Bio

Dr. Jennifer Mercieca (PhD, University of Illinois) is an historian of American political discourse, especially discourses about citizenship, democracy, and the presidency. Her scholarship combines American history with rhetorical and political theory in an effort to understand democratic practices.

Her citizenship research argues that current views of citizenship treat Americans mainly as partisans, which prevents them from acting for the common good. Her presidency research argues that we have heroic expectations for the presidency that are both unrealistic and unconstitutional and that these expectations burden the presidency. She is the author of Founding Fictions and the co-Editor of The Rhetoric of Heroic Expectations: Establishing the Obama Presidency.

Her essays have appeared in scholarly journals like Rhetoric & Public Affairs, The Quarterly Journal of Speech, and Presidential Studies Quarterly.

Dr. Mercieca teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on Political Communication, Presidential Rhetoric, Activism, Citizenship & the Public Sphere, Social Movements, Rhetorical Theory, and the History of American Public Discourse.

Dr. Mercieca frequently appears as an expert commentator and as a consultant for news stories on politics and the presidency, especially issues related to demagoguery and the 2016 election. She has been interviewed by The New York Times, BBC World News, Huffington Post, and WPR, among many others.

Sub-specialties: American Presidency, American Presidential History, Citizenship, Democracy, Rhetoric, Demagoguery, Speeches, State of the Union, Inaugural Addresses

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