- Areas of Speciality
- Rhetoric and Public Affairs
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My research engages the concerns of contemporary critical theorists, rhetoricians, and historians by examining the circulation of sex, gender, and race identifications in the U.S. contexts that span from the nineteenth century onward. I pay particular attention to social movement discourse and public memories about resistance.
Kristan Poirot is an Associate Professor in Communication, and affiliated faculty member of the Africana Studies and Women’s & Gender Studies programs. She teaches courses on Black freedom movements, feminist history and theory, and social movements and rhetoric. Her research is interdisciplinary in scope and equally invested in rhetorical studies and feminist/gender studies. She engages the concerns of contemporary critical theorists, rhetoricians, and historians by examining the circulation of sex, gender, and race identifications in U.S. contexts that span from the nineteenth century onward. In her work, Poirot examines number of different rhetorical sites to better understand the situatedness of these identifications. She pays particular attention to social movement rhetorics and public memories about resistance and white heteronormative male supremacy. Her focus on place and context enables a feminist intervention that grapples with both the conceptual and material entailments of sex, gender, and racial disparity. She is the author of one book, A Question of Sex: Feminism, Rhetoric, and Differences That Matter (University of Massachusetts Press, 2014) and a number of articles published in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, and Women’s Studies in Communication.
- COMM 203: Public Speaking
- COMM 301: Rhetoric of Western Thought
- COMM 407: Gender, Race and Media
- COMM/WGST 420: Gender and Communication
- COMM/AFST 425: Rhetoric of the Civil Rights Movement
- WGST 200: Introduction to Women’s & Gender Studies
- WGST 401: Feminist Theory
- WGST/ENGL 481: Women’s Rhetoric
- COMM 601: Foundations in Communication Inquiry
- COMM 645: Rhetorical & Textual Methods
- COMM/AFST 652: Rhetoric of Black Freedom Movements
- COMM 653: Rhetoric & Public Culture
- WSGT 680: Theories of Gender
- WGST 689: Sex & Feminism
- Poirot, K. (2020) “Southern Traditions of (Ms.)Remembering: Place, Purpose, & Personae of Black Freedom Commemoration.” In The Conceit of Context: Resituating Domains in Rhetorical Studies. Eds: C. E. Morris III & K.R. Phillips.
- Poirot, K. (2017) “Violence and White Heternormative Citizenship” Women’s Studies in Communication, 96.2: 321-324.
- Poirot, K. (2015) “Gendered Geographies of Memory: Place, Violence, and Exigency at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.” Rhetoric & Public Affairs, 18.4: 621-648.
- Poirot, K.; Watson, S.E. (2015) “Memories of Freedom and White Resilience: Place, Tourism, and Urban Slavery.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly, 25.2: 91-116.
- Poirot, K. (2010). “(Un)Making Sex, Making Race: Nineteenth Century Liberalism, Difference, and the Rhetoric of Elizabeth Cady Stanton.” Quarterly Journal of Speech, 96, 185-208.
- Poirot, K. (2009). “Domesticating the Liberated Woman: Containment Rhetorics of Second Wave Radical/Lesbian Feminism.” Women’s Studies in Communication, 32, 263-292.
Poirot, Kristan. A Question of Sex: Feminism, Rhetoric, and Differences that Matter (University of Massachusetts Press, 2014).
Motivated by a series of historical and conceptual critiques of “sex” that emerged in the early 1900s, I explore the ways feminist movements have questioned the contours of sexed distinctions and practices over time. Although a radical rethinking of sex, gender, and sexuality has informed a voluminous body of feminist work done on historical and contemporary instances of sex/gender bending, it has contributed little to inform an understanding of the history of U.S. feminist movement practices and discourse. A Question of Sex addresses this gap, demonstrating the ways the sex “scholarly revolution” described above compels a rethinking of U.S. feminist movements, their investments, and various cultural interventions.