Invited Speakers

Thursday Plenary:

Elizabeth Ault (Duke University Press) is an acquisitions editor. She has steadily built Duke’s list in African studies and regularly attends the African Studies Association conference on behalf of the Press. She has also acquired titles in film and media studies and American studies. Most recently, Elizabeth launched a new books series “Theory in Forms,” which will focus on theory from the Global South.

Andrew Lockett (University of Westminster Press) is Press Manager. He previously occupied senior academic editorial positions (social sciences and humanities) at Routledge, Oxford University Press and as Head of Book Publishing at the British Film Institute. Within trade publishing, he worked as Reference Director, Rough Guides and Publishing Director, Duckworth. 

Micah Kleit (Rutgers University Press) is Director of the Press. Before Rutgers, he worked at Temple University Press for over 15 years, ascending the editorial ranks from senior acquisitions editor, to executive editor, interim editorial director, and ultimately editor in chief. Prior to his time at Temple, Micah worked at Beacon Press, the University of Minnesota Press, and Teachers College Press.

Vicki Mayer (former editor, Television & New Media) is professor of communication and holds the Louise K. Riggio and Carnegie Chair in Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation at Tulane. She joined the faculty there in 2003, and has written three books and edited three more on media production and communication industries, including the development of Hollywood South. She is Associate Dean of Academic Initiatives and Curriculum.

Friday Plenary:

Dr. Z'étoile Imma is Michael S. Field Assistant Professor in the English Department and the Africana Studies Program at Tulane University. Her work focuses on gender and sexuality in contemporary Anglophone African literature, visual culture, performance, and new media. She has published chapters and articles in Representation and Black Womanhood: The Legacy of Sarah Baartman (Palgrave), Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Africa (Carolina Academic Press), Research in African Literatures, and Journal of Lesbian Studies. She is currently working on two major projects: Our Queer Mandela: Simon Nkoli, the Archive, and the Making of an African Queer Icon, which analyses the life and times South African anti-apartheid, gay and lesbian rights, and AIDS activist Simon Nkoli, and Love Stories from Africa, which considers how representations of love and urban desire in emergent African literary and visual texts interrupt long-standing local and global discourses on African bodies, spaces, sexualities, and gender.

Amalia Leguizamon is a sociologist interested in the political economy of the environment in Latin America, and is curious about the power dynamics that fuel development projects in the region and their uneven impact on society and the environment. Her current book project, Seeds of Power: Environmental Injustice and Genetically Modified Soybeans in Argentina, tells the story of Argentina’s swift agrarian transformation based on the early adoption and intensive implementation of genetically modified (GM) herbicide-resistant soybeans. The project examines the interplay of culture and political economy following the historic threads of core values and beliefs of national identity. The project reveals how this transformation has had long-lasting impact over Argentines’ perceptions of nature, rural life, agricultural production, and Argentina’s role in the global economy. Leguizamon’s work has appeared in journals such as Latin American Perspectives, Journal of Peasant Studies, and the Journal of Agrarian Change.

Vicki Mayer is Professor of Communication at Tulane University, where she holds the Louise K. Riggio and Carnegie Chair in Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation, and is the former editor of the journal Television & New Media. Her research interests include communication and media industries, critical political economy, cultural geographies and histories of media, and identity and media. In addition to publishing many journal articles and book chapters, Mayer is the author of three books: Almost Hollywood, Nearly New Orleans: The Lure of the Local Film Economy (Berkeley: UC Press, 2017), Below the Line: Producers and Production Studies in the New Television Economy (Durham: Duke University Press, 2011), and Producing Dreams, Consuming Youth: Mexican Americans and Mass Media (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2003).

Ferruh Yilmaz is Associate Professor of Communication at Tulane University. His research interests include discourse analysis and rhetorical criticism, the culturalization of discourse, the role of gender and sexuality in the debates on immigration, war, and Islam, populism and far right, and the production of Islam/West distinction. He is the author of How the Workers Became Muslim: Immigration, Culture, and Hegemonic Transformation in Europe (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2016), and his work has appeared in numerous journals, including the Journal of Language and Politics and the European Journal of Women's Studies.