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How to Belong


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Table of Contents

ContentsList of AbbreviationsAcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Rhetorics of Belonging in a Transnational World1 Belonging as Denizenship: Peace Women and Regional Dwelling2 Belonging as Cosmopolitanism: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's New Nationalism 3 Belonging as Connectivity: Michelle Bachelet's Transnational GovernanceConclusion: How to Belong (or Not) to the Nation-StateNotesBibliographyIndex

About the Author

Belinda Stillion Southard is Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Georgia. She is the author of Militant Citizenship: Rhetorical Strategies of the National Woman's Party, 1913-1920, winner of the 2012 Marie Hochmuth Nichols Book Award.


"In this provocative and compelling book, Belinda Stillion Southard offers an illuminating answer to the fundamental question of how people assert their membership in political communities. Considering cases of women's leadership in Africa, Stillion Southard unpacks the complex rhetorical dynamics of agency in a transnational era. She explores how women overcame skepticism and hostility at regional, national, and international levels to articulate roles as indispensable community members. How to Belong offers key insights on the relationship between individual and community."

-Robert Asen, author of Democracy, Deliberation, and Education

"How to Belong offers a powerful account of how women leaders negotiate geographical and gendered boundaries of peacemaking and belonging in a transnational world. Drawing on transnational feminist rhetorical scholarship and studies in global governance, Belinda Stillion Southard interweaves an incisive analysis of the embodied rhetorical strategies of West African and South American women leaders and their imagining of cosmopolitan citizenship and in the process opens up important new understandings of feminist rhetorical agency as a politics of relation."

-Wendy S. Hesford, author of Spectacular Rhetorics: Human Rights Visions, Recognitions, Feminisms

"Original and compelling, How to Belong transforms citizenship from a matter of location to one of embodied belonging and relationship. Through her riveting analyses, Southard reveals how women's rhetorical practices-in West African peace networks, Liberian elections, and UN global governance-create regional, national, and global relationships, and in her careful arguments, she brilliantly enlarges our knowledge of performative deliberation, women's rhetoric, and transnationalism."

-Arabella Lyon, author of Deliberative Acts: Democracy, Rhetoric, and Rights

"Written with elegant clarity, Stillion Southard's book boldly theorizes collective identity outside the bounds of nationality and citizenship. The book offers three case studies that inspire political imagination and hope. The Peace Women, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Michelle Bachelet teach lessons we all should learn."

-Catherine Helen Palczewski, coauthor of Gender in Communication: A Critical Introduction

"How to Belong makes important interventions into rhetorical studies of national belonging, women's agency, and citizenship, all from case studies embedded in deeply intertwined transnational contexts. Stillion Southard joins a small but powerful group of transnational feminist rhetoric scholars by expertly showing connections across often disparate and confrontational subject positions-protesters, politicians, and leaders of international governance organizations. A must-read for any scholar interested in the rhetorical ingenuity of women around the globe."

-Karma Chavez, author of Queer Migration Politics: Activist Rhetoric and Coalitional Possibilities

"How to Belong is a must-read for anyone interested in on-the-ground feminist rhetorical agency in action. It shows how, across the globe, women have used rhetorical acuity and skill not only to reimagine and negotiate change in their communities but also to craft new notions of belonging that reach beyond the nation-state."

-Rebecca Dingo, author of Networking Arguments: Rhetoric, Transnational Feminism, and Public Policy Writing

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