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APRIL 7-9, 2016

The DePauw University DePartment of COMMUNICATION & THEATRE


DePauw University’s National Undergraduate Honors Conference is designed to encourage undergraduate scholarship and facilitate the interaction between undergraduates and major scholars in communication and theatre.


This is a working conference emphasizing a mentoring relationship with our distinguished visiting professors. Students collaborate with guest professors in small-group seminars designed to refine and extend their ideas. This is an excellent opportunity for students thinking about graduate or professional education beyond their undergraduate experience.


Housing (Thursday to Saturday), meals, and conference materials will be provided for each participant.  Cost of transportation to and from the conference must be borne by the participant.  Free transportation will be provided from the Indianapolis airport to DePauw University.  There will be a conference registration fee of $175.00 per participant.


Dr. Karrin Anderson and Dr. Kristina Sheeler 

From “Bitch” to “Badass” and Beyond: Gender and Presidential Identity

The 2016 presidential primary is one of the most diverse in U.S. history, with women, Latinos, and an African-American launching sustained bids for their party’s nomination. This primary election season also underscores the ways in which digital and popular culture shapes our understanding of presidentiality. In this lecture, Karrin Vasby Anderson and Kristina Horn Sheeler will examine the interplay of gender, politics, and popular culture by assessing the ways in which the public image of Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton was constructed and contested in popular media, focusing on two dominant archetypes: bitch and badass. “Bitch” reflects the 20th-century anxiety about powerful women as threatening and unfeminine, trapping political women within the double bind between femininity and competence. In the 21st century, however, as women both embraced and pushed back against the bitch frame, a new archetype emerged in political and popular culture: the “badass.” Badasses are effective leaders whose power, although imposing, no longer marks women as unnatural. Both frames may be deployed in ways that are progressive and/or reactionary. By assessing how Hillary Clinton strategically inhabited or was framed by each construct, we can understand more fully the challenges and opportunities facing women candidates for U.S. president.

Thursday, April 7, 2016, 8:00 PM
Memorial Student Union Building, ballroom 



Oscar Giner
Arizona State University

Gordon Mitchell
University of Pittsburgh

Kristin Warner
University of Alabama


We welcome undergraduate-authored papers concerning all areas of communication and theatre, including rhetoric, interpersonal, small group, organizational, media theory and criticism, theatrical theory and criticism, film studies, etc.  Limited multiple authorship is acceptable, but not class projects; we reserve the right to invite only one author from each paper.

Submit “blind” papers and cover pages as separate email attachments, both formatted in Microsoft Word. Deadline for submission is January 11, 2016.  Please include a campus address, phone number, e-mail address, and faculty sponsor on the cover page.  Authors will be notified of selection by letter and e-mail in mid-February.  Only completed research will be considered – no proposals.  Papers should not exceed 30 pages double-spaced (excluding title page, references and appendices).

Send to: 

Kent Menzel, Conference Co-Director
Communication and Theatre
DePauw University
600 South Locust
Greencastle, Indiana 46135