Jennifer Borda

Dr. Jennifer Borda

Co-Director of the Civil Discourse Lab
Associate Professor, Communication
Faculty Advisor
Jennifer Borda Civil Discourse Lab

Jennifer L. Borda is Associate Professor of Communication at the University of New Hampshire. Her research and scholarship specializes in rhetoric and public address, feminist studies, rhetorics of motherhood, and deliberative dialogue. 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 anthology 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 a number of anthologies. She also is a co-founder and co-director of the UNH Civil Discourse Lab (with UNH Communication Professor Renee Heath), which is committed to non-partisanship and a focus on dialogue and deliberative 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.

She 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 in online deliberation. She was 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 titled, “Reframing Gender, Work, and Family,” through which students will experience the conflicts and challenges of gendered traditions, constructions of the “ideal worker,” ideologies surrounding “domesticity,” as well as the intersections of race, class, and sexuality. More recently, she was an invited participant in the Kettering Foundation’s 2019-2020 Initiatives for Democratic Practices Learning Exchange and also has participated in the Aspen Institute’s Wye Academic Seminar on Citizenship and the American and Global Polity. From 2014-2017 she was a fellow on the NSF-funded ADVANCE IT grant “UNH Unbiased” and worked to address career-life balance and improve family-friendly policies relating to the recruitment and retention of women and underrepresented STEM faculty and institutional transformation at UNH. Borda also has been a member of a Murkland Interdisciplinary Scholars research team and was a member of the curricular innovations committee for the UNH’s Grand Challenges for the Liberal Arts initiative.