving the public image of policing during a time of social crisis.

• Beyond the Dance Floor: Female DJs, Technology and Electronic Dance Music

Dr. Rebekah Farrugia, assistant professor of communication

Based on interviews with dozens of female DJs and producers, Dr. Farrugia’s presentation will spotlight the complex issues that govern women’s roles as DJs and producers in electronic dance music culture. 

Friday, Nov. 11

• Gossip Blogs and Baby Bumps: The New Visual Spectacle of Female Celebrity in Gossip Media

Dr. Erin Meyers, assistant professor of communication

Dr. Meyers will examine how the private individual has replaced the public persona as the key site for the media’s construction of celebrity image and circulation of ideological norms about the self in contemporary society. As evidence of this shift, she will explore the recent obsession with celebrity pregnancy by chronicling the “baby bump watch” focused on pop star Ashlee Simpson as it played out on popular American-based celebrity gossip blogs.

• The Complexities of Service Learning: When Service Learning Does(n’t) Work.

Associate Professor of Communication Dr. Jennifer Heisler, and Beth Talbert, special instructor of communication.

Studies have indicated that service learning—the blending of community service with traditional classroom instruction—brings many benefits, including increased grade point averages, retention, degree completion, civic responsibility and life skills. However, Dr. Heisler and Talbert discovered that a survey of approximately 300 Oakland students contradicted those findings. Their presentation will spotlight critical issues regarding the efficacy of service learning in the college classroom.

For additional information on the Fall Speaker Series, contact the Department of Communication and Journalism at (248) 370-4120 or view the website at