'Watching Women’s Liberation' lecture slated for Feb. 2

January 21, 2015

Bonnie J. Dow, associate professor and chair of communication studies at Vanderbilt University, will present a lecture based on her new book, "Watching Women's Liberation, 1970: Feminism's Pivotal Year on the Network News" at 7 p.m. Feb. 2, in the Perkins Student Center Auditorium at Penn State Berks. This event is free and Dow will be available after the lecture to sign copies of her books. 

Dow's new book is the story of how broadcast news portrayed feminism's mainstream emergence in a single landmark year. In 1970, ABC, CBS, and NBC -- the “Big Three” of the pre-cable television era–discovered the feminist movement. From the famed sit-in at Ladies’ Home Journal to multi-part feature stories on the movement's ideas and leaders, nightly news broadcasts covered feminism more than in any year before or since, bringing women's liberation into American homes.

In 'Watching Women's Liberation,' Dow uses case studies of key media events to delve into the ways national TV news mediated the emergence of feminism's second wave. First legitimized as a big story by print media, the feminist movement gained broadcast attention as the networks’ eagerness to get in on the action was accompanied by feminists’ efforts to use national media for their own purposes. Dow chronicles the conditions that precipitated feminism's new visibility and analyzes the verbal and visual strategies of broadcast news discourses that tried to make sense of the movement.

An award-winning scholar of rhetoric focused on feminism, women's public address, and popular culture, Dow has won many awards for her scholarship and teaching.

This lecture is presented by the Penn State Berks Communication Arts and Sciences degree program and is funded by the Howard “O” Jr. and Jean S. Beaver Endowment for Guest Lecturers. For more information, contact Michele Ramsey at 610-396-6148 or via email at emr10@psu.edu.


  • head shot of Dr. Bonnie Dow

    Dr. Bonnie J. Dow, Associate Professor and Chair of Communication Studies at Vanderbilt University

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated January 22, 2015