Professor Zornitsa Keremidchieva is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Writing at Macalester College. Keremidchieva’s research interests focus on the intersection of feminist theory and political discourse. Her dissertation titled “The Gendering of Legislative Rationality: Women, Immigrants, and the Nationalization of Citizenship, 1918-1922,” examined the intersection of discourses about women and immigrants in Congressional rhetorics in the early 20th century. It was awarded the National Communication Association’s Gerald R. Miller Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in 2008. Her work has appeared in journals such as The Quarterly Journal of Speech, Argumentation & Advocacy, Women & Language, Journal of Argumentation in Context, Feminist Media Studies, in edited collections such as Globalizing Intercultural Communication, The Sage Handbook of Gender and Communication and The Sage Handbook of Rhetorical Studies, and in the proceedings of organizations such as International Society for the Study of Argumentation.
At Whitman, she will deliver a talk titled, "The Nationalization of (Alien) Women: A Domestic Story with Some Global Implications." Citizenship is a systems concept that arises from both the domestic and international political order. Historically, women have been in a particularly tenuous position within the interplay of national and international political relations. In her talk, Keremidchieva will trace the rhetorical emergence of women’s citizenship as an object of legislative interest in the U.S. from the first Congress, which barely recognized women’s existence, to the post-World War I period when Congress established women’s independent citizenship and naturalization rights as a way to assert the country’s leadership in the international arena. The talk will illustrate how gendered rhetoric creates frameworks through which the international and domestic order have been aligned, how these alignments have advantaged some women at the expense of others, and why since WWI citizenship has increasingly become a tool of exclusion rather than inclusion in the international arena of politics. Thus the talk points to the (dangerous) futility of inclusion politics, and instead argues for radical, post-national feminist politics of belonging.
Professor Keremidchieva's visit is sponsored by the Department of Rhetoric and the Whitman College Visiting Educator fund.