‘Woman President’ earns two national awards for IUPUI co-author

unnamed

Stock Photo

INDIANAPOLIS — Two national professional organizations have named an IUPUI professor and her Colorado State University co-author recipients of top awards in recognition of their book about women and the quest for the U.S. presidency.

Kristina Horn Sheeler, chair and associate professor of communication studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and Karrin Vasby Anderson will receive the National Communication Association’s top book award, the James A. Winans and Herbert A. Wichelns Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric and Public Address.

Sheeler and Anderson, professor of communication studies at Colorado State University, are also recipients of the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender’s 2014 Outstanding Book Award.

Both awards honor the women for their authorship of “Woman President: Confronting Postfeminist Political Culture,” published last year by Texas A&M University Press.

“We are honored to receive these significant awards,” said Sheeler, who teaches in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. “Recognition of this important scholarship on gender and the presidency is one step toward imagining a woman as president. It is not as simple as advising women to run differently; as a culture, we must shift the conversation to include the cultural barriers competent women face when running for executive level office.”

In “Woman President: Confronting Postfeminist Political Culture,” Sheeler and Anderson discuss the U.S. presidentiality as a unique rhetorical role, reviewing women’s historical and contemporary presidential bids with special emphasis on the 2008 campaign. They also consider how presidentiality is framed in candidate oratory, campaign journalism, film and television, digital media and political parody, all to answer the question “What will it take for a woman to be elected as U.S. president?”

The co-authors argue that “one of the most intransigent barriers to the election of a woman president is the persistence of a broad cultural backlash against female presidentiality” that can be seen in political and popular culture.

Sheeler and Anderson received funding for their research as co-recipients of the Carrie Chapman Catt Prize for Research on Women in Politics.

The women will be honored during an award ceremony Nov. 22 at the National Communication Association’s 100th annual convention in Chicago.

The National Communication Association promotes the appreciation of the importance of communication in public and private life, the application of competent communication to improve the quality of human life and relationships, and the use of knowledge about communication to solve human problems.

As National Communication Association award recipients, Sheeler and Anderson “join a venerable group of scholars and educators who have been honored for achieving excellence in research, teaching and service,” association president Kathleen Turner said in the award letter to the co-authors.

Sheeler and Anderson have also been invited to attend an award celebration during the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender convention Oct. 16 to 19 in the San Francisco area.

The organization seeks to provide a forum for professional discussion, presentation of research and demonstration of creative projects in the areas of communication, language and gender, and to promote recognition of those doing work in this area.

“The committee had glowing things to say about your book and the decision to award you winner was unanimous,” Rachel E. Silverman, organization Book Award Committee chair, said in an award letter to the co-authors.

‘Woman President’ authors examine factors that have kept women out of the White House

In Woman President: Confronting Postfeminist Political Culture, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis professor Kristina Horn Sheeler and Colorado State University professor Karrin Vasby Anderson examine the 2008 candidacies of Clinton and Palin, and presidential campaigns of other women, along with campaign public addresses, political journalism and punditry, political humor, and television and movie depictions of female presidents. The authors uncover a political and popular culture backlash against women that has kept the White House a man’s place.

“When media depictions of female candidates are based on sexist stereotypes, or worse yet, pornographic and misogynistic framing, we have not just a political culture that discredits political women, but a larger cultural undercurrent that demonstrates a backlash against the gains women have made in the last decade,” Sheeler said.

Sheeler is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Communication Studies in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Anderson is an associate professor of communication studies at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. The duo also co-authored “Governing Codes: Gender, Metaphor, and Political Identity.”

In “Woman President: Confronting Postfeminist Political Culture,” Sheeler and Anderson provide a discussion of U.S. presidentiality as a unique rhetorical role. Within that framework, they review women’s historical and contemporary presidential bids, placing special emphasis on the 2008 campaign. They also consider how presidentiality is framed in candidate oratory, campaign journalism, film and television, digital media and political parody.

“Everyone seeking a more complete understanding of the presidency, campaign rhetoric, gender studies and the role of the media in the portrayal of women in the White House and in coverage of women in campaigns, including the election of 2008, will find the scholarship and analysis in this book of value,” said Janet M. Martin, author of “The Presidency and Women: Promise, Performance and Illusion in the White House” and professor of government at Bowdoin College.

“Examining women’s historical and recent presidential campaigns, television and movie depictions of women presidents, and the 2008 Clinton and Palin candidacies, Sheeler and Anderson reveal the hegemonic power wielded by an essentialist white masculinity. Their argument is uncompromising and compelling, controversial and persuasive; their book engages and challenges readers across the disciplines,” said MaryAnne Borrelli, author of” The Politics of the President’s Wife” and professor of government at Connecticut College.

Sheeler’s and Anderson’s book, published by Texas A & M University Press, hit bookstore shelves last month.