The Obama Effect
Multidisciplinary Renderings of the 2008 Campaign
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Timely, multidisciplinary analysis of Obama’s presidential campaign, its context, and its impact.
November 4, 2008 ushered in a historic moment: Illinois Senator Barack Obama was elected the forty-fourth President of the United States of America. In The Obama Effect, editors Heather E. Harris, Kimberly R. Moffitt, and Catherine R. Squires bring together works that place Barack Obama's candidacy and victory in the context of the American experience with race and the media. Following Obama's victory, optimists claimed that the campaign signaled the arrival of an era of postracism and postfeminism in the United States. This collection of essays, all presented at a national conference to discuss the meaning and impact of the nomination of the first presidential candidate of African descent, remind the reader that reaching a point in U.S. history where a biracial man could be deemed "electable" is part of a still-ongoing struggle. It resists the temptation to dismiss the uncertainty, hope, and fear that characterized the events and discourse of the two-year primary and general election cycle and brings together multidisciplinary approaches to assessing "the Obama effect" on public discourse and participation. This volume provides readers with a means for recalling and mapping out the enduring issues that erupted during the campaign—issues that will continue to shape how our society views itself and President Obama in the coming years.
Heather E. Harris is Associate Professor of Business Communication at Stevenson University. Kimberly R. Moffitt is Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. She is the coeditor (with Regina E. Spellers) of Blackberries and Redbones: Critical Articulations of Black Hair/ Body Politics in Africana Communities. Catherine R. Squires is John and Elizabeth Bates Cowles Professor of Journalism, Diversity, and Equality at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of Dispatches from the Color Line: The Press and Multiracial America, also published by SUNY Press, and African Americans and the Media.
"This eclectic collection of essays serves as a timely analysis of that global figure in a way that is relevant to researchers, teachers, and students across various disciplines. By crossing scholarly, gender, and ethnic-racial lines and positions, this group of personal, political, and popular renderings of the 2008 campaign offers a much-needed illumination on the new, nontraditional president." — Presidential Studies Quarterly
"The Obama Effect resists the temptation to dismiss the uncertainty, hope, and fear that characterized the events and discourse of the two-year primary and general election cycle. By bringing together multidisciplinary approaches, the collection provides readers with a means for recalling and mapping out the enduring issues that erupted during the campaign—issues that will continue to shape how our society views itself and President Obama in the coming years." — Stevenson University Newsroom
"Neither biography, hagiography, or demonization, The Obama Effect provides a refreshingly balanced interrogation of many issues the candidacy and presidency of Barack Obama has unearthed in American society, politics, and identity construction. It is an important contribution to a much-needed substantive body of work trapped neither by Obamamania nor Obamaphobia. This is a highly recommended read ranging across disciplines." — Ricky L. Jones, author of What's Wrong with Obamamania?: Black America, Black Leadership, and the Death of Political Imagination