Matching Items (8)

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(Dis)articulating morality and myth: an ideological history of the insanity defense

Description

Both law and medicine are interpretive practices, and both systems have historically worked in tandem, however ineffectively or tumultuously. The law is, by social mandate, imagined as a "fixed" system

Both law and medicine are interpretive practices, and both systems have historically worked in tandem, however ineffectively or tumultuously. The law is, by social mandate, imagined as a "fixed" system of social control, made up of rules and procedures grounded in a reality that is independent of language; although we know that law is both revised and interpreted every day in courtroom practice, to imagine the law, the system that keeps bad people behind bars and good people safe, as indeterminate or, worse, fallible, produces social anxieties that upend our cultural assumptions about fairness that predate our judicial system. This imaginary stability, then, is ultimately what prevents the legal system from evolving in consonance with developments in the mental health professions, as inadequate as that discursive system may be for describing and categorizing the infinite possibilities of mental illness, specifically where it is relevant to the commission of a crime. Ultimately, the insanity plea raises the specter of the endless interpretability of the law and mental illness and, therefore, the frailty of the justice system, which makes each insanity defense trial emblematic of larger social anxieties about social control, fairness, and susceptibility to mental illness or the actions of mentally ill people.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Performativity, positionality, and relationality: identity pathways for a feminist rhetorical pedagogy

Description

This dissertation posits that a relationship between a feminist rhetorical pedagogical model and autobiographical theoretical tenets engage students in the personal writing process and introduce them to the ways that

This dissertation posits that a relationship between a feminist rhetorical pedagogical model and autobiographical theoretical tenets engage students in the personal writing process and introduce them to the ways that feminism can change the approach, analysis, and writing of autobiographical texts. Inadequate attention has been given to the ways that autobiographical theory and the use of non-fiction texts contribute to a feminist pedagogy in upper-level writing classrooms. This dissertation corrects that by focusing on food memoirs as vehicles in a feminist pedagogical writing course. Strands of both feminist and autobiographical theory prioritize performativity, positionality, and relationality (Smith and Watson 214) as dynamic components of identity construction and thus become frames through which this class was taught and studied. I theorize these “enabling concepts” (Smith and Watson 217) as identity pathways that lead to articulation of identity and experience in written work.

This study posits that Royster and Kirsch’s four feminist rhetorical practices— Critical Imagination, Social Circulation, Strategic Contemplation, and Globalizing Point of View (19)—taken together offer a model for instruction geared to help learners chart identity pathways in the context of one semester of their undergraduate rhetorical education. This model is operationalized through a writing classroom that focused on feminist ideals, using a food memoir, The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber, as the vehicle of inquiry. This study offers a starting point for analysis of food memoirs in university writing classrooms by focusing specifically on the ways that students understood and applied the framework, model, and vehicle of the study. This dissertation prioritizes the composition and valuing of individual and communal lived experiences expressed through the articulation of identity pathways. Teachers and scholars can use the knowledge and takeaways gained in the study to better support and advocate for the inclusion of the students lived experiences in writing classrooms and pedagogy.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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From sewing circles to linky parties: women's sewing practices in the digital age

Description

For the past few decades, feminist researchers have worked tirelessly to recover the history of American women’s sewing – both the artifacts made and the processes, practices, and identities linked

For the past few decades, feminist researchers have worked tirelessly to recover the history of American women’s sewing – both the artifacts made and the processes, practices, and identities linked to the objects produced. With the transition to the digital age, women are still sewing, but they are inventing, making, and distributing sewn objects using platforms and pathways online to share knowledge, showcase their handicrafts, and sell their wares. This dissertation examines contemporary sewing and asks how digital practices are extending and transforming the history of women’s sewing in America. I place my findings against the backdrop of women’s history by recounting how and why women sewed in previous eras. This dissertation demonstrates how past sewing practices are being repeated, remixed, and reimagined as women meet to sew, socialize, and collaborate on the web.

The overall approach to this project is ethnographic in nature, in that I collected data by participating alongside my female subjects in the online settings they frequent to read about, write about, and discuss sewing, including blogs, email, and various social media sites. From these interactions, I provide case studies that illuminate my findings on how women share sewing knowledge and products in digital spaces. Specifically, I look at how women are using digital tools to learn and teach sewing, to sew for activist purposes, and to pursue entrepreneurship. My findings show that sewing continues to be a highly social activity for women, although collaboration and socializing often happen from geographically distanced locations and are enabled by online communication. Seamstresses wanting to provide sewing instruction are able to archive their knowledge electronically and disperse it widely, and those learning to sew can access this knowledge by navigating paths through a plethora of digital resources. Activists are able to recruit more widely when seeking participants for their causes and can send handmade goods to people in need around the globe. Although gender biases continue to plague working women, the internet provides new opportunities for female entrepreneurship and allows women to profit from their sewing skills.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Otherworldly figures: rhetoric, representation and the public performance of femininity in nineteenth-century spirit mediums' autobiographies

Description

This dissertation theorizes nineteenth-century public performance of spiritual media as being inherent to the production of autobiography itself. Too often, dominant social discourses are cast as being singular cultural phenomena,

This dissertation theorizes nineteenth-century public performance of spiritual media as being inherent to the production of autobiography itself. Too often, dominant social discourses are cast as being singular cultural phenomena, but analyzing the rhetorical strategies of women attempting to access public spheres reveals fractures in what would otherwise appear to be a monolithic patriarchal discourse. These women's resistant performances reap the benefits of a fractured discourse to reveal a multiplicity of alternative discourses that can be accessed and leveraged to gain social power. By examining the phenomena of four nineteenth- century Spiritualists' mediumship from a rhetorical perspective, this study considers how female spirit mediums used their autobiographies to operate as discursive spaces mediating between private and public spheres; how female mediums constructed themselves in the public sphere as women and as spiritual authorities; how they negotiated entry into volatile and unpredictable publics; how they conceived of the vulnerability of the female body in the public sphere; and how they coped with complications inherent to Victorian era constructions of feminine corporeality. In conclusion, this dissertation offers a highly situated performative theory of subaltern publicity.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Transnationalizing Title IX: neoliberal formations of women's sport

Description

Transnational feminist scholars have increasingly recognized the need to interrogate the dominance of the US and the global north in transnational transactions. Chandra Mohanty argues that transnational feminist scholarship needs

Transnational feminist scholars have increasingly recognized the need to interrogate the dominance of the US and the global north in transnational transactions. Chandra Mohanty argues that transnational feminist scholarship needs to “address fundamental questions of systemic power and inequities and to develop feminist, antiracist analyses of neoliberalism, militarism, and heterosexism as nation-state-building projects” (2013, p. 968). Following this call for analyzing power from feminist, anti-racist stances, this dissertation interrogates Title IX as a nationalist discourse with global reach. As a law created in the era of liberal feminism, Title IX still operates today in neoliberal times and this dissertation makes sense of Title IX as an instrument of neoliberalized feminism in transnational sporting contexts. The following three case studies focus on Title IX as it travels across nation-state borders through 21st century ideas of equity, empowerment, and opportunity.

This dissertation begins by exploring at how transnational sporting policy regarding the participation standards of transgender and intersex athletes operates under the neoliberalized feminism of Title IX. It then moves to a discussion of a Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) project--Women Win’s digital storytelling project. In analyzing SDP projects, I map the cultural logics of Title IX’s neoliberalized feminism in the context of training girls and women to record their stories sport participation. Finally, the dissertation connects the context of the first Saudi female Olympians to Oiselle’s branding campaign of Sarah Attar, one of the first Saudi Olympians. It traces her image as an import-export product for the Olympic Committee and Oiselle through equity, opportunity, and empowerment.

Finally, these case studies are bridged by networking the discourses of investing in a girl (commodifying girls becoming autonomous actors through education and economics) to Title IX’s focus on gender equity in order to show how these discourses simultaneously increase and negatively impact participation in sports by women from the global south. Moreover, it offers how future research in women’s transnational sports can more ethically incorporate the standpoint of women from the global south in sport policy, SDP projects, and branding campaigns.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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More than a pretty dress: rhetoric of style & identity construction of stateswomen fashion icons

Description

This research examines four stateswomen fashion icons—Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Diana, Princess of Wales, Michelle Obama, and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge—and the way these stateswomen used clothing and personal style

This research examines four stateswomen fashion icons—Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Diana, Princess of Wales, Michelle Obama, and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge—and the way these stateswomen used clothing and personal style to create a public identity. Dress is a powerful tool of personal expression and identity creation and when we look at stateswoman style, we see the ways that dress gives them agency to negotiate the “official” identity that’s being placed on them. Personal style is the way we use personal adornments (clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, etc.) to form messages about who we are, who we dream we could be, and what our personal values are. It is a system of communication with rhetorical influence on others that, in return, offers a way to embrace, challenge, or subvert societal expectations and cultural norms. The choice to embrace, challenge, or subvert to the expectations is fluid, and the women continuously move back and forth between these states. I argue for the ways the selected women in this analysis make choices and negotiate such expectations on the national stage through their clothing choices.

While personal style does not construct our identities on its own, our dress is often the first indicator of our identity and personality. Dress, therefore, becomes one way to express our identity, even in situations where we are otherwise silenced. Stateswomen are “not body as advertisement”—as celebrities are—but “body as a source of agency.” For every woman, stateswomen included, clothing is a rhetorical statement that they make every day. These women exemplify the way choices can be made powerfully—because they are “like us” more than fashion icons. These stateswomen icons show the public evolving negotiations between personal and public style and identity. They demonstrate the ways that clothing choices can be empowering ways to construct identity and use clothing as an identity statement. This is instrumental in helping average women of the public learn how they can use clothing as a rhetorical statement that creates agency and identity.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Building syllabi for online classes: a case study of course management tool use in online composition courses

Description

This study analyzes syllabi for first-year college composition courses and interview responses to examine how the choices made by instructors affect online course design. Using the Syllabus Assessment Instrument designed

This study analyzes syllabi for first-year college composition courses and interview responses to examine how the choices made by instructors affect online course design. Using the Syllabus Assessment Instrument designed by Madson, Melchert and Whipp (2004), this dissertation looks specifically at attendance and participation policies, course behavior policies, contact information, required material choices, course organization decisions and tool decisions to reveal how instructors do or do not accommodate online class pedagogies. This study finds that the choices instructors make in syllabus design provide significant information about the overall online course design itself. Using Selber's multiliteracies as a frame for understanding the choices made by instructors, this study finds that instructors focus primarily on functional literacies in their discourses and in the way they communicate their choices to students. Instructors vary in how they inform students of the mechanics of how to interact with tools, how often to interact with the online course, and how to use the tools within the online course. While these aspects of online courses are important, focusing on these aspects of the online course overshadows alternative perspectives on tool use that could encourage critical reflection by both instructors and students. To help instructors and departments design more effective syllabi and courses, this study raises questions and offers observations about how instructors communicate policies and how they understand these policies and pedagogies in online courses. In providing general guidelines for syllabus design and course design, this study will help writing instructors and composition programs better understand the significance of the choices they make in online course design.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Humanitarian aid is never a crime: a study of one local public's attempt to negotiate rhetorical agency with the state

Description

At its core, this dissertation is a study of how one group of ordinary people attempted to make change in their local and national community by reframing a public debate.

At its core, this dissertation is a study of how one group of ordinary people attempted to make change in their local and national community by reframing a public debate. Since 1993, over five thousand undocumented migrants have died, mostly of dehydration, while attempting to cross the US/Mexico border. Volunteers for No More Deaths (NMD), a humanitarian group in Tucson, hike the remote desert trails of the southern Arizona desert and provide food, water, and first aid to undocumented migrants in medical distress. They believe that their actions reduce suffering and deaths in the desert. On December 4, 2008, Walt Staton, a NMD volunteer placed multiple one-gallon jugs of water on a known migrant trail, and a Fish and Wildlife officer on the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge near Arivaca, Arizona cited him for littering. Staton refused to pay the fine, believing that he was providing life-saving humanitarian aid, and was taken to court as a result. His trial from June 1-3, 2009 is the main focus of this dissertation. The dissertation begins by tracing the history of the rhetorical marker "illegal" and its role in the deaths of thousands of "illegal" immigrants. Then, it outlines the history of NMD, from its roots in the Sanctuary Movement to its current operation as a counterpublic discursively subverting the state. Next, it examines Staton's trial as a postmodern rhetorical situation, where subjects negotiate their rhetorical agency with the state. Finally, it measures the rhetorical effect of NMD's actions by tracing humanitarian and human rights ideographs in online discussion boards before and after Staton's sentencing. The study finds that despite situational restrictions, as the postmodern critique suggests, subjects are still able to identify and engage with rhetorical opportunities, and in doing so can still subvert the state.

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Date Created
  • 2011