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Wanda Little Fenimore

Assistant Professor of Speech Communication, Arts and Letters at University of South Carolina Sumter
From Virginia
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Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies Community College Faculty Fellowship
Spring 2020 - Fall 2020 - USC Sumter Faculty
Added by Wanda Little
Visiting Assistant Professor of Rhetoric at Hampden-Sydney College
August 2012 - May 2015
Instructor of Communication Studies at Randolph College
August 2008 - May 2010
The Rhetorical Road to Brown v. Board of Education: Elizabeth and Waties Waring's Campaign
An illuminating look at the little-known rhetorical campaign that helped advance the cause of school desegregation
April 2023 - Publications
From ‘Separate, But Equal’ to Living Legacy: The Plessy and Ferguson Foundation
Presented at 108th National Communication Association Convention
November 2022 - Conferences
Haley v. Obama: The Fight Over South Carolina’s Voter ID Law
Presented at 108th National Communication Association Convention
November 2022 - Conferences
Breaking the Code: Racism in News Media's Coverage of 1964 National Democratic Party Convention
Presented at the Twenty-Third Biennial Conference of the International Society for the History of Rhetoric
August 2022 - Conferences
The Need for Changing: John H. McCray’s Resilient Resistance to White Supremacy
Presented at 92nd Annual Convention of the Southern States Communication Association
April 2022 - Conferences
“Freedom is Everybody’s Job”: Elizabeth Waring’s Rhetorical Strategies to Dismantle Jim Crow
Rhetoric & Public Affairs 24, no. 4 (2021): 645-683. On January 16, 1950, Elizabeth Avery Waring, a well-to-do white woman, delivered an explosive speech to the Coming Street (Black) Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) in Charleston, South Carolina. Waring crafted the speech to provoke a response. She maneuvered behind the scenes to ensure that the speech reached a national audience. As a result, Waring received supportive and derogatory letters from people beyond the local audience. Four themes emerged in the derogatory letters: Good Southerner, Outsider to the South, Outsider to White Femininity, and Threats. The negative letters attempted to restore the illusion of consensus about segregation. The positive letter-writers admired Waring’s courage for saying what they were scared to say publicly. Waring circulated the responses to the speech in media interviews, letters, and subsequent speeches. The strategic circulation of the audience responses functioned rhetorically as an affirming device with the potential to create a white collective that publicly opposed segregation, thereby disrupting the appearance of unanimity. When applied to audience responses, circulation as a rhetorical strategy can remove barriers to speech, recruit adherents, and further movements.
March 2022 - Publications
Media, Money & Mental Health
Invited guest lecturer in COMM 275 Communication Theory class at Coastal Carolina University. The lecture examined the political economy of media and coverage of celebrity mental health issues. With a focus on Britney Spears, students and I explored how media's profit motive reinforced negative stereotypes and stigma of mental health.
April 2021 - Presentations
The Woman Behind the Woman: White Allyship in the Archives
Invited guest lecturer in RHET 331 Voices of American Women at Sewanee: The University of the South In this interactive session, I presented my research on Elizabeth Waring, a white woman who publicly denounced segregation. Students and I examined and discussed the provocative and problematic aspects of Waring's public address. Then, we explored the politics of preservation and archival absences, especially for women orators.
March 2021 - Presentations
"An American Swastika": The Confederate Flag at the South Carolina Statehouse
* Top Paper Award - American Society for the History of Rhetoric Interest Group Southern States Communication Association Conference
April 2020 - Conferences
Insider and Outsider: Elizabeth Waring’s Speech to the (Black) Charleston YWCA
* Top Paper Award Rhetoric and Public Address Division Southern States Communication Association Conference
April 2019 - Conferences
Memorials to the Empire in a Postcolonial Age: Materiality and Rhetorical Performance of the Queen Victoria Memorial
In the twenty-first century, monuments and memorials to former colonial empires still stand—sites where the past has a presence. The Queen Victoria Memorial located at Buckingham Palace in conjunction with the adjoining gates and pillars is a material, public, permanent site that commemorates the past glory of the British Empire. I argue that the Memorial’s materiality rhetorically performs the strategies and tactics of colonialism.
October 2018 - Publications
Courage & Controversy: Judge J. Waties Waring's Off-the-Bench Rhetoric
In the Faculty Research Seminar, Dr. Fenimore explores the rhetoric of Judge J. Waties Waring, a native white Southerner who actively resisted white supremacy. Judge Waring provoked controversy and impeachment attempts with his landmark rulings and speeches that dismantled Jim Crow.
February 2017 - Presentations
Bad Girls: From Eve to Britney
This chapter from the book, Mental Illness in Popular Media, explores the intersection of profit and content using media coverage of three women's mental health issues: Lindsay Lohan, Amy Winehouse, and Britney Spears.
March 2012 - Publications
USC Sumter Professor Fenimore Awarded Fellowship

The University of South Carolina Sumter is pleased to announce that Dr. Wanda Little Fenimore was recently awarded a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. This award is the Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellowship and suppo...

August, 16 2019 - Verified by University of South Carolina Sumter
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