Jennifer Borda

Phone: (603) 862-3079
Office: Communication, Horton Social Science Center Room 129, Durham, NH 03824
Jennifer Borda

Jennifer L. Borda is Associate Professor of Communication, specializing in rhetoric, feminist studies, and democratic deliberation, and Chairperson of the Department of Communication. She is author of Women Labor Activists in the Movies: Nine Depictions of Workplace Organizers, 1954-2005 (McFarland Publishers, 2010) and co-editor of The Motherhood Business: Consumption, Communication, and Privilege (University of Alabama Press, 2015). Her essays have been published in various academic journals, including Text & Performance Quarterly, Feminist Media Studies, Women’s Studies in Communication, and Communication Quarterly, and in various anthologies. She co-founded and co-directs the UNH Civil Discourse Lab (CDL), which is committed to non-partisanship and a focus on process rather than product or content. The CDL trains students to become neutral facilitators of challenging and contentious discussions, using small groups to focus participants on fundamental differences, shared values, and listening to each other’s perspectives, in order to encourage greater understanding. Borda also received a UNH Center for the Humanities fellowship in 2014 for her current research, which focuses on how discourse and ideologies about women, work, motherhood, and identity have been constructed and challenged through the mass media and online deliberation. She is an invited participant of an NEH Digital Humanities Implementation Grant project, “Serious Sims: Scaling Digital Gaming for Humanities Pedagogy and Practice,” for which she developed a role-playing simulation on Gender, Work and Family to engage students in debates surrounding issues of workplace dynamics/culture, gender, race, class, power, and privilege, and issues of work-life balance . She has been a fellow on the NSF-funded ADVANCE IT grant “UNH Unbiased” in which she co-chaired a subcommittee to address career-life balance issues relating to the recruitment of women and underrepresented STEM faculty. She also has been a member of UNH’s President’s Commission on the Status of Women and the Grand Challenges Steering Committee.


  • Ph.D., Speech/Theater Education, Pennsylvania State University
  • M.A., Speech/Theater Education, Pennsylvania State University
  • B.A., Communications, Villanova University

Research Interests

  • Critical cultural studies
  • Democracy
  • Feminist rhetoric
  • Film analysis
  • Film/Cinema Studies
  • Gender Equality
  • Political discourse
  • Rhetoric
  • Social protest

Courses Taught

  • CMN 505: Analysis of Popular Culture
  • CMN 575: Research Practicum
  • CMN 685: Gendered Rhetorics
  • CMN 697: Sem/Gendered Rhetorics
  • CMN 703: Seminar in Rhetorical Theory
  • CMN 757: American Public Address
  • CMN 799H: Honors Thesis

Selected Publications

Borda, J. L., & Marshall, B. (2020). Creating a space to #SayHerName: Rhetorical stratification in the networked sphere. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 106(2), 133-155. doi:10.1080/00335630.2020.1744182

Demo, A. T., Borda, J. L., & Kroløkke, C. H. (2015). The Motherhood Business Consumption, Communication, and Privilege. University of Alabama Press.

Borda, J. (2015). Lean In or Leave Before You Leave?: False Dichotomies of Choice and Blame in Public Debates About Working Motherhood. In V. Reimer, & S. Sahagian (Eds.), The Mother-Blame Game (pp. 219-234). Bradford, Ontario Canada: Demeter Press. Retrieved from

Laughing Through Our Tears: Rhetorical Tensions in Roger & Me. (2013). Retrieved from

Cultivating Community Within the Commercial Marketplace: Blurred Boundaries in the ‘Mommy’ Blogosphere (2013). Retrieved from

Borda, J. L. (2010). Women Labor Activists in the Movies Nine Depictions of Workplace Organizers, 1954-2005. McFarland.

Borda, J. L. (2010). Working-class Women, Protofeminist Performance, and Resistant Ruptures in the Movie MusicalThe Pajama Game. Text and Performance Quarterly, 30(3), 227-246. doi:10.1080/10462937.2010.483287

Borda, J. L. (2009). Negotiating Feminist Politics in the Third Wave: Labor Struggle and Solidarity inLive Nude Girls Unite!. Communication Quarterly, 57(2), 117-135. doi:10.1080/01463370902880462

Borda, J. L. (2005). Feminist Critique and Cinematic Counterhistory in the DocumentaryWith Babies and Banners. Women's Studies in Communication, 28(2), 157-182. doi:10.1080/07491409.2005.10162490

Borda, J. L. (2002). The woman suffrage parades of 1910–1913: Possibilities and limitations of an early feminist rhetorical strategy. Western Journal of Communication, 66(1), 25-52. doi:10.1080/10570310209374724

Most Cited Publications