The Construction of Gender in Czech Political Culture

Session #3  Panel Discussion  | Wednesday, June 26  | 12:00-13:30
Auditorium Maximum JU (Aula Mała)

Sub-theme: The shifting borders of inclusion/exclusion: Europe as a space of change

Kristina Horn Sheeler

illustration by Pink Plastic Bag

This essay assesses Forum 50%’s political discourse during April – October 2010 in the Czech Republic, focusing on visual rhetoric representative of the organization’s ongoing strategy. This essay examines the ways the visual strategy responds to and makes visible the gendered norms of Czech political culture and advocates for increased levels of participation, voice and legitimacy of women in the political realm. Through examination of the visual strategy of Forum 50%, this essay demonstrates the importance of orchestrating a visible public image that commands political agency and dismantles gendered stereotypes while taking advantage of the rhetorical resources within a specific cultural context.


Prof. Kristina H.Sheeler

Kristina Horn Sheeler is an Associate Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Communication Studies at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. She studies women and political leadership, examining specifically the ways in which political identity is rhetorically constructed and contested in popular media. She is the author, with Karrin Vasby Anderson, of the book Governing Codes: Gender, Metaphor, and Political Identity and co-recipient (also with Anderson) of the Carrie Chapman Catt Prize for Research on Women in Politics. Dr. Sheeler has completed international teaching appointments in Macedonia and the Czech Republic, and she has earned multiple faculty awards, including the IUPUI Outstanding Communication Studies Faculty Member, the IUPUI Trustees Teaching Award, and the IUPUI Jaguars Favorite Professor Award.  Sheeler and Anderson recently completed their second book together entitled Woman President: Gendered Presidentiality and “Postfeminist” Political Culture.