Texas Tech University

Distinguished Lecture Series

The Thomas Jay Harris Distinguished Lecture Series was established through the generosity of Thomas Jay Harris, an alumnus of Texas Tech University and former editor of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

Harris developed a strong interest in international affairs and was instrumental in raising funds for Texas Tech's International Cultural Center. He requested that his estate be dedicated to “promot[ing] educational activities and programs that facilitate the understanding of international cultures.” A portion of the funding that has supported the Thomas Jay Harris Institute for Hispanic & International Communication since its renaming in 2013 is dedicated to the Distinguished Lecture Series, intended to “attract national and international leaders to Texas Tech University to lead seminars, discussion groups, and to serve as speakers on current issues of global relevance.”

Previous Speakers

The description listed after each recipient's name indicates their professional status at the time of recognition.

2020 Distinguished Lecturer

Robert G. Picard, Ph.D.

Robert G. Picard, Ph.D.

Friday, March 6, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. 
International Cultural Center, Texas Tech University

Talk title: “The Gathering Storm: Digital Media, Platforms and Antitrust Enforcement.”

About the speaker: Picard is a senior research fellow at the Reuters Institute in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, and an affiliated fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School.

Read more about the 2020 Thomas Jay Harris Distinguished Lecturer.

2019 Distinguished Lecturer

Angharad N. Valdivia, Ph.D.

Angharad N. Valdivia, Ph.D.

Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Media

March 28, 2019

Talk Title: “Girls Hold Up Half the Sky: Neoliberalism Meets Mediatized Girls of the Global South”

About the Speaker: Angharad N. Valdivia, Ph.D. is a professor in the College of Media at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her vibrant research combines gender studies with ethnic studies and Latin American studies in order to examine contemporary mainstream popular culture through an approach that explores the tension between agency and structure within transnational settings. Her affiliation with the Women and Gender in a Global Perspective Program and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Illinois helps her transcend disciplinary boundaries.

Valdivia's current research projects include hybridity theory as it applies to Latina/o studies, ambiguity as a strategy of ethnic representation and differentiation within Latinidad, and transnationalism as it applies to the discipline of Latina/o studies. She is editor of The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies, a seven-volume reference work that includes more that 200 essays (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), and is the author of several influential books including: A Latina in the Land of Hollywood and Other Essays on Media Culture (University of Arizona Press, 2000); Latina/os and the Media. (Cambridge, 2010); Mapping Latina/o Studies: An Interdisciplinary Reader (Matt Garcia co-editor, Peter Lang, 2012); and The Gender of Latinidad: Uses and Abuses of Hybridity (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016). Dr. Valdivia has conducted research and presented her scholarship in numerous countries around the world.

Read more about the 2019 Thomas Jay Harris Distinguished Lecturer

2018 Distinguished Lecturer

Nicolas Kanellos, Ph.D.

Nicolás Kanellos, Ph.D.

Brown Foundation Professor of Hispanic Studies, University of Houston
Executive Director, Inter-University Program for Latino Research
Director, Arte Público Press 

March 1, 2018

Talk title: “Hispanic Journalism in the U.S.: A Publisher's View” 

About the Speaker: Nicolás Kanellos, Ph.D. has been a professor at the University of Houston since 1980. He is the founding publisher of the noted Hispanic literary journal, The Americas Review (formerly Revista Chicano-Riqueña), and the nation's oldest and most esteemed Hispanic publishing house, Arte Público Press. Arte Público Press is the largest, non-profit publisher of Hispanic literature in the United States. Recognized for his scholarly achievement, Kanellos is the recipient of the 1996 Denali Press Award of the American Library Association, the 1989 American Book Award–Publisher/Editor Category, and the 1988 Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature presented by the White House, as well as various fellowships and other recognitions. His monograph, A History of Hispanic Theater in the United States: Origins to 1940 (1990), received three book awards, including that of the Southwest Council on Latin American Studies. His latest book, Hispanic Immigrant Literature: El Sueño del Retorno (2011), won the PEN Southwest Award for Non-Fiction.

Read more about the 2018 Thomas Jay Harris Distinguished Lecturer.

2016 Distinguished Lecturer

Silvio R. Waisbord, Ph.D.

Silvio R. Waisbord, Ph.D.

Professor of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University

November 18, 2016

Talk title: “Communication: A post-discipline” 

About the Speaker: Silvio R. Waisbord, Ph.D., is professor of media and public affairs at The George Washington University, editor-in-chief of the "Journal of Communication," and former editor-in-chief of the "International Journal of Press/Politics." His research interests include global media, press and politics, health communication, and development and social change. Waisbord is the author of more than 100 journal articles, book chapters and newspaper columns. He has authored or edited 10 books including, most recently, "Media Movements: Civil Society and Media Policy Reform in Latin America" (Chicago, with Soledad Segura, 2016), "Media Sociology: A Reappraisal" (editor, Polity, 2014), "Reinventing Professionalism: Journalism and News in Global Perspective" (Polity, 2013) and the co-edited compilation The Handbook of Global Health Communication (Wiley, 2012). Waisbord holds an undergraduate degree in sociology from the Universidad de Buenos Aires and a doctorate in sociology from the University of California, San Diego.

Read more about the 2016 Thomas Jay Harris Distinguished Lecturer