Scholars Program Welcomes Lisa Henderson (Ph.D. ’90) and Isabel Molina-Guzmán (Ph.D. ’00)

Alums Henderson and Molina-Guzmán have returned to Annenberg this semester as visiting scholars.

By Ashton Yount 

Lisa Henderson (Ph.D. ’90) and Isabel Molina-Guzmán (Ph.D. ’00) have a connection that goes beyond their shared history of receiving their doctoral degrees from the Annenberg School. They first met at Penn State in the early 1990s; Henderson was beginning her career as a professor and Molina-Guzmán was her undergraduate student.

Henderson’s influence, as well as that of other Annenberg alumni, encouraged Molina-Guzmán to choose Annenberg for her graduate work.

Both Henderson and Molina-Guzmán have returned to Annenberg this semester as Visiting Scholars with the Scholars Program in Culture and Communication, directed by Barbie Zelizer, Ph.D. In a colloquium on January 10, Henderson and Molina-Guzmán introduced themselves and their scholarship to the Annenberg community.

A recent past Chair of the Department of Communication, Henderson is Professor of Communication and Faculty Affiliate in American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is an award-winning scholar of queer studies and investigates cultural production, sexual representation, feminist media, and class discourse.

Henderson’s most recent work focuses on collaboration between artists and scholars and on queer friendship.

The author of over 50 articles and book chapters, Henderson has also written a book entitled Love and Money: Queers, Class, and Cultural Production (NYU Press, 2013), which was a 2014 finalist in LGBT Studies for a Lambda Literary Award. Love and Money argues that contemporary queer cultures cannot be understood without considering social class.

At Annenberg, Henderson will teach a course in cultural production research examining cultural industries, fan cultures, community cultural production and the relationship between culture and thriving. Henderson will also give a public lecture on February 28.

Associate Dean of the Graduate College at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, Molina-Guzmán holds a joint appointment as Associate Professor in Latina/o Studies and Media & Cinema Studies. Her scholarship focuses on issues of social justice, inequality, and representational politics of identity with a special emphasis on US Latinas/Latinos in the mainstream media.

Her research is interdisciplinary in nature, as it considers race, ethnicity, and gender in the media.

Molina-Guzmán is the author of over 25 articles and book chapters and a 2010 book entitled Dangerous Curves: Latina Bodies in the Media (NYU Press). Tracing the visibility of the Latina body in the media and popular culture, Dangerous Curves analyzes news, media gossip, movies, television, and online discussions to map the ways in which the Latina body is gendered, sexualized, and racialized within the United States.

This semester, Molina-Guzmán will teach a course in social justice, inequality, and the media examining the limits of media representations of social justice issues as well as the use of the media as a social justice platform. Additionally, she will give a public lecture on February 7.

In addition to the Scholars Program welcoming Henderson and Molina-Guzmán, the Annenberg School is joined this semester by three other visiting scholars: Jingxi Chen, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor at the School of Foreign Language and Communication Study at Beijing Jiaotong University; Javier Ruiz-Soler, a doctoral student in the Department of Political and Social Sciences, European University Institute, Florence; and Christopher Ali (Ph.D. ’13), Assistant Professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia, who will be a visiting scholar starting next month with the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication.

For more information on the Scholars Program in Culture and Communication, please contact Emily Plowman at


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