Deleuze, Femininity and the Specter of Poststructural Politics: Variations on the Materiality of Rhetoric

Deleuze, Femininity and the Specter of Poststructural Politics: Variations on the Materiality of Rhetoric

Date: December 2004
Creator: May, Matthew S.
Description: In this thesis I rethink the materiality of rhetoric in a minor key. I review poststructural and psychoanalytic endeavors to position rhetoric from within the postmodern and poststructural critique of the subject. I move beyond the logic of influence (dependent on a flawed conception of object) and hermeneutics (the correspondingly flawed methodology). In this endeavor, I primarily enlist Deleuze and Guattari (1987) for a conceptual apparatus that enlivens the "thinness" of rhetoric's (neo)Aristotelian conceptual design (cf. Gaonkar, 1997a, 1997b). I offer Monster (2003) as a case study, analyzing the discursive expression of nondiscursive abstract machines to draw out the reterritorializations of the latter. Recognizing the impossibility of complete reterritorialization I map one artifact that reinvests difference in itself, Dancer in the Dark (2000). Finally, in the epilogue I provide a brief recapitulation of minor politics, and offer a summarization of the utility of rhetoric.
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Booty Calls, Rage, and Racialized/sexualized Subjects: Tmz's Coverage of Rihanna and Chris Brown

Booty Calls, Rage, and Racialized/sexualized Subjects: Tmz's Coverage of Rihanna and Chris Brown

Date: August 2011
Creator: Sabino, Lauren
Description: Internet-based celebrity gossip blog site, TMZ, is a growing cultural force. Employing critical rhetorical analytics, the author examines the TMZ coverage of Chris Brown's assault on his then-girlfriend, Rihanna. This project explicates TMZ's enthymematic invocation of dominant cultural ideologies surrounding race, sex, and domestic violence. Chapter 1 demonstrates the theoretical importance of both celebrities and gossip blogs, signaling the ideological importance of each. Chapter 2 critiques TMZ's reliance on historic myths regarding sex and race in their reporting on this case. Chapter 3 analyzes TMZ's humorous and affective strategies that bolster broader investments in colorblind ideologies. Chapter 4 concludes by examining the interplay of formal rhetorical elements that inform the project's findings. This research reveals that TMZ utilizes affective, enthymematic strategies that camouflage broader racist and sexist ideological impulses that perpetuate domestic violence myths.
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Milk machines: Exploring the breastfeeding apparatus.

Milk machines: Exploring the breastfeeding apparatus.

Date: May 2008
Creator: Kimball, Karen Yeager
Description: Arguing that current discourse surrounding breastfeeding and the lactating body promotes management of the female body, I attempt to devise an explanation of the breastfeeding apparatus and its strategies. In this study, the strategies include visual and linguistic representations of breastfeeding through art, promotional materials for advertisement and recommendations from the medical community, and the language used in the legal protection of breastfeeding. Using a rhetorical lens, I explore how these varied junctions operate within the breastfeeding apparatus and how breastfeeding is both a product of and a product in the technology. I seek to find what else is at work and how breastfeeding functions as a discursive element in its own right, allowing it to function as an apparatus for control. Finally, I question the potential for resistance in breastfeeding, asking if the lactating body has options, or is the subject so policed and managed that decisions are dictated by the breastfeeding apparatus.
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What's Real Anymore: A Comparison of World of Warcraft, SecondLife and Online Experiences

What's Real Anymore: A Comparison of World of Warcraft, SecondLife and Online Experiences

Date: May 2009
Creator: Tran, Chris
Description: The proliferation of the Internet and online-based social interactions has become an increasingly popular topic with communication scholars. The goal of this study was to explore how massively multi-player online role playing game (MMORPG) players make sense of and negotiate their online social interactions. This study (N = 292) examined how players of SecondLife and World of Warcraft evaluated their online relationships compared to their offline relationships and investigated how different levels of realism within different MMORPGs effected player's online experiences. The results indicated that players of SecondLife placed higher values of emotional closeness to their online relationships when compared to players of World of Warcraft and SecondLife was rated more real by its players than World of Warcraft. Results further indicated that players of SecondLife had higher levels of perceived online emotional closeness when compared to perceived offline emotional closeness. Implications of this study focus on developing a bottom up holistic profile of online game players as opposed to the current top down research model.
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Living with s(k)in: An analysis of tattoo removal.

Living with s(k)in: An analysis of tattoo removal.

Date: August 2004
Creator: Downing, Emily
Description: This paper investigates the role of tattoo removal in postmodernity. Specifically, I suggest tattoo removal is a technology of self in which the tattooed person can attain absolution from a "sinful" tattoo. This paper explores the construction of the confessional act in two parts: the construction of the confessing subject and the construction of the medical clinic as the confessor's listener. Using the texts medical offices place on the internet to advertise their services, I investigate the text's interpellation of subjects desiring tattoo removal. I then examine the construction of the clinic's status in the confessional act. Websites and brochures on gang tattoo removal provide a dialogue in which the clinic negotiates and attains its powerful position in the confessional act. The paper concludes by investigating the implications of the tattoo remnant, the material effects of the technology of self, and the benefits of studying the body-skin in rhetoric.
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Beyond Suzie Wong? An Analysis of Sandra Oh’s Portrayal in Grey’s Anatomy

Beyond Suzie Wong? An Analysis of Sandra Oh’s Portrayal in Grey’s Anatomy

Date: August 2011
Creator: Jones, Norma
Description: In my study, I examine if and how Sandra Oh’s portrayal of Dr. Cristina Yang in Grey’s Anatomy, a primetime network drama, reifies or resists U.S. mediated stereotypes of Asian American females. I situate my intercultural study in an interpretive paradigm because I am want to explore how the evolving characteristics of existing the Asian American female mediated stereotype as they influence Asian American female identity. Additionally, I trace the historical development of Asian and Asian American stereotypes yellow peril to the model minority; and from Dragon Lady, Lotus Blossom, Geisha, and Suzie Wong. From my textual analysis, I suggest that when portrayals simultaneously reify and resist characteristics of existing Asian American stereotypes, they may help to breakdown perceived binaries of existing Asian and Asian American stereotypes.
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Toward a Post-Structural Monumentality

Toward a Post-Structural Monumentality

Date: August 2006
Creator: Saindon, Brent Allen
Description: This study addresses a tension in contemporary studies of public memory between ideology criticism and postmodern critique. Both strategies of reading public memory rely on a representational logic derived from the assumption that the source for comparison of a memory text occurs in a more fundamental text or event. Drawing heavily from Michel Foucault, the study proposes an alternative to a representational reading strategy based on the concepts of regularity, similitude, articulation, and cultural formation. The reading of Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Galveston County Vietnam Memorial serves as an example of a non-representational regularity enabled by the cultural formation of pastoral power.
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The Myth of Emmetropia: Perception in Rhetorical Studies

The Myth of Emmetropia: Perception in Rhetorical Studies

Date: August 2012
Creator: Kaszynski, Elizabeth
Description: This thesis sets up the problem of sight in a visual society, with the aim to answer how the visual makes itself known. The conversation starts on visuality, and where there are gaps in understanding. The first of two case studies examines the absence of sight, or blindness, both literal and figurative. Through a study of blind photographers and their work, this chapter examines the nature of perception, and how biological blindness may influence and inform our understanding of figurative blindness. The second case study examines what the improvement of damaged sight has to say about the rhetorical nature of images. This chapter examines various means of improving sight, using literal improvements to sight to understand figurative improvements in vision and perception. The fourth and final chapter seeks to sum up what has been discovered about the rhetorical nature of sight through the ends of the spectrum of sight.
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Beyond Rocking the Vote: An Analysis of Rhetoric Designed to Motivate Young Voters

Beyond Rocking the Vote: An Analysis of Rhetoric Designed to Motivate Young Voters

Date: August 2007
Creator: Brewer, Angela
Description: Attempts to solve the continued problem of low youth voter turnout in the U.S. have included get out the vote drives, voter registration campaigns, and public service announcements targeting 18- to 25-year-old voters. Pay Attention and Vote added to this effort to motivate young voters in its 2006 campaign. This thesis analyzes the rhetorical strategies employed by the Pay Attention and Vote campaign advertisements, measures their effectiveness, and adds to the limited body of knowledge describing the attitudes and behaviors of young nonvoters. This thesis applies a mixed method approach, utilizing both rhetorical criticism and quantitative method. The results of both analyses are integrated into a discussion which critiques current strategies of addressing the youth voter turnout problem and offers suggestions for future research on the topic.
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Programming homeland security: Citizen preparedness and the threat of terrorism.

Programming homeland security: Citizen preparedness and the threat of terrorism.

Date: August 2007
Creator: Register, David
Description: This thesis tests the necessity of terrorism in articulating Homeland Security citizenship. Chapter 1 orients the study, reviewing relevant literature. Chapter 2 examines the USDHS Ready Kids program's Homeland Security Guide, mapping a baseline for how Homeland Security citizenship is articulated with the overt use of terrorism. Chapter 3 investigates the USDHS Ready Kids program, charting the logic of Homeland Security citizenship when the threat of terrorism is removed from sense making about preparedness. Chapter 4 compares the findings of Chapters 2 and 3, evaluating the similarities and differences between these two articulations of Homeland Security citizenship and concluding that the logic that cements Homeland Security into American society does not depend on the threat of terrorism against the United States.
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