CFA/SFTV | It’s been a season of accolades for Loyola Marymount University’s scholar of sports and society.
Lawrence Wenner, the Von der Ahe Professor of Communication and Ethics in the College of Communication and Fine Arts and the School of Film and Television, has added to his already impressive resume.
On campus, Wenner was awarded the Rains Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Works. Away from campus, the journal he edits, Communication & Sport, was named PROSE Award winner for Best New Journal in the Social Sciences; he was named the inaugural winner of the Legacy Scholar Award by the International Communication Association’s Sport Communication Interest Group; and most recently Wenner was named a research fellow of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport.
“It’s a new, hot area in communications and media studies to combine it with sports studies,” said Wenner. “It’s taken me to a wide range of conferences, and I’ve been exposed to more people and ideas. It has a healthy feel to it.”
Still, he adds, “It took me 30 years to be an overnight success, because I’ve been working on these issues since the 1980s.”
The Rains Award, among LMU’s highest honors for faculty members, recognizes a tenured professor whose service exemplifies the LMU mission in a manner that is outstanding and meaningful. Wenner’s research focuses on critical assessments of media content, ethical dimensions of race and gender portrayals in advertising, audience experiences with television in the family context, and the values and consumption of mediated sports. He is the author of nine books, including “Sport, Beer, and Gender: Promotional Culture and Contemporary Social Life” (with Steven Jackson) and “Fallen Sports Heroes, Media, and Celebrity Culture.” He has also written approximately 130 scholarly journal articles and book chapters.
“Gender and representation, race and representation, the increased commodification of mediated sport, and the elevating of athletes as social, political, cultural leaders — these are issues that affect the culture and need to be examined,” he said.
In October, Wenner will be traveling to Vancouver, British Columbia, to be officially recognized by the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport Research with the fellowship. As the society acknowledged, “Your work in our field continues to be meaningful and influential, and we hope that this award can provide adequate recognition of such.”