Margaret La Ware Directory Page

Dr. Margaret La Warelaware_directory
Associate Professor, English

Contact Information

311 Ross Hall
515-294-7353
mlaware@iastate.edu

Courses I am Teaching

SpCm 216 Great Speakers and Speeches
SpCm 312  Business and Professional Communication
SpCm 323 Gender and Communication
SpCm 497 Capstone Class
Engl. 548 Rhetorical Theory II
Engl. 542  Visual and Material Rhetorics

Degrees

Ph.D. and M.A. Northwestern University   •   Communication Studies
B.A. SUNY Stony Brook   •   English          

Research Areas

Feminist Theory and Criticism; Visual and Material Rhetorics; 20th Century Women’s Public Address; Memory, Identity and Public Space.

About My Teaching

I particularly enjoy providing students with the opportunity to find their voices and to be able to articulate a position and defend it with thoughtful reasoning and carefully chosen evidence. Skills in argumentation and effective presentation are therefore important in all the classes I teach, not just in Business and Professional Communication and Public Speaking. In every class, I work at facilitating discussions in large and small groups, and helping students to develop the ability to pay attention to the details of communication whether that means the choice of wording and organization of a speech or the poses of women and men in advertising and the implications of those choices and poses. I want students to recognize that those details affect persuasive impact.

How I came to Speech Communication, Rhetoric and Feminist Studies

I started as a music performance major (viola is my instrument), but wanted to combine more intellectually stimulating studies with performance, which is how I eventually found my way to a major in English as an undergraduate. It ultimately challenged me intellectually, fueled my love of reading and history, and also compelled me to learn to write more effective arguments. I also took classes in women’s studies, women’s literature (in French) and feminist theory as an undergraduate, which solidified my interest in teaching gender studies and my recent research on  women’s speeches, the women’s movement and feminist theory.  In graduate school, I sought out an interdisciplinary program which brought me to Communication Studies at Northwestern University and a program that incorporated studies in performance theory, radio, television and film as well as rhetorical theory, criticism and history. My dissertation looked at postmodern theory and controversies over public art in public space bringing together my other interest in visual rhetoric and culture.

Recent Publications

With Chrisy Moutsatsos, “For Skin That’s Us, Authentically Us”: Celebrity, Empowerment and the Allure of Anti-Aging Advertisements.” Women’s Studies in Communication. Vol. 36 No. 2, (2013), pp. 189-208.

“Defining a “Livable City”: Parks, Suburbanization and the Shaping of Community Identity and Ecological Responsibility,” Urban Communication Reader III. Peter Lang, 2013

“Sparring with public memory: The rhetorical embodiment of race, power, and conflict in The monument to Joe Louis” with Victoria Gallagher. In Places of Public Memory: The Rhetoric of Museums and Memorials. Edited by Greg Dickinson, Carole Blair, and Brian Ott. Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 2010, pp. 87-112.

Current Research

I am currently working on a book on commencement speeches at Women’s College from the early 1970s to the early 2000s, looking at how women speakers use rhetorical invention to shape the genre to respond to the lives and experiences of educated women throughout the decades of the second wave of the women’s movement, through the period of backlash and third wave feminism.

Outside of the University

I love to figure skate! I’m working my way through my dance and figure skating levels of the U.S. Figure Skating Association. And when I’m not in the rink, I’m riding my bike with my husband and daughter around town.