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John Rountree

John Rountree

Graduate Assistant in Communication Arts and Sciences


Biography:

My dissertation project, currently titled "Congressional Town Hall Meetings: Rhetoric, Citizenship, and Participatory Democracy," examines the history and rhetorical functions of town hall meetings with congressional representatives. Using rhetorical fieldwork, I analyze town meeting practices in four different districts—OH-3, (former) PA-5, NY-19, and NH-1. Through textual analysis and interviews, I show that town meetings are a nexus point within a political community. They enable participants to contest the boundaries of that community, to reconstitute who is a legitimate part of that district, who deserves to speak, and whose stories demand recognition in larger policy narratives.