Campus Life

UWF to present Jerry Maygarden distinguished lecturer, Deborah Bassett

The University of West Florida Department of Communication Arts will present the 2012-2013 Jerry Maygarden Distinguished Lecturer, Deborah Bassett on Monday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. The lecture, “Beyond Pocahontas: How Social Media is Changing the Face of Contemporary Native America,” will be held in the Music Hall of the Center for Fine and Performing Arts on the main UWF campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Despite a rich history and active contemporary presence, Native Americans remain frozen in time in the popular mass media images that portray a historical, mythical, or stereotypical version of Native peoples. The hundreds of distinct American Indian tribes, nations, and communities across the U.S. are too often limited to inaccurate mainstream representations or, more often, simply not represented at all. However, an alternative image of Native America is emerging through strategic use of digital and social media, as communities address health concerns, promote language revitalization, and organize advocacy efforts.

An alumnus of the University of West Florida Department of Communication Arts, Bassett received a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Washington and completed postdoctoral training in Psychiatry in the University of Washington School of Medicine.  In Bassett’s current role as a visiting scholar in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, she is conducting research on post-traumatic stress disorder in American Indian populations, as well as other topics in communication, culture, and health among American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

Created by the Florida House of Representatives under the leadership of Speaker John Thrasher, the Maygarden Lecture Series was established in 2000 in honor of House majority leader Jerry Maygarden for his service to the people of Florida.