Elizabeth Gackstetter Nichols

Dr. Elizabeth Gackstetter Nichols is a Professor of Spanish, Chair of the Languages Department at Drury and the Mom of a teenage girl. She researches beauty norms, beauty work and the representation of women and image in Latin America.

Time to be Heroes Again: What Media Teaches us (and We Teach It) About Our Values

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I grew up loving my country. I loved the traditions, and the landscapes and the values: knowing that we were the “good guys.” I loved that we, as a nation, would do the right thing, even if it was the harder thing. ’Cause we were the good guys! Remember?   And what was the right thing? Well…..to value people over money. To take care of the weak. To defend honesty and decency. To give everybody…

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Short Skirts vs. Doctoral Degree: Beauty and Identity

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When you woke up this morning, did you shower? Fix your hair? Did you put on make-up? How did you decide what to wear? And how do these activities, this beauty work, reflect your personal identity? I’m a college professor. But also a former dancer, beauty pageant contestant – past and future girly-girl.  I rocked big hair in the ’80s, have a huge collection of high heels, and just purchased my favorite childhood book: Princesses…

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Go (cos)PLAY!

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“We should live out our lives playing at certain pastimes” –Plato’s Laws, book 7, paragraph 803e.  I’ve been recently reminded of something that many of us forget: The importance of play. My head, like those of most modern adults (and children) is full of work and worry, deadlines and rubrics.  I spend my time fussing about what I eat and how clean my house is.  I read the newspaper too much and poetry too little.…

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The Past, and the Future- By Jessica Tektas

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(Jessica is a recent Drury Graduate and offers this guest blog post in reaction to recent events)   “My answer is: Recognize yourself in others.” – Nadine Gordimer   I’d like to share two personal stories, one about the past, and one about the future. We so often say, “the children are our future.” I teach at a religious school, and recently, the religious studies teacher was explaining that God made angels out of light,…

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