WID Distinguished Lecture - Jennifer Wingard
“Rotten to the Core: Writing Texas as a State of Exception”
Through a discussion of the recent Blue Bell Ice Cream shut-down in Brenham, Texas and the detainment of Sudanese 9th grader Ahmed Mohamed in Irving, Texas, Prof. Wingard will demonstrate how the state of Texas is continually written as the “bad apple” of the United States. To demonstrate these processes, she draws on the rhetorical assemblage to examine how particular groups (or states) are branded “bad apples” to protect state and economic practices that enable violence and exclusion. Ultimately, she will show how assembling located stories of “bad apples” can reveal neoliberal writing practices which can be taught to our students to enable better civic engagement with their local surroundings.
Bio: Jennifer Wingard is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric, Composition, and Pedagogy and a faculty affiliate to the Women’s Studies Program at the University of Houston. Her scholarship focuses on the impact of global neoliberal economics on civic, democratic discourses. Her first book Branded Bodies, Rhetoric, and the Neoliberal Nation-State (Lexington Books 2013) focuses on the ubiquitous nature of political branding and its impact on immigrant and GLBT communities. Her scholarship has appeared in Reflections, Journal of Advanced Composition (JAC), and other interdisciplinary edited collections. She is currently working on a book titled Rotten to the Core: Exceptional Rhetoric in a Neoliberal Age.