Members in the News

Member Spotlight: Jennifer Jackson Analyzes Obama's Speech

In a recent interview in U.S. News and World Report, Jennifer Jackson, an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Toronto, brought a linguistic perspective to discussions on Barack Obama's "race and unity" speech by analyzing his oratorial strategies. 

Jackson, whose research focuses on political oratory and rhetoric in the U.S. and in transitioning democracies in Africa, responded to questions about the “noticeable elements of the African-American church sermon” in Obama’s stump speeches and offered a cross-cultural perspective on political speeches from her research in Africa. She also discussed the speech styles and strategies of Hillary Clinton, John McCain, John Kerry and George Bush.

Describing the larger impact of Obama's "race and unity" speech, Jackson said, “It’s the talk about the talk, the talk about the speech, that ultimately matters.”

Jennifer Jackson holds the student seat of the AAA Executive Board.

To read the U.S. News and World Report article, click here.

The article was also mentioned in the Wall Street Journal's "smartest new political analysis on the Web" round-up, linked here.


On March 18, the AAA public affairs office issued a press release in response to Obama's "race and unity" speech. To read the release, click here.

For more Members in the News items, click here.