Ed Mignon Distinguished Lecture: Tressie McMillan Cottom
Join us for the 8th annual Ed Mignon Distinguished Lecture with our special guest, Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom, an American writer, sociologist, and associate professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Cottom is an award-winning author, researcher, educator, and cultural critic whose work has been recognized nationally and internationally for the urgency and depth of her incisive critical analysis of technology, higher education, class, race and gender.
Dr. Cottom earned her doctorate from Emory University’s Laney Graduate School in sociology 2015. Her dissertation research formed the foundation for her first book, Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy, which was called “nuanced, carefully argued, and engagingly written” by author Carol Anderson. Her most recent work, Thick: and Other Essays, was a finalist for the Brooklyn Public Library’s Literary Prize, as well as the National Book Award. The collection has been described as “essential,” and the Chicago Tribune calls Dr. Cottom “the author you need to read now.” Dorothy Roberts compares reading it to “holding a mirror to your soul and to that of America.”
As a professor, Dr. Cottom teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in race and digital sociology as well as researches structural inequality, schooling and labor outcomes. She also serves on dozens of academic and philanthropic boards and publishes widely on issues of inequality, work, higher education and technology. Along with Roxane Gay, Dr. Cottom is the co-host of Hear to Slay, a nationally distributed podcast with an intersectional perspective on celebrity, culture, politics, art, life, love and more. Rebecca Traister has called Dr. Cottom one of “America’s most bracing thinkers on race, gender and capitalism.”
The Ed Mignon Distinguished Lecture in Information Science is named for an alumnus and former faculty member of what is now the iSchool. He passed away in January 2012. The lectureship is made possible by a gift from Molly Mignon, wife of Ed Mignon. The purpose of the fund is to provide support for an annual lecture by a distinguished speaker on a topic of interest in the field of information science. Speaker topics may be related to current events, policies, controversies, or issues in the information and technology fields. Our goal is to inspire original thinking and foster creativity among students, faculty and researchers at the Information School.