Tammy Vigil, Ph.D.


Boston University

Phone: 617-935-9111

Address: 640 Commonwealth Ave

City: Boston, Massachusetts - 02215

Country: United States

About Me:

Tammy R. Vigil is an Associate Professor of Communication at Boston University. She earned her doctorate in communication studies from the University of Kansas with an emphasis on rhetoric and political communication. Her research interests include political campaigns, persuasion, and women as political communicators. She has published journal articles and book chapters on the rhetoric of Michelle Obama, Franklin D. Roosevelt, George W. Bush, and national nominating convention speeches. Dr. Vigil’s books include Moms in Chief: The Rhetoric of Republican Motherhood and the Spouses of Presidential Nominees, 1992-2016 and Connecting with Constituents: Identification Building and Blocking in Contemporary National Convention Addresses. Dr. Vigil is a past winner of the Wrange-Baskerville award given annually by the Public Address Division of the National Communication Association.

Research Interests

Political Communication

American Presidency And Executive Politics

Gender and Politics

Elections, Election Administration, and Voting Behavior

Specific Areas of Interest

Candidates' Spouses

Nominating Convention Speeches

Presidential Rhetoric

First Ladies

Gendered Expectations

Presidential Campaign History


Journal Articles:

(2015) Feminine Views in the Feminine Style: Convention Speeches by Presidential Nominees’ Spouses, Southern Communication Journal

Tags: Political Communication, Gender and Politics

The spouse’s speech is an expected part of national nominating conventions but is largely ignored in political rhetoric research. This article examines 10 speeches delivered by nominees’ spouses between 1992 and 2012 using the feminine style as a critical lens. What emerges are recurring themes and strategies that reinforce a limited perspective on women as political actors. The wives’ speeches are restricted to ‘‘feminine’’ political topics or perspectives and reframe the speaking situation in personal terms. The emphasis on tales of home and family also limits the scope of the speakers’ perceived expertise and interests. The spouses’ speeches embody concerns Parry-Giles and Parry-Giles express regarding the feminine style’s use to reinforce a hegemonic masculinity in a traditionally patriarchal political system.

(2013) George W. Bush’s First Three Inaugural Addresses: Testing the Utility of the Inaugural Genre, Southern Communication Journal

During his first bid for president in 2000, George W. Bush gave three key speeches: his nomination acceptance, his victory speech, and his inaugural address. This essay examines these speeches through the lens of the inaugural genre and finds that each of the three contains the goals, themes, and style expected of an inaugural address. This finding demonstrates the potential utility of expanding the informative value of this de facto genre beyond its ontological boundaries, encourages an alternate view of nomination acceptance addresses, and invites an expansion of the boundaries of the rhetorical presidency. It also provides support for heterodox applications of genres in an effort to better understand changes in political rhetoric.

Books Written:

(2019) Moms in Chief: The Rhetoric of Republican Motherhood and the Spouses of Presidential Nominees, 1992-2016, University Press of Kansas

Tags: Gender and Politics, Political Communication, American Presidency And Executive Politics

Moms in Chief provides a comprehensive assessment of the ways the press, the parties, and the candidates’ mates frame spouses during presidential campaigns. The book traces the history of women as political beings in the United States in order to contextualize an analysis of the depictions of some of the most high-profile women in national political contests. The project underscores how judging spouses based on traditional gender roles is problematic for presidential nominees’ consorts and for perceptions of women in the political sphere.

(2015) Connecting with Constituents: Identification Building and Blocking in Contemporary National Convention Addresses, Lexington Books

Tags: Political Communication, American Presidency And Executive Politics, Elections, Election Administration, and Voting Behavior

Connecting with Constituents examines the strategies speakers at national nominating conventions employ to encourage voters to build bonds with one candidate and party and to discourage listeners from forming connections with the opposition. It examines keynote addresses, special surrogate speeches, orations by nominees’ spouses, and acceptance addresses by presidential and vice presidential nominees, providing a brief history of each speech type and analyses of speeches delivered between 1980 and 2012.