Durham is a distinguished scholar, teacher, and writer whose work centers on media and the politics of the body. Her research emphasizes issues of gender, sexuality, race, youth cultures, and sexual violence. She holds a joint appointment in Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies.
She serves on the editorial boards of a number of scholarly journals, including Feminist Media Studies and the Journal of Communication. She also served on the advisory board for the Encyclopedia of Children, Adolescents and the Media. Her essay, “Grieving,” published in the Harvard Review in 2010, was selected for inclusion in the 2011 Best American Essays anthology.
She teaches classes in gender and media, critical theories of the media, and magazine writing. Her professional journalism experience includes reporting, editing, and design for various newspapers and magazines such as The Pensacola News-Journal, The Times of India, and Science Today. She coordinated a statewide public information campaign on family involvement in education for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. She served as publications editor for the University of Wisconsin System from 1992–94.