MURFREESBORO — An accomplished international journalist will keynote MTSU’s 2015 Women’s and Gender Studies Conference March 26-28.
Lisa Ling, executive producer and host of CNN’s “This is Life,” will speak at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 26, in the Student Union Ballroom. Her address is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Tickets, which are required for all nonconference attendees, may be picked up at the conference entrance one hour before the address.
In the first season of “This is Life,” Ling has tackled a wide range of subjects, including a sperm bank to create genius babies, the hazards of dating a “sugar daddy,” the world of traveling strippers and the gay rodeo circuit.
Ling’s experience includes co-hosting ABC’s “The View” and hosting “National Geographic Explorer” on the National Geographic Channel and “Our America with Lisa Ling” on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
A native of Sacramento, California, Ling’s career began at age 16 when she hosted “Scratch,” a nationally syndicated teen magazine show.
By age 25, she was covering cocaine processing labs and refugee crises overseas for Channel One News, a network seen in American middle and high schools. Ling has reported from more than two-dozen countries including Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran.
On her Facebook page, Ling wrote, “I want to raise consciousness about issues and stories that don’t always make the headlines. I believe that global awareness makes a person smarter and ultimately more human.”
Following Ling’s address, actor, playwright and teaching artist Nilaja Sun will perform her Obie Award-winning solo piece “No Child …” at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom.
Sun told The New York Times in a 2008 review that, in her portrayal of a Bronx high school teacher, “I wanted for those who weren’t in the school to see that the system really is breaking down, but also that there is still so much life and love there.”
The 11th biennial conference, titled “Global Discourses in Women’s and Gender Studies,” will feature top experts from around the world sharing their research into women’s and gender issues.
Some of the topics to be discussed include youth, gender and sexuality in education; equality and issues of equal pay; interpreting women’s bodies; queering the classroom; and fraternity men’s “hooking up” experiences.
Registration is $150 per person or free for MTSU students, faculty and staff. Students from other universities have a $50 registration fee. Attendance at the conference luncheon at 11:45 a.m. Friday, March 27, in the Student Union Ballroom is $30.
For more information on registration and specific conference activities, go to www.mtsu.edu/womenstu/conference/.