Academics and Research

Journalism professor to speak on the portrayal of women in post-communist countries

Nadia Kaneva, associate professor in the University of Denver’s Media, Film and Journalism Studies program, studies the ways in which communication media act as collective storytellers and influence the cultures and societies we live in, including how media in post-communist countries portray women.

“This is an important area to study today, as it offers insights into the resurgence of nationalist politics and the normalization of misogynistic policies and attitudes in Eastern Europe,” Kaneva says.

Kaneva grew up in what was communist Bulgaria in the 1970s and ’80s and says that personally experiencing the collapse of the communist system was a defining moment in her life. She believes that studying the status of women in the post-communist world today − including how women are portrayed in the media, how they are treated and how they are expected to look, speak or behave − allows us to learn and understand the ways in which ideologies impact our daily lives.

“The way a society treats women says a lot about the society’s core values and beliefs. The way in which media capture and represent those values and beliefs is the focus of the work I do,” Kaneva says.

Kaneva will address the topic at her lecture, “From Communist Amazons to Sexy Sirens? Women, Media and Cultural Change in the Post-Communist World,” from 4:3o to 6 p.m. Thursday, March 12, in Lindsay Auditorium in Sturm Hall. The lecture will focus on the ways in which media have reshaped the ideals of femininity in the former communist world over the past quarter century.

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