Giles Wilkeson Gray Lecture Series

The late Giles Wilkeson Gray, professor emeritus of the Department of Speech at LSU, was born in Shelbyville, Indiana, on December 11,1889. He received a B.A. from DePauw University in 1914, an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin in 1923, and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1926.  After teaching at the University of Illinois and the University of Iowa, he came to the Department of Speech at LSU, where he remained until his retirement in 1960. He held visiting professorships at the University of Wisconsin, the University of Georgia, St. Louis University, and the University of California, Berkeley.  Gray was active in the Speech Association of America. He was a member of the council of the association from 1938 to 1944, editor of the Quarterly Journal of Speech from 1939 to 1941, and served as president of the Southern Speech Association from 1936 to 1937. One of his important contributions to the speech association was completion of the 50-year index to the Quarterly Journal of Speech and Speech Monographs. He published original scholarship in speech science, public address, speech education, parliamentary law, and linguistics.  While at LSU, he coauthored-with C. M. Wise the widely recognized Bases of Speech and with Waldo W. Braden-Public Speaking: Principles and Practice. He brought to his classes a broad knowledge of speech and its place in democratic society. In 1932 he established one of the early laboratories in speech science and experimental phonetics. He directed 37 theses and 14 dissertations.  Gray died August 27, 1972. His teaching and scholarship extended far beyond the department at LSU. As few others have done, he shaped an entire professional field, expanding its knowledge, directing its focus, and endowing its permanent values.

Giles Wilkeson Gray Lecture Program

2019 Lecture Information

Please join us for the 2019 Gray Lecture with Dr. Raka Shome on Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 3:30 p.m., in the Atchafalaya Room at the Student Union. This year's subject, "Contemporary Indian (Hindu) Nationalism, Gender, and the 'Clean India' Movement," is a lecture about the links between nationalism, gender, and a Hindu modernity that is being forged in contemporary India. A reception is to follow the lecture. 

Dr. Raka Shome is a Senior Visiting Fellow in Communications and New Media at the National University of Singapore. Beginning in fall of 2019, she will serve as the Harron Family Endowed Chair and Professor in the Department of Communication at Villanova University. Her research is in areas of nationalism, postcoloniality, non-western modernities, transnational feminism, and the global south. In addition to receiving numerous awards from the National Communication Association, Dr. Shome's interdisciplinary and path-breaking research has been published and reprinted in some of the premier journals and anthologies in the fields of communication, media, and cultural studies. Her 2014 book with University of Illinois Press titled, Diana and Beyond: White Femininity, National Identity, and Contemporary Media Culture, investigates how postcolonial relations in contemporary western cultures are mediated through images of white femininity. Her current work examines the rhetorical logics and political and religious tensions at play in contemporary discourses of Indian nationalism and Hindu fundamentalism. Dr. Shome has previously served as a full-time faculty member at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Arizona State University, and University of Washington.


A colloquy with Dr. Shome will be held on Friday, March 15, 2019 at 11:30 a.m., in 145 Coates Hall.