Gender in Media 2008 Conference opens in Los Angeles

Actress Geena Davis and communication professor Stacy Smith host a four-day symposium titled Gender in Media 2008 Conference from Jan. 28-31.

During the conference, Smith presents her groundbreaking new findings about aspirations and goals for girls in children's media and will review her large body of work on how females are portrayed in G-rated movies, TV programs and video games.

The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media holds an international conference designed to increase awareness of gender imbalance in entertainment for kids and to strategize toward more varied gender portrayal in entertainment aimed at young children.

The four-day summit includes an all-day forum, open to the public on Jan. 31. An International Researchers Roundtable will bring together 30 prominent researchers from China, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Israel, South Africa, Australia, Belgium, and many other countries for two days of workshops (January 28 and 29) to share their research, exchange perspectives on TV, film, and gender portrayals and young children.  The workshops culminate in an open discussion of the findings on Jan. 29 from 7-9:30 p.m. in USC's Taper Hall Room 201. 

The institute is the brainchild of Academy Award-winner Davis. Funding for the conference is provided by the Annenberg Foundation. The host committee for the event includes Geraldine Laybourne, founder, chairman and CEO of Oxygen Media; and Lucy Fisher, co-head of Red Wagon Entertainment.

Conference Highlights:

International Researcher Roundtable

January 29, Taper Hall, Room 201, 7-9 p.m.
Accomplished children's media researchers from the United States, Germany, China, India, Brazil, Chile, Israel, South Africa, Australia, Great Britain, Canada and Belgium share their research and exchange perspectives on TV, film and gender portrayals aimed at young children. The closed workshops will culminate in a public discussion open to spectators.

Open Forum
Town & Gown Ballroom
January 31, 8 am-4:30 p.m.
Press conference with Geena Davis and Stacy Smith. WGA Animation Writers Caucus head Craig Miller will moderate a panel titled "Giving Female Characters Goals." Other sessions will include a business panel, "The Toy-Product-Marketing-Kids' Media Link," and an educational/action panel, "How To Create a Cultural Shift". Additional panelists throughout the day will include Heather Kenyon of the Cartoon Network, Doreen Spicer of the movie Jump In, David Kleeman of the American Center for Children and Media, and critics Jeanne Wolf of Celebrity Parade and Brian Lowry of Variety and the TV Guide Channel.

Conference schedule 
Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media