St. Bonaventure University

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Matthews made presentations at two ICA conferences in 2023

Feb 23, 2024

Dr. Tammy Rae Matthews, assistant professor of digital journalism and sports journalism, highlighted her expertise and research prowess at two prestigious International Communication Association (ICA) conferences in 2023. 

At the 73rd Annual ICA Conference held in Toronto from May 23-31, 2023, Matthews delivered two compelling presentations that garnered attention from scholars and practitioners alike.

In "Media Discourse and Oral Narratives Contemplate Intersexuality in African Sport," Matthews delved into the intersection of sports journalism and societal attitudes toward intersex athletes, mainly focusing on the case of Namibian track and field runners Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi. Their disqualification from certain events at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics due to naturally high testosterone levels sparked a global conversation on intersexuality in sports. Matthews examined Namibian oral histories to shed light on this complex issue.

In the second presentation, "Theorizing Queer Punctum," Matthews introduced the concept of "queer punctum" to bridge the gap between queer-looking and affect. Drawing from Roland Barthes' notion of punctum, she explored its application in research on queer visual culture, using the film "Professor Marston and the Wonder Women" as a case study.

Matthews presented three thought-provoking sessions at the ICA Africa Regional Conference held in Cape Town from Nov. 16-18, 2023.

The first session, "The Archeology of Storytelling: Namibian Media Professionals on Pre-Independence, Post-Independence, Sport, and Beyond," delved into the rich history of Namibian media, exploring its evolution from pre-independence to the present day. Matthews highlighted the role of media in challenging hegemonic narratives and fostering freedom of expression in the country. 

In the second presentation, "Conducting Oral Histories about LGBTQI+ People in Namibia," Matthews discussed the methodological challenges and considerations in conducting oral history research within Namibia's LGBTQI+ population. This project aimed to amplify marginalized voices and document their lived experiences in the face of historical and social challenges.

In her final presentation, "The Status of Transgender and Nonbinary Athletes in Namibia, Africa," Matthews examined the barriers faced by transgender and nonbinary athletes in Namibia, highlighting the impact of colonial legacies on sports participation. By decolonizing sports discourse, she advocated for a more inclusive and equitable athletic environment.

Matthews' insightful presentations underscored her commitment to advancing knowledge in digital journalism, sports journalism, and social justice studies. Her contributions have enriched academic discourse and offered valuable insights into pressing societal issues.