Barbara Jordan, April 1976,
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs
Broadly speaking, my research explores communication in politics, education, and social change.
As a humanities-based communication scholar, my goal is to better understand how individuals and groups use rhetoric and argumentation to negotiate identity, power, and social difference. As a feminist scholar, I explore how gender, race, class, sexuality, and memory shape the rhetorical strategies of historically marginalized groups. My research has appeared in academic journals such as the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Women's Studies in Communication, and Argumentation and Advocacy. A full CV is available on my departmental page.
My first book, Debating Women: Gender, Education, and Spaces for Argument, 1835-1945, is available from Michigan State University Press (2018) and other online retailers. Spanning a historical period that begins with their exclusion from university debates and continues through their participation in co-educational intercollegiate competitions, Debating Women highlights the crucial role that debating organizations played as nineteenth and twentieth century women sought to access the fruits of higher education in the United States and United Kingdom. Debating Women has been awarded the 2019 James A. Winans-Herbert A. Wichelns Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric and Public Address and the 2018 Daniel Rohrer Memorial Outstanding Research Award from the American Forensic Association. Please see the University of Maryland's College of Arts and Humanities's article on the book.
At present, I am working on two primary strands to my research:
(1) a book-length project that seeks to explore and contribute to public memory about another debating woman: the former U.S. Congressmember and educator Barbara C. Jordan.
(2) several article-length projects on the history of international argumentation, debate, and education efforts.