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Pre-July 2009 Press Archives

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2/19/2009 Linfield professor talks about co-edited book on women and politics

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         McMINNVILLE – Women and politics are a fascinating combination for a Linfield College professor. Brenda DeVore Marshall will give a reading from her book on Thursday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the Austin Reading Room in the Jereld R. Nicholson Library at Linfield College. 

         Marshall, professor and chair of theatre and communication arts, has co-edited her third book focusing on women’s rhetoric in politics. Marshall’s co-editor, Molly A. Mayhead, professor of speech and communication at Western Oregon University, will participate in the reading.

         “Telling Political Lives: The Rhetorical Autobiographies of Women Leaders in the United States” includes chapters contributed by Marshall and Mayhead and is published by Lexington Books.

         The text covers how the autobiographies of women leaders in the U.S. provide arguments that both reveal and shape perceptions of politics, empowerment and ideology in the United States. The book focuses on eight women, including Elizabeth Dole and Hillary Rodham Clinton, and what they bring to the political table. The analyses embody the political and rhetorical strategies the women employ in their efforts to act on their convictions, highlight the need for and reality of women’s involvement in all levels of politics, and serve as an inspiration for scholars and activists alike.

         “I think what increasingly becomes interesting is that women from different eras, political persuasions, political parties, ideologies and geographical locations tend to encounter many of the same issues,” Marshall said.

         Marshall said this topic is important because women are in the majority in this country and their voice should be heard in political circles. This is Marshall and Mayhead’s third book together and they have found throughout their research a common theme among women.

         Marshall and Mayhead also collaborated for their book “Women’s Political Discourse: A Twenty-First Century Perspective” in 2005 and edited “Navigating Boundaries: The Rhetoric of Women Governors” in 2000.

         Marshall’s academic interests include women's political discourse, intercultural communication, gender and communication, rhetorical theory and criticism, and theatrical directing. She has taught classes in these areas as well. Mayhead’s research interests include Supreme Court rhetoric, First Amendment issues and women's rhetoric. She received her Ph.D. from Penn State University.

         Marshall was the 2005 recipient of the Samuel I. Graf Faculty Achievement Award honoring outstanding faculty members. She has a bachelor’s degree in theatre and music from the University of Denver, a master’s degree in theatre and speech communication from North Texas State University, and a Ph.D. in speech communication and theatre from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

         Marshall and Mayhead are working on a companion volume, “Telling Political Lives II,” which focuses on autobiographies of women leaders from around the world.

         The reading is sponsored by Friends of Nicholson Library.