Robinson, Gertrude

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Gertrude J. Robinson (Germany, 1927), is Emeritus Professor at McGill University (Montreal, Canada). She is considered to be one of the founders of the field of communication in Canada.

She was mentored by important political economy referents, such as Herbert Schiller or Dallas Smythe. She made relevant contributions to the field of political economy, especially those related to the analysis of media systems in former Yugoslavia and to the comparison of news agencies in Europe and North America. She is one of the pioneers of gender studies in the field of communication, paying special attention to the role of women in society and to the situation of female journalists in media structures across different countries.

Gertrude Robinson was the second president of the Canadian Communication Association (1981-1982) and the first editor of the Canadian Journal of Communication. In accordance with her commitment to gender equality, she has been a determined supporter of women’s contribution to the discipline. Her career has been recognized in the field with several awards. She has been Chair of the Association for Education in Journalism as well as a vice-president of the IAMCR. She was also the first director of the Communications Ph.D. program at McGill university. She has summarized her career as follows: “Having been ignored and banged on the head, even as a full professor, they still let me in. I guess they never expected a firebird”.

Selected publications:

  • Robinson, G. (1977). Tito’s maverick media: The politics of mass communications in Yugoslavia. University of Illinois Press.
  • Robinson, G. (1980). Women, communication, and careers. Norlin.
  • Robinson, G. (1988). ‘Here be dragons’: Problems in charting the U.S. history of communication studies. Communication, 10, 97–119.
  • Robinson, G. (1998). Monopolies of knowledge in Canadian communication studies: The case of feminist approaches. Canadian Journal of Communication, 23(1), 62–72.
  • Robinson, G. (2005). Gender, journalism and equity: Canadian, US and European perspectives. Hampton Press.

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