Dustin Harp has been named Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program in the College of Liberal Arts.
Harp has been a Faculty Affiliate of the Women’s and Gender Studies program since 2012. She earned a PhD in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, an MA from the University of Texas at Austin, and her undergraduate degree at Sonoma State University.
Representations of women in the news are a key focus of Harp’s research. She uses critical and cultural theory to examine the roles of women and marginalized groups within news and mass media, including digital media, blogging, and social networks. Her book, Gender in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Campaign, is forthcoming from Routledge, as is her co-edited volume Feminist Approaches to Media Theory and Research from Palgrave Macmillan, which will be out this summer. She is also the author of a 2007 book titled Desperately Seeking Women Readers: U.S. Newspapers and the Construction of a Female Readership, along with dozens of scholarly articles and conference papers.
Elisabeth Cawthon, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, said “Women’s and Gender Studies is vital to the college, the university, and the community.” Cawthon emphasized that Sonja Watson, the outgoing director, and current Associate Dean in the college, took programming in innovative directions through her energetic leadership.
Watson said, “It has been my honor to facilitate the program as we endeavored to expand issues of women and gender studies at the University and broader DFW community. I look forward to supporting the program under Dr. Harp’s direction.”
Cawthon agreed, “Harp’s extensive research record in feminist studies, her previous active involvement in the Center, and her exciting ideas about promoting and building the program make her an outstanding choice for this position.”
Harp will assume her duties as director effective July 1, 2018. “I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity and am looking forward to this new challenge,” Harp said.