Areas of expertise & key innovations: very broadly, my research has examined American citizenship, the American presidency, and the idea of the American nation.
Citizenship: I argue that political theory and American political discourse positions citizens as romantic heroes, tragic victims, and ironic partisans. Current views of citizenship rely upon the tragic and ironic views, which do not enable citizens to act to control their government.
Heroic Presidency: I argue that we have heroic expectations for the presidency that are both unrealistic and unconstitutional and that these expectations burden the presidency.
Post-Rhetorical Presidency: I argue that the use of new media technology in addition to public relations techniques marks the shift from the "rhetorical presidency" to the "post-rhetorical presidency." If mass media allowed presidents to go over the heads of Congress and speak directly to the people, then social media allows presidents to go over the heads of both Congress and traditional media to broadcast directly to the people.
The Rhetorical Brilliance of Donald Trump, Demagogue For President. My current book project builds off of my recentpublicscholarship on the rhetorical techniques of Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
Live radio interview and call-in show, “Trump, the Demagogue,” WPR, The Kathleen Dunn Show, December 15, 2015.
Jennifer Mercieca, “The Rhetorical Brilliance of Trump the Demagogue,” The Conversation, December 11, 2015. (over 46,000 readers and hundreds of re-prints including Huffington Post and other major media outlets within the first month.). The Houston Chronicle published it with added cartoons, December 14, 2015. It was translated into German and published by netzpiloten December 30, 2015.
Live television interview, BBC World News, “Donald Trump’s Rhetoric,” December 10, 2015.
Interviewed, “95,000 Words, Many of Them Ominous, From Donald Trump’s Tongue,” The New York Times, December 5, 2015.
Interviewed, “Fact-checking Martin O'Malley's claim that Bernie Sanders sought primary challenger to Obama,” Politifact, November 10, 2015.
Live television interview, “First Democratic Primary Debate,” KAGS, October 14, 2015.
Live radio interview, “Who ‘Won’ Wednesday Night’s CNN Republican Debates?” Texas Standard, September 17, 2015.
Live television interview, “Decision 2016: Debate wrap up,” KAGS, August 6, 2015.