2019 Gravlee Lecture explores blogging, motherhood and autism

Daena J. Goldsmith, professor of rhetoric and media studies at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, will be this year’s Gravlee Lecturer. The 2019 lecture, titled “Personal and Political: Blogging Motherhood and Autism,” will be held in the Lory Student Center Theater on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 6:30 p.m., with a reception to follow. It is presented by the Department of Communication Studies.

Daena Goldsmith
Daena Goldsmith

Goldsmith’s lecture will address how personal stories told online take on political import. The title comes from the name of her current book project, in which she makes the case for the individual and cultural significance of the “mom blogs” she has tracked over the last decade from boom to bust.

Goldsmith’s research shows how some blogs that began as personal stories for an intimate community ended up engaging publicly with culturally contested ideas about motherhood and autism.

“These case studies yield insights into the rhetorical and socio-technical features that make these blogs personally and politically meaningful; while also raising questions about the sustainability of this form of online advocacy,” she says.

Scholarship

Goldsmith’s scholarship focuses on how patterns of communication create identities, relationships and communities. Her teaching covers a range of topics, including health narratives, the rhetoric of gender, social media and research methods. Her award-winning book, Communicating Social Support, examines how we communicate support to one another through everyday stresses and life crises.

Goldsmith has been recognized with the National Communication Association’s Gerald R. Miller Book Award, Bill Eadie Distinguished Scholarly Article Award and Franklin H. Knower Article Award. In 2017, she was awarded the Lorry Lokey Faculty Excellence Award. She is a member of the Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative and has consulted with the Portland Art Museum’s artNOW program.

Her works are published in the Journal of CommunicationJournal of Social and Personal RelationshipsSocial Science & MedicineCommunication MonographsHuman Communication Research and Journal of Applied Communication.

The Gravlee Lecture Series honors G. Jack Gravlee, who served as chair of the Department of Communication Studies from 1975 to 1985. Gravlee retired from CSU in 2004. The lecture series brings eminent communication scholars to campus for a keynote presentation and interaction with students, faculty and the university community.

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