Alyssa Samek, visiting professor of rhetoric at Drake University, was honored with the first annual Dissertation of the Year Award from the GLBTQ Division and the Caucus on LGBTQ Concerns within the National Communication Association. The GLBTQ Dissertation of the Year Award acknowledges one exceptional dissertation that is advancing GLBTQ communication.
Samek is a first-year faculty member at Drake University, and only recently completed her dissertation titled, “Crafting Queer Identify, Building Coalitions, and Envisioning Liberation at the Intersections: A Rhetorical Analysis of 1970s Lesbian-Feminist Discourse,” which addresses the key issues that exist within the LGBTQ field of study. Her dissertation observed the ways that lesbian-feminists dealt with competing pressures of identity, and the frustrations that they underwent as they faced discrimination throughout the 1970s. The study sheds light on ways that lesbian-feminists reconstructed their identities through various social movements that occurred in the 1970s such as women’s liberation, gay liberation, and anti-war activism.
Joan Faber McAlister, associate professor of rhetoric at Drake University, received the Monograph of the Year Award from the same organization for “Figural Materialism: Renovating Marriage through the American Family Home,” which attempts to refresh current figural study methods by combining the rhetorical tradition of tropology with feminist theories of figuration.