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Biography  -  Venise Berry


        
Venise Berry is an associate professor of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.   She received a BA (1977) in Journalism and an MA (1979) in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa.  Her Ph.D. was awarded in 1989 in Radio. TV and Film at the University of Texas in Austin.  Her professional media career began in radio news but has expanded into teaching, media research and criticism, as well as fiction, script and non-fiction writing.

She is the author of three national bestselling novels; So Good, An African American Love Story  (1996), All of Me, A Voluptuous Tale  (2000) and Colored Sugar Water (2002).  Her fourth novel, Pockets of Sanity is expected in 2008.  In 2003, she received the "Creative Contribution to Literature" award from the Zora Neale Hurston Society.  All of Me received a 2001 Honor Book Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and also in 2001 she was recognized with an Iowa Author Award from the Public Library Foundation in Des Moines.   

Berry's research is in the area of African American Cultural Criticism.  Her focus is a conceptual theory called racialism that explores the influence of the mediated racial images and messages.  She is published widely in academic circles with numerous articles based on her research in the area of media, youth and popular culture.  Her current non-fiction project I Used to be a Rap Music Fan: Racialism and the Media is based on her research.

She has co-authored two non-fiction resource books with S. Torriano Berry, an associate professor in Film at Howard University, The Historical Dictionary of African American Cinema  (Scarecrow Press, 2007) and The 50 Most Influential Black Films (Citadel 2001).  Mediated Messages and African-American Culture: Contemporary Issues  (Sage, 1996), a co-edited, a non-fiction project, won the Meyers Center Award for the Study of Human Rights in North America in 1997. Another edited book called What Do You Believe? Reflections on a Higher Power will be published in 2008.

Each summer, Berry teaches a one-week workshop on novel writing, at the University of Iowa Summer Writers Workshop.  She also conducts several seminars: Weight and Wellness: Challenging Myths, Racialism and the Media, Words That Set You Free, I Used to be a Rap Music Fan, and Success in the 21st Century.

For more information visit Venise Berry's web site at: www.veniseberry.com