Paper Title

How to be a Good American: Lessons in Citizenship from the First Ladies of the United States

Location

Room 220, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

Start Date

1-4-2016 5:00 PM

End Date

1-4-2016 6:15 PM

Keywords

First Ladies, Citizenship, Feminist History, Rhetorical Studies, Gender and Politics, Gender and Nation

Abstract

How do first ladies of the United States model American citizenship through social and political advocacy? What citizenship practices are at the core, for example, of Betty Ford’s women’s rights advocacy, or Michelle Obama’s projects for children’s health? When a first lady confronts public and political backlash for her work, revealing deep-seated tensions regarding women, citizenship, and politics, what are the implications for living within the nation?

This paper, part of a dissertation, explores the first ladyship’s participation in the cultural construction of normative American citizenship. First ladies scholarship explores how first ladies model (or resist) normative femininity; more recent, Kristina Horn Sheeler and Karrin Vasby Anderson have suggested the first lady and presidency broadly act as idealized representations of American citizenship. This paper examines the link between first ladies, femininity, and citizenship. It weaves together rhetorical theory, feminist studies of women and nation-state (e.g., Nira Yuval-Davis) and citizenship (e.g., Ruth Lister), and feminist historiography to answer questions posed above.

The paper and presentation will focus, chiefly, on theory shaping the project’s questions. It also overviews the first ladyship’s historical emergence and development into a publicly, politically influential component of the American presidency.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 1st, 5:00 PM Apr 1st, 6:15 PM

How to be a Good American: Lessons in Citizenship from the First Ladies of the United States

Room 220, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

How do first ladies of the United States model American citizenship through social and political advocacy? What citizenship practices are at the core, for example, of Betty Ford’s women’s rights advocacy, or Michelle Obama’s projects for children’s health? When a first lady confronts public and political backlash for her work, revealing deep-seated tensions regarding women, citizenship, and politics, what are the implications for living within the nation?

This paper, part of a dissertation, explores the first ladyship’s participation in the cultural construction of normative American citizenship. First ladies scholarship explores how first ladies model (or resist) normative femininity; more recent, Kristina Horn Sheeler and Karrin Vasby Anderson have suggested the first lady and presidency broadly act as idealized representations of American citizenship. This paper examines the link between first ladies, femininity, and citizenship. It weaves together rhetorical theory, feminist studies of women and nation-state (e.g., Nira Yuval-Davis) and citizenship (e.g., Ruth Lister), and feminist historiography to answer questions posed above.

The paper and presentation will focus, chiefly, on theory shaping the project’s questions. It also overviews the first ladyship’s historical emergence and development into a publicly, politically influential component of the American presidency.