Bitch Media was an unprecedented merger of feminist cultural commentary and popular culture when it launched in 1996. Andi Zeisler, a recent graduate of Colorado College, founded the magazine with a friend, initially with a distribution of 300. The magazine was meant to be “a fresh, revitalizing voice for feminism. One that welcomes complex arguments, showcases witty and whip-smart critiques of popular culture, and refuses to ignore the contradictory and sometimes uncomfortable details that constitute the realities of life in an unequivocally gendered world.” Recent explosions of feminism, both in popular culture and online, have built on the pioneering work of Bitch Media.
We see Andi Zeisler’s visit as a perfect way to extend and complicate the conversation Camille Paglia started in the fall of 2014, in her sometimes controversial musings. The Honors College generously agreed to co-sponsor this event as way to add diverse perspectives on feminism and popular culture. We are pleased to welcome Andi Zeisler to The University of Mississippi campus to speak on the following topic:
Don’t Just Change the Channel: Why Pop Culture Matters to Feminism, Activism, and Social Justice
Her presentation explicates how media and pop culture permeate every aspect of our lives, and offers an overview of media and pop culture as a locus of feminist activism. Pop culture has long been central to feminist activism, and this presentation looks at this phenomenon with an eye to both history and the present day, noting the ways in which representation—or the lack thereof—has been a key catalyst of feminist action. From the Miss America protest of 1968 to the Saturday Night Live pushback of today, we’ll look at how foregrounding a feminist perspective in media and pop culture makes that culture better, richer, and more representative of the world in which we live.
About Andi Zeisler:
Andi Zeisler is a writer, editor, and cultural critic. She is the cofounder of Bitch Media, the author of Feminism and Pop Culture (Seal Press, 2008), and the coeditor of BitchFest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006). Her writing on feminism, popular culture, and media has appeared in newspapers and magazines including Ms., Mother Jones, San Francisco Chronicle, and Washington Post. She has discussed feminism, activism, and current events on radio programs like The Sound of Young America, Forum, and World Have Your Say, and is regularly called as a media source for news stories about gender and feminist issues.