GO Proudly Presents: 100 Women We Love, Class Of 2020

Kristin Lieb

Photo by Risa Lavelle.

One might be forgiven for overlooking the subversive potential of a Ben & Jerry’s marketing campaign, but for author and professor Kristin Lieb, subverting pop culture is all part of a semester’s work. Lieb, a professor at Boston’s Emerson College and author of “Gender, Branding, and the Modern Music Industry: The Social Construction of Female Popular Music Stars,” recognizes the power of representation in shaping — or re-shaping — our cultural perspectives. After working as a high-level executive in the music industry, Lieb switched gears, joining the academic world “because I knew it would allow me to live an interesting and unconventional life and spend my time thinking, writing, and teaching about things that genuinely interest me and influence our culture.” In her classes, she tells GO, this might mean having students meld issues like prison reform awareness into a new campaign for a popular ice cream brand or recreate music videos to challenge stereotypes about gender, sexuality, and race. In her writing, both academic and mainstream, she addresses how gender, sex, and sexuality influence the treatment, branding, and marketing of female artists. Lieb’s work has appeared in such outlets as “Buzzfeed”, “Billboard”, “Rolling Stone,” and numerous academic anthologies. When not actively engaged in subverting pop culture, the self-professed “middle-aged, alt-rock nerd” can be found “listening to music, traveling to climb a mountain, or hanging out with her cat or somebody else’s dog.” —RK

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