Live @ MTM: Allison M. Prasch in Conversation with Kenneth R. Mayer

Wednesday, February 15th

Time: 6:00p CT

Where: Mystery to Me (seats are limited, Get Tickets)

Livestream: Crowdcast (RSVP)

Cover for The World is Our Stage

About the book

A fresh account of the US presidential rhetoric embodied in Cold War international travel.

Crowds swarm when US presidents travel abroad, though many never hear their voices. The presidential body, moving from one secured location to another, communicates as much or more to these audiences than the texts of their speeches. In The World is Our Stage, Allison M. Prasch considers how presidential appearances overseas broadcast American superiority during the Cold War. Drawing on extensive archival research, Prasch examines five foundational moments in the development of what she calls the “global rhetorical presidency:” Truman at Potsdam, Eisenhower’s “Goodwill Tours,” Kennedy in West Berlin, Nixon in the People’s Republic of China, and Reagan in Normandy. In each case, Prasch reveals how the president’s physical presence defined the boundaries of the “Free World” and elevated the United States as the central actor in Cold War geopolitics.


Allison Prasch

About Allison Prasch

Allison M. Prasch is Assistant Professor of Rhetoric, Politics, and Culture in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on the intersections of rhetorical theory and history, U.S. presidential rhetoric, foreign policy, and space/place. Her first book, The World is Our Stage: The Global Rhetorical Presidency and the Cold War (University of Chicago Press, 2023), examines how U.S. presidents used their international travels to expand the reach of presidential power and extend the United States’ global influence. Her work has been published in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Southern Communication Journal, and Women’s Studies in Communication. She is the recipient of a number of scholarly awards, including the 2022 Michael Pfau Outstanding Article Award from the Political Communication Division of the National Communication Association, the 2017 Golden Anniversary Monograph Award from the National Communication Association, and the 2016 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the American Society for the History of Rhetoric. Her expert commentary has been featured in the Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, C-SPAN, The Conversation, and Public News Service. She currently serves as the Membership Coordinator for the American Society for the History of Rhetoric and sits on the editorial boards of the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, and Voices of Democracy.


Kenneth Mayer

About Kenneth Mayer

Kenneth R. Mayeris Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and affiliate faculty at the La Follette School of Public Affairs. His research focuses on the presidency, election administration, campaign finance, and voting rights. His book on executive orders, With the Stroke of the Pen: Executive Orders and Presidential Power (Yale University Press, 2001) won the American Political Science Association Richard M. Neustadt Award as the best book on the American Presidency published in 2001, and helped usher in a new wave of research on unilateral executive power. He is co-author, with George C. Edwards, III and Stephen Wayne, of Presidential Leadership: Politics and Policy (Rowman and Littlefield, 2022), a leading textbook on the presidency now in its 12th edition, and co-editor of a widely used reader for introductory American government courses, The Enduring Debate: Classic and Contemporary Readings in American Politics (W.W. Norton & Co, 2023), With David T. Canon and John C. Coleman, now in its 9th edition. He has served as an expert witness in voting rights, redistricting, and election administration cases in both state and federal courts around the country.