YouTube celebrity, Anna Akana, to talk media arts and celebrity with University Professor, Sarah Projansky on Feb. 5

January 29 2019

By Marina Gomberg

As part of the University of Utah’s David P. Gardner Lecture Series in the Humanities and the Arts, the College of Fine Arts is thrilled to partner with UtahPresents and the Office of Undergraduate Studies to welcome actress, producer, filmmaker, writer and YouTube celebrity, Anna Akana to campus on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at Kingsbury Hall.

Akana started her YouTube channel in 2011, jumpstarting her career as an actress, producer, filmmaker, and writer. In 2013, she wrote and starred in the digital series “Riley Rewind,” which garnered over 25 million views across YouTube, Facebook, and Netflix. Now, with nearly 2.5 million subscribers, Akana produces short films, sketches, and series for her channel in addition to her weekly YouTube show, which features semi-autobiographical comedic stories that offer life advice.

This year’s lecture is designed as a conversation between Akana and University Professor, Sarah Projansky, Ph.D. who holds a joint-appointment as Professor of Film & Media Arts and of Gender Studies, and as Adjunct Professor of Communication. As University Professor (2018-2020), she is leading a campus-wide project on the role of celebrity in contemporary social, cultural, and political life, including a general education class, a visiting speaker series, and a symposium. 

“I’m interested in talking with the person who is this celebrity,” said Projansky. “I hope to explore her assessments of the media landscape — including why and how she uses various media — and also her personal and artistic process, her identity and her take on how media influence us as consumers and users of those media.”

Akana, as the 2019 David P. Gardner lecturer, comes in a long line of diverse, brilliant and talented individuals that includes Stanley Nelson, Suzan Lori-Parks, Tony Kushner, Anna Deavere Smith and Mira Nair.

Tickets are free, but required. Limit 2 per person.


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