Plenary Participants

Plenary Speakers

andersonheadshot6_croppedKarrin Vasby Anderson is Professor of Communication Studies at Colorado State University, where she is Director of Graduate Studies and teaches courses in rhetoric, political communication, and gender and communication. Anderson studies the culture of politics and the politics of culture, examining the ways political identity is rhetorically constructed and contested in popular media. She is coauthor of two books and has published articles in journals such as Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies and Rhetoric & Public Affairs.

Bonnie J. Dow is Professor and Chair of Communication Studies and Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Vanderbilt University. Her research interests include the rhetoric and representation of the first and second waves of feminism in the United States, and she is the author or editor of four books: Watching Women’s Liberation, 1970: Feminism’s Pivotal Year on the Network News (University of Illinois Press, 2014),Prime-Time Feminism: Television, Media Culture, and the Women’s Movement Since 1970 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996), The Sage Handbook of Gender and Communication (2006, with Julia T. Wood), and The Aunt Lute Anthology of U.S. Women Writers, Volume One: 17th –19th Centuries (Aunt Lute Books, 2004).


Lisa A. Flores is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado. Her research and teaching interests lie in rhetoric, critical race studies, and gender/queer studies. She has published in Text and Performance Quarterly, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, and the Quarterly Journal of Speech. Her most recent work examines historic narratives of immigrants and immigration, mapping an argument of race making, particular at the intersections of nation, citizenship, and labor. As she completes that work, Professor Flores is beginning a new project, tentatively called the “rhetoric of student success.” Prompted by contemporary conversations about the ways in which education is grounded in whiteness and about the possibilities for transformation of education, Professor Flores is exploring connections between what it means to be ”smart” and larger narratives of gender, race, and whiteness.


Kristy Maddux is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland.  Her work focuses on questions of citizenship, gender, and religion, in both contemporary and historical contexts.  Her current project is investigating the hundreds of speeches that women gave in the congresses associated with the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, illuminating the competing models of citizenship articulated by women from diverse backgrounds.  Her first book, The Faithful Citizen, investigated the ideals of citizenship articulated in contemporary religious media.  Her work has also been published in Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Critical Studies in Media Communication, and Philosophy & Rhetoric, among other outlets.

val martinez Valerie Martinez-Ebers is Professor of Political Science at the University of North Texas, former Vice President of the American Political Science Association and former President of the Western Political Science Association. In July 2012, she began serving as Co-Editor of the American Political Science Review, the flagship journal in political science. Dr. Martinez has published widely on education policy, Latino/a politics, women in politics, and methods of survey research. She is co-author of Politicas: Latina Public Officials in Texas(2008), Latino Lives in America: Making it Home (2010) and Latinos in the New Millennium: an Almanac of Opinion, Behavior and Policy Preferences(2012). She also edited Perspectives on Race, Ethnicity and Religion: Identity Politics in America (2009), a popular college anthology that examines the history, current issues and dynamics of minority groups in the United States. As one of the principal investigators for the Latino National Survey, the largest and most comprehensive national survey of Latinos to date (with more than 8,600 respondents), her research is funded by the National Science Foundation as well as Ford, Carnegie, Russell Sage, Hewlett, Anne E. Casey and Joyce Foundations.

novkov photoJulie Novkov is a Professor of Political Science and Women’s Studies at the University at Albany, SUNY and chair of the Department of Political Science. Her research and teaching address the intersections of law, history, US political development, and subordinated identity. She has published three books. Racial Union: Law, Intimacy, and the White State in Alabama 1865-1954 (Michigan 2008) uses the history of Alabama’s efforts between the end of the Civil War and the dawn of the civil rights era to suppress interracial sexual intimacy as a site to investigate the rise of white supremacy. It was a co-recipient of APSA’s Ralph Bunche Award in 2009. Constituting Workers, Protecting Women (Michigan 2001) addressed gender and constitutional development, rereading through the lens of gender the history of the courts’ unwillingness to accept protective legislation for workers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The source bookThe Supreme Court and the Presidency was published by CQ Press in 2014.

new picturePamela Paxton is Professor of Sociology and Government and Christine and Stanley E. Adams, Jr. Centennial Professor in the Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Austin.  She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in Economics and Sociology and her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She has taught at the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) Summer Training Program in Advanced Statistical Techniques and has consulted for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).  She is the author of articles and books on prosocial behavior, gender and politics, and quantitative methodology. With Melanie Hughes, she is the co-author of the book, Women, Politics, and Power: A Global Perspective.


Isaac West is Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University. His research revolves around questions of gender, sexuality, and citizenship. His first book, Transforming Citizenships: Transgender Articulations of the Law, contextualizes trans* claims of citizenship to demonstrate how they queer legal norms and conventions. By reframing citizenship as a performative identity or as performatively produced, meaning that it is a speech act with the potential to enact dissident meanings and transform these discourses as they are invoked and embodied, we are obliged to calibrate our judgments about the normative forces of citizenship against a more dynamic model of meaning-making.

Plenary Respondents

 David Cisneros is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and affiliate faculty in the Department of Latina/Latino Studies and the Center for Writing Studies. His research focuses on the ways in which social and political identities are rhetorically constructed and contested in the public sphere. He specializes in issues of citizenship, race/ethnicity, Latin@ identity, and immigration. Corrigan%20headshot%20TAMU

Lisa M. Corrigan is an Associate Professor of Communication, Director of the Gender Studies Program, and Affiliate Faculty in both African & African American Studies and Latin American Studies in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas. She is a feminist rhetorical scholar who researches and teaches in the areas of social movement studies, the Black Power and civil rights movement, prison studies, feminist studies, political communication, and the history of the Cold War. Her first book is tentatively titled, Prison Power: How Prison Politics Influenced the Movement for Black Liberation, and in press with the University Press of Mississippi. Additionally, Dr. Corrigan works as a political and media consultant for campaigns, caucuses, progressive organizations, and legislators on issues ranging from reproductive justice to prison reform. She lectures across the country and can be booked for workshops.​


E. Cram is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Performance and Communication Arts at St. Lawrence University. Currently, Cram is writing a book manuscript that explores the confluence between queer rhetorics and environmental communication. As an affective history, Violent Inheritance and Queer Generation: Landscape Memory and Movement in the American West traces the duration and mobility of the invention of modern sexology through regional performances of “violent inheritance” and explicates how ambient landscape memory generates possibilities for human intimacies and kinships. Their work has been published in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Queering the Countryside: New Frontiers in Queer Studies, and is forthcoming in Philosophy & Rhetoric, and Enculturation: A Journal of Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture.

NFO%20Headshot%202015Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa. Her current book project, Homeland Maternity, examines contemporary struggles over reproductive health and motherhood in the context of homeland security culture. She has published articles on rhetoric and reproductive politics, the commercial surrogacy industry, and third-wave feminism, as well as book chapters on the public debates surrounding birth control and communication activism pedagogy. Her research appears in journals and edited volumes, including Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Women’s Studies in Communication, and Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies.Fulton2014sm

Sarah A. Fulton received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Davis in 2006. Her areas of interest include campaigns and elections, with an emphasis on American women in politics. Her publications appear in the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics and the Political Research Quarterly (with C.D. Maestas, L.S. Maisel and W.J. Stone). Sarah has won numerous awards, including the Pi Sigma Alpha Award for the best paper presented at the Western Political Science Association’s annual meetings in 2004, 2005 and 2007. Sarah is currently working on a project that examines the impact of gender on congressional elections. Sarah received her bachelor’s degree in political science with high honors from the University of California at Berkeley.


Joshua Gunn received his Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 2002. With a background in philosophy, Josh trained as a cultural and media studies critic keyed specifically to popular music, television, and film. During his graduate studies he was introduced to psychoanalysis as a critical frame, and has subsequently published numerous studies that critique culture from a psychoanalytic (largely Freudian or Lacanian) perspective. His first book, Modern Occult Rhetoric: Mass Media and the Drama of Secrecy examines the role of mystery and secrecy in the mass media. He is currently working on a book, tentatively titled “Haunting Voices: Mourning Speech in Postmodernity,” which examines the role of recorded human speech in processes of collective mourning and remembrance. He works as an Associate Professor of Communication Studies and an Affiliate Faculty of the Department of Rhetoric and Writing at the University of Texas at Austin.645-cropped

Sara Hayden is a Professor at the University of Montana. Her research is in the area of rhetorical criticism and theory. In her work, she integrates interests in the social construction of gender, feminist theory, and feminist movements. She has published and presented essays exploring both contemporary and historical rhetoric surrounding women’s health, reproduction, sexuality education, maternity, and the abortion debate in the United States. Her current work focuses on the rhetorical construction of maternity.

McAlisterJoan Faber McAlister earned her B.A. in anthropology and her M.A. in communication studies from Boise State University and has a Ph.D. in rhetorical studies from the University of Iowa. Her research interests include memory places, aesthetic theory, domestic space, suburban culture, visual rhetorics, critical theory, identity politics, and performances of class, race, gender, and sexuality in daily life. McAlister’s research has analyzed a diverse set of texts, including Congressional hearings, popular films, national news coverage, magazine advertisements, urban planning, reality television, legal documents, and architecture, but her approach to these topics has focused on a central interest: the relationship between rhetoric and social location. mckinnon-09-1500px

Sara L. McKinnon is an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric, Politics & Culture in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research and teaching is in the areas of intercultural rhetoric, globalization/transnational studies, legal rhetoric, and transnational feminist theory with expertise in critical rhetorical and qualitative methods. Her book, Gendered Asylum: Race and Violence in U.S. Law and Politics (University of Illinois Press, 2016), charts the emergence of gender as a political category in US asylum law within the context of broader national and global politics. Her essays have appeared in Women’s Studies in Communication, Text and Performance Quarterly, and the Quarterly Journal of Speech.


Thomas K. Nakayama is Professor of Communication Studies at Northeastern University. He is a fellow of the International Association of Intercultural Research, a former Libra Professor at the University of Maine, and a former Fulbrighter at the Université de Mons in Belgium. His research interests lie at the intersection of rhetoric, intercultural communication and critical theory. He is co-author of Intercultural Communication in Contexts, Experiencing Intercultural Communication, Human Communication in Society and Communication in Society. He is co-editor of Whiteness: The Communication of Social Identity and The Handbook of Critical Intercultural Communication. He is the founding editor of the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication and co-founding editor of QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking. Sheeler-Kristina-2011C%20%283%29

Kristina Horn Sheeler is a Professor of Communication Studies and the Interim Associate Dean for Academic Programs in the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in political rhetoric, persuasion, and gender and communication, and has taught internationally in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Macedonia. Her research is in the area of gender and political communication, studying the ways that political candidate identity is contested and constructed in popular media, political discourse, journalism, and punditry. Her most recent book, Woman President: Confronting Postfeminist Political Culture (2013, Texas A&M UP) co-authored with Karrin Vasby Anderson, assesses the debilitating frames through which the 2008 candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin were presented to the public. Woman President won the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender’s outstanding book award in 2014 as well as the National Communication Association’s 2014 James A. Winans—Herbert A. Wichelns Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric and Public Address. belinda-stillion-southard1000

Belinda A. Stillion Southard is an Associate Professor at the University of Georgia. Her research and teaching interests are grounded in the public address tradition and are guided by questions regarding gender, nationalism, and citizenship. These interests are reflected in her book, Militant Citizenship: Rhetorical Strategies of the National Woman’s Party, 1913-1920. The book is the winner of the 2012 Marie Hochmuth Nichols Award, presented by the Public Address Division of the National Communication Association. It also received an Honorable Mention designation for the 2012 Winifred Bryan Horner Book Award given by the Coalition of Women Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition. Belinda’s research has also appeared in Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Communication Quarterly, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Advances in the History of Rhetoric, and elsewhere. Currently, Belinda’s current book project centers on how women conceptualize belonging in the contexts of regional movements, the nation-state, and supranational organizations. ura%20photo

Joe Ura is Associate Professor of Political Science at Texas A&M University. His research addresses American national politics, especially in the United States Supreme Court and political representation and responsiveness in the U.S. Congress. He teaches courses on American national government, judicial politics, and constitutional law.


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