Molly Meijer Wertheimer, Ph.D.
Molly Meijer Wertheimer, Ph.D., FLARE Secretary, is Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences and Affiliate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the Pennsylvania State University, Hazleton Campus. Her publications on women’s rhetoric includes Listening to Their Voices: The Rhetorical Activities of Historical Women; Inventing a Voice: The Rhetoric of American First Ladies of the Twentieth Century, excerpted as Leading Ladies of the White House; and Elizabeth Hanford Dole: Speaking from the Heart (with Nichola D. Gutgold). Her most recent publication is on Barbara Bush and her press secretary Anna Perez.
For over a decade, she served as Book Review Editor of Philosophy and Rhetoric, editing a special volume (33.3) on “Feminizing the Philosophy of Rhetoric.” During those years, Dr. Wertheimer was committed to increasing the number of women-authored books reviewed as well as the number of women reviewers. She has also served as chair of the Commission for Woman at Penn State and as president of the American Society for the History of Rhetoric.
She is founder and list owner of WHIRL (Women’s History in Rhetoric and Language) and FIRSTLADY-L, which served as a networking tool for first lady scholars in rhetoric and communication from 1998 to the present. Members of the FIRSTLADY-L organized over 30 conference panels on first ladies, competitively selected for presentation at national and regional communication conferences. Discussions among members of this group about how best to promote systematic research and scholarship on first ladies gave rise to FLARE. Dr. Wertheimer served as chair, pro temp, setting agendas and meetings of the group through the election of officers in August 2019.
Presently, she is working on an edited collection on first lady autobiographies.