Benedict Anderson famously claimed that something like the nation exists in the collective imagination of its members because its narratives are circulated in public culture. Even before the era of filter bubbles and fake news, however, postcolonial scholars argued that Anderson vastly overestimated the ability of people to share a common interpretation of the nation and thus, to feel like a part of a unified national collective. Marked by the misfires of communication and the inevitability of human difference, national imaginaries are constantly brought to crisis. My research seeks to elucidate these moments of crisis and to focus on the ways in which political representation constantly fails. These failures are productive spaces for contemplating the limits of language and politics as well as the ways in which we can imagine more just and equitable ways of being together.


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Franz, M. “Legal Rhetoric and the Ambiguous Shape of the King’s Two Bodies in Calvin’s Case (1608).” Advances in the History of Rhetoric, vol. 20, no. 3, 2017, pp. 262-284. Link to Article

Franz, M. “Will to Love, Will to Fear: The Emotional Politics of Illegality and Citizenship in the Campaign against Birthright Citizenship in the U.S.” Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation, and Culture, vol. 21, no. 2, 2015, pp. 184-198. Link to Article

Invited Chapters in Edited Volumes

Franz, M. “The South Shall Rise Again: Setting the Lost Cause Myth in Future Tense in Dylann Roof’s Manifesto.” Was Blind but Now I see: Rhetoric, Race, Religion, and the Charleston Shootings, edited by Sean O’Rourke & Melody Lehn, Lexington Press, in press Fall 2018.

Franz, M. “The Digital Migration of Anti-Immigration Rhetoric: Anxiety, Addressivity, and Networked Public Culture.” Debates for the Digital Age: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Our Online World, edited by Danielle Sarver Coombs and Simon Collister, Praeger. 2015. Link to Article

Manuscripts under Contract

Silva, Kumarini, & Margaret Franz, editors. Migration, Identity, and Belonging: Defining Borders and Boundaries of the Homeland. Routledge, in press, Fall 2019