Professor to deliver TED Talk

December 5, 2013 6:20 AMComments Off

Story by Beth LeValley

Renee Cramer, associate professor of law, politics and society, will speak about the cultural obsession with celebrity pregnancies at Stoner Theater in Des Moines from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The event is sponsored by TEDxDesMoinesWomen.

Drake Public Relations recommended her to TEDxDesMoinesWomen because of her research with women in society.

“It was mostly through word of mouth that I got this opportunity,” Cramer said.

Cramer will speak about her recent research, including the impact of celebrity pregnancies and the cultural obsession about celebrities giving birth.

“I focus on women’s images of themselves, the general presence of celebrity baby bumps and how these women are surveyed and regulated,” Cramer said. “My goal (of the TED talk) is to get women to more mindfully consume images.”

In connection with the well-known TED Talks, this event branches off and focuses more on women.

“TED has independently organized events, and from that they choose which ones to broadcast online. There could be a video (of my talk), but there might not be,” Cramer said.

Cramer had help from a student assistant to create a PowerPoint of different slides including pictures of celebrities with baby bumps.

“It’s a 17-minute long speech, and no notes are allowed. I want to make it more conversational, like I’m talking to myself in my head,” Cramer said.

Anyone can attend the event, and tickets are still available through EventBright.

Beth Howard, a baker who frequently speaks on National Public Radio, Cassidy Williams, a women-in-STEM ambassador at Iowa State University, and Lacey Howard, an editor of Meredith Corporation’s Special Interest Media Group, will also speak at the TEDxWomen event.

“Since it is a woman’s event, I’m expecting mostly women to be there, but I hope men come as well,” Cramer said.

While this event creates opportunities for Cramer, Drake and the Des Moines community, Cramer has bigger plans in the future.

Recently, she has been working on a book about celebrity baby bumps and the impact they have on society.

She plans to have it finished and sent to a publisher in May or June with hopes to have it finalized and published in the spring of 2015.

Cramer has written one other book published in 2005, “Cash, Color, and Colonialism: The Politics of Tribal Acknowledgement.”

Interactive events will be held with participating members from 4:30 to 6 p.m., and the speakers will begin at 6.

Books will also be for sale, both written by the speakers and relating to the speakers’ topics.

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