First Advisor

Kathleen Merrow

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Political Science and University Honors


Political Science


Hillary Rodham Clinton -- Oratory -- Criticism and interpretation, American speeches addresses etc, Gay rights, Human rights




Scholars writing about postcolonialism, race, and gender have warned against universal conceptions of identity, but Western states have managed to expand their agendas through the production of a sexual citizenship. In this paper, I attempt to unpack the component structures of Clinton’s “Remarks in Recognition of International Human Rights Day” speech in order to tease out the ways in which she reproduces racist, Orientalist and Islamophobic rhetoric in order to advocate for a universal conception of sexual identity. Using contemporary scholarship that explores the intersection of sexuality, race, and nationalism, I argue that Clinton’s speech, using tried and true colonialist strategies, works to expand the Western imperial project through promulgation of an internationally recognized sexual identity that is linked to citizenship and a politics of belonging.


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