Skip to main content

Tasha N. Dubriwny

Faculty member Tasha N. Dubrwiny
Coordinator of Graduate Student Instruction
Associate Professor
Areas of Speciality
  • Humanities & Critical/Cultural Studies
  • Rhetoric and Public Affairs
  • BLTN 302B
Professional Links


Dr. Dubriwny’s research focuses on the intersections of feminism, health, and politics. Her first book, The Vulnerable Empowered Woman: Feminism, Postfeminism, and Women’s Health, surveys popular media discourse about women’s health issues, including propylactic mastectomies, cervical cancer, and postpartum depression. Dr. Dubriwny is a core faculty member in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.


Tasha Dubriwny is an Associate Professor of Communication and a core faculty member of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program (she currently serves as the Undergraduate Coordinator for WGST). She is a feminist rhetorical scholar whose work focuses on the intersections of feminism, health, and politics. Her award winning book The Vulnerable Empowered Woman: Feminism, Postfeminism, and Women’s Health offers a critique of popular discourse about three women’s health issues: postpartum depression, breast cancer, and cervical cancer. Her current research on reproductive politics adopts an intersectional feminist and reproductive justice framework to argue for the importance of all people’s reproductive freedom. She is working with co-author Kristan Poirot on a book manuscript, tentatively titled “The Tyranny of Choice,” that deploys reproductive justice as a lens through which to understand the dynamics of choice rhetoric across a series of case studies including school choice, the choice of surrogacy for LGBTQ parents, and the choice of sterilization by young affluent women. 

Courses Taught

  • COMM 240: Rhetorical Criticism
  • COMM 301: Rhetoric in Western Thought
  • COMM/WGST 411: Representations of Motherhood
  • COMM/WGST 420: Gender and Communication
  • COMM 471: Media, Health and Medicine
  • COMM 634: Gender and Communication
  • COMM 645: Rhetorical and Textual Methods
  • COMM 689: Special Topics, “Gender and Citizenship”
  • WGST 200: Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies
  • WGST 401: Feminist Theory
  • WGST 481: Senior Seminar, “Gender and Citizenship”
  • WGST 489: Special Topics, “Gender, Health and Activism”
  • WGST 680: Theories of Gender

Representative Publications

  • Dubriwny, T. N.  and Siegfried, K. (2021). Justifying abortion: The limits of maternal idealist rhetoric. Quarterly Journal of Speech, (107)2.
  • Dubriwny, T.N. (2018). How to Be “Fierce as F*&!”: Full Frontal’s Angry Feminist Satire. In Karrin Vasby Anderson (Ed.), Women, Feminism, and Pop Politics: From “Bitch” to “Badass” and Beyond (143-164). New York: Peter Lang
  • Dubriwny, T. N. (2016). Mommy blogs and the disruptive possibilities of transgressive drinking. In Heather L. Hundley and Sara E. Hayden (Eds.), Mediated Moms: Contemporary Challenges to the Motherhood Myth (203-220). New York: Peter Lang.
  • Dubriwny, Tasha N. (2013). Feminist for president: Hillary Clinton, feminism, and the 2008 Democratic primaries. Women & Language, 36(2), 35-56.
  • Dubriwny, Tasha N. and Ramadurai, V. (2013). Framing birth: Postfeminism in the delivery roomWomen’s Studies in Communication, 36(3), 243-266.
  • Dubriwny, Tasha N. (2010). Television news coverage of postpartum disorders and the politics of medicalization.  Feminist Media Studies, 10(3), 285-303.


book: The Vulnerable Empowered WomanDubriwny, Tasha N. (2013). The Vulnerable Empowered Woman: Feminism, Postfeminism, and Women’s Health. Rutgers University Press. 

The Vulnerable Empowered Woman  assesses the state of women’s healthcare today by analyzing popular media representations—television, print newspapers, websites, advertisements, blogs, and memoirs—in order to understand the ways in which breast cancer, postpartum depression, and cervical cancer are discussed in American public life. From narratives about prophylactic mastectomies to young girls receiving a vaccine for sexually transmitted disease, the representations of women’s health today form a single restrictive identity: the vulnerable empowered woman. This identity defuses feminist notions of collective empowerment and social change by drawing from both postfeminist and neoliberal ideologies.