Media Critic Anita Sarkeesian to Address Gender in Gaming at Lecture

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Anita Sarkeesian will present “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the lecture hall of the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building.

A talk this week from media critic Anita Sarkeesian will continue the Center for Values in Medicine, Science and Technology 2015 lecture series.

This year’s series focuses on issues in society regarding the interaction between gender and medicine, science and technology.

Sarkeesian will give an overview of a culture that she says sustains harassment, exclusion and objectification in video games — from the dynamics of sexist cyber-mobs to recurring tropes in video games that reinforce sexist conceptions of women. She will then provide examples of a few games that do not portray women in such ways. The talk begins at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the lecture hall of the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building. The talk is free and open to the public.

“I have been a fan of Anita Sarkeesian’s work for several years. Since 2009, Sarkeesian has done an excellent job of making feminist media critique accessible and exciting via her Feminist Frequency video series,” said Dr. Matthew J. Brown, director of the Center for Values. “More recently, in turning her attention to video games, she has helped fill an important gap in feminist media critique.”

Sarkeesian’s work focuses on deconstructing the stereotypes and tropes associated with women in popular culture as well as highlighting issues surrounding the targeted harassment of women in online and gaming spaces.

“She has done more than almost anyone in helping us take games seriously as a medium of expression by subjecting it to serious critique,” Brown said.

Sarkeesian regularly lectures and presents at universities, conferences and game development studios internationally. She has presented at various fan, media and technology conferences, and has also facilitated and taught multi-day filmmaking workshops. She has been interviewed and featured in publications such as Forbes and The New York Times. Her videos are freely available on the Feminist Frequency YouTube channel and widely serve as educational tools in high school and university classrooms. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communication studies at California State University at Northridge and her master’s degree in social and political thought at York University.

Other lecturers in the series include Dr. Carla Fehr, professor of philosophy at the University of Waterloo, on March 11; Dr. Matthew J. Brown, assistant professor of philosophy and history of ideas at UT Dallas, on March 25; and Dr. Sarah Richardson, associate professor of the history of science and of studies of women, gender and sexuality at Harvard University, on April 9.

The series is also sponsored by UT Dallas’ Carolyn Lipshy Galerstein Women’s Center and Gender Studies Program. For more information, visit the Center for Values website.