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Presentation by Jody Natalle and Jenni Simon Will Focus on Michelle Obama

Tuesday, February 9:  “Michelle Obama: First Lady, American Rhetor” presentation by UNCG faculty authors Jody Natalle and Jenni Simon. 
4 p.m. Hodges Reading Room, Jackson Library 2nd floor, UNCG.  FREE.

“When Michelle Obama held the Bible for her husband’s swearing in on January 20, 2009, it was a turning point in first lady history,” write Jody Natalle and Jenni Simon of UNC Greensboro’s Communication Studies Department, who have produced an essay collection about Mrs. Obama.  They go on to describe Mrs. Obama as “not the ordinary first lady we have come to expect as the supporter of the president.  In fact, it is because she is extraordinary that we choose Michelle Obama for a rhetorical-cultural analysis that uncovers some of the ways American women communicate gender.”

Their book, Michelle Obama: First Lady, American Rhetor is an edited anthology that explores the persona and speech-making of the country’s first African American first lady. The result of these thought-provoking essays is an interdisciplinary text that explores the First Lady from a rhetorical and cultural point of view. Authors analyze her Democratic National Convention speeches, her brand as First Lady, her communication from her latest trip to Africa, her agenda rhetoric in Let’s Move! and Reach Higher, and her coming out as a Black feminist intellectual when she spoke at Maya Angelou’s memorial service. Readers will recognize Michelle Obama as a rhetor of our times—a woman who influences America at the intersections of gender, race, and class and who is representative of what women are today.

Natalle and Simon will discuss their book during a presentation in Jackson Library’s Martha Blakeney Hodges Reading Room on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 at 4 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public.  For more information or to request  disability accommodations, please contact Barry Miller at 336-256-0112 or

A copy of the book may be found in Jackson Library at E 909.024 M53 2015.