This book, published in 2016, explores the way today’s interconnected and digitized world marked by social media, over-sharing, and blurred lines between public and private spheres shapes the nature and fallout of scandal in a frenzied media environment. Today’s digitized world has erased the former distinction between the public and private self in the social sphere. Scandal in a Digital Age marries scholarly research on scandal with journalistic critique to explore how our Internet culture driven by (over)sharing and viral, visual content impacts the occurrence of scandal and its rapid spread online through retweets and reposts. No longer are examples of scandalous behavior “merely” reported in the news. Today, news consumers can see the visual evidence of salacious behavior whether through an illicit tweet or video with a simple click. And we can’t help but click.
Sex Scandals, Gender and Power in Contemporary American Politics (Praeger, 2017)
This book is a first-of-its-kind examination about the gender gap in political sex scandals, and was published in 2017. I snapped the photo - right - from a post card at a candy shop in Gloucester, Mass. in 2015. What better way to conceptualize scandal, gender and history?
This book examines the American institution of the political sex scandal in order to explore how scandals turn politics into a spectator sport, contribute to the mistrust of government, cause citizens to question politicians’ competence, and diminish politicians’ ability to do good for the people who elected them. Media coverage of political sex scandals commonly devolves into frenzied sleaze fests that hold hostage the attention of the American public and play into gendered narratives. My analysis demonstrates that scandals are a representation of society’s broader gender dynamics, conveying subtle messages about power and morality. Political sex scandals involve public officials elected to do the people’s work: in this context, the most seemingly private behavior can have wide-ranging public consequences.
Nasty Women and Bad Hombres: Gender and Race in the 2016 US Presidential Election (University of Rochester Press, 2018)
This anthology, co-edited with Christine A. Kray and Tamar W. Carroll, shows how, in the 2016 US presidential election, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and American voters invoked gender and race in competing historical narratives about the nation. The book is published by University of Rochester Press, and will be released in Fall 2018. Click here for the Amazon page, and here for the publisher's page.
Gender and racial politics were at the center of the 2016 US presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The election was “historic” because Clinton was the first woman nominated by a major political party for the presidency. Yet the election was also historic in that it generated sustained reflection on the past. Clinton’s campaign linked her with suffragist struggles--represented perhaps most poignantly by the parade of visitors to Susan B. Anthony’s grave on Election Day--while Trump harnessed nostalgia through his promise to Make America Great Again. This collection of essays looks at the often vitriolic rhetoric that characterized the election: “nasty women” vs. “deplorables”; “bad hombres” and “Crooked Hillary”; analyzing the struggle and its result through the lenses of gender, race, and their intersections, and with particular attention to the roles of memory, performance, narrative, and social media.
Crafting Democracy: Fiber Arts and Activism (RIT Press, 2019)
Works in this 2019 exhibition and eponymous book demonstrate how objects of material culture can provoke and engage everyday citizens, including those of marginalized identities, as productive tools in deliberative democracies; craft can also aid those wanting their voices to be amplified through the process of making. In order to draw attention between the local and the global, the work of Rochester-area residents of all ages will be on display along with that of art-activists (“craftivists”) from across the U.S. and abroad, who use the traditional tools of craft (yarn, thread, textiles) to make statements about socio-political, cultural, and economic issues that have engaged them, prompting them to turn to craft as a pathway to positive change, and a tool for enacting social justice.
Crafting Dissent: Handicraft as Protest from the American Revolution to the Pussyhats (Rowman & Littlefield, forthcoming 2019)
Pussyhats, typically crafted with yarn, quite literally created a sea of pink the day after Donald J. Trump became the 45thpresident of the United States in January 2017, as the inaugural Women’s March unfolded throughout the U.S., and sister cities globally.
But there was nothing new about women crafting as a means of dissent.
Crafting Dissent: Handicraft as Protest from the American Revolution to the Pussyhats is the first book that demonstrates how craft, typically involving the manipulation of yarn, thread and fabric, has also been used as a subversive tool throughout history and up to the present day, to push back against government policy and social norms that crafters perceive to be harmful to them, their bodies, their families, their ideals relating to equality and human rights, and their aspirations. At the heart of the book is an exploration for how craft is used by citizens to engage with the rhetoric and policy shaping their country’s public sphere.
The book is divided into three sections: “Crafting Histories,” “Politics of Craft,” and “Crafting Cultural Conversations.”