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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Date Range
2011 2019


This thesis focuses on the nine-page diary present in Ernest J. Gaines’, A Lesson Before Dying. The diary is the only real form of communication from Jefferson, a young African American man who was sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit. After being stripped of his manhood while on trial, it became a group effort to assist this man in regaining his manhood. In this thesis, the diary became the topic of focus and was examined to see why it had such an important role in the novel. Separated into three chapters, each looking at specific moments …

Contributors
Rincon, Samantha Nicole, Miller, Keith, Lussier, Mark, et al.
Created Date
2019

This dissertation theorizes Bad Faith Rhetorics, or, rhetorical gestures that work to derail, block, or otherwise stymy knowledge-building efforts. This work explores the ways that interventions against existing social hierarchies (i.e., feminist and antiracist interventions) build knowledge (that is, are epistemologically active), and the ways that bad faith rhetorics derail such interventions. This dissertation demonstrates how bad faith rhetorics function to defend the status quo, with its social stratification by race, gender, class, and other intersectional axes of identity. Bad faith argumentative maneuvers are abundant in online environments. Consequently, this dissertation offers two case studies of the comment sections of …

Contributors
Fulton-Babicke, Holly Lynn, Goggin, Maureen, Miller, Keith, et al.
Created Date
2019

This dissertation examines racism as discourse and works to explicate, through the examination of historical and contemporary texts, the ways in which racism is maintained and perpetuated in the United States. The project critiques the use of generalized categories, such as alt-right, as an anti-racist tactic and notes that these rigid categories are problematic because they cannot account for the dynamic and rapidly changing nature of racist discourse. The dissertation argues that racist discourse that is categorized as mainstream and fringe both rely upon a fundamental framework of rhetorical strategies that have long been ingrained into the social and political …

Contributors
Ladenburg, Kenneth, Miller, Keith, Ore, Ersula, et al.
Created Date
2018

My dissertation is situated in the speculative—that rhetorical domain of human affairs concerned with conditions we cannot entirely predict or control. Specifically, my research investigates the polarization and unease many of us feel as we imagine a world in which humans are no longer in the driver’s seat. It offers a literate practice of framing to facilitate substantive talk about the possible effects of the impending technology. To pursue this line of inquiry, I draw from Kenneth Burke’s frames of acceptance and rejection. In particular, I developed a computer-based tool and tested the prototype in a pilot project. The study …

Contributors
Santana, Christina Jean, Long, Elenore, Miller, Keith, et al.
Created Date
2016

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 …

Contributors
Stevenson, Paulette, Daly Goggin, Maureen, Switzer, Heather, et al.
Created Date
2016

This study provides a rhetorical analysis of how Black nationalist protest rhetors have employed apocalyptic discourse in order to call into question the ideological underpinnings of the hegemonic white American nation building project and to imagine new alternatives to replace them. Previous studies by Howard-Pitney (2005), Harrell (2011), and Murphy (2009) have explored how African American abolitionist and civil rights jeremiahs such as Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, Jr. have employed appeals to American civil religion in order to mobilize their audiences to seek liberal reforms to racial injustices by appealing to established values and institutions. While apocalyptic rhetoric …

Contributors
Estabrooks, Sam, Miller, Keith, Ore, Ersula, et al.
Created Date
2016

Scholars have attended to paradoxes inherent in wider public discourse where subordinated groups most affected by laws and sanctions have the least political, material, and rhetorical capital to speak back to them. Such scholarship often focuses either on the subordinated status of a group or the work of subordinated groups going public as part of a collective mass movement for social change. In doing so, scholarship risks undermining the agency of subordinated rhetors or treating mass-movement rhetoric as somehow both exceptional and yet necessary for enacting cultural citizenship. What is less frequently studied is the agency that local publics demonstrate …

Contributors
Oliver, Veronica Jean, Long, Elenore, Long, Elenore, et al.
Created Date
2015

This project presents an institutional history of women’s intercollegiate athletics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. By looking to the individual campus, we learn about the ways in which administrators, coaches, faculty, and students understood the educational value of college sports. The UNC women’s program began in the 1950s as extramural play and quickly transformed into big-time college sports. By the early 1980s, the women experienced the same tension between academics and athletics at the heart of intercollegiate sports as the men. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, colleges, the media, and most Americans strongly associated the Big …

Contributors
Jackson, Victoria Louise, Simpson, Brooks D, Garcia, Matthew, et al.
Created Date
2015

This dissertation explores the various online radicalization and recruitment practices of groups like al-Qaeda and Hezbollah, as well as Salafi Jihadists in general. I will also outline the inadequacies of the federal government's engagement with terrorist / Islamist ideologies and explore the ways in which early 20th century foundational Islamist theorists like Hasan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb, and Abul ala Mawdudi have affected contemporary extremist Islamist groups, while exploring this myth of the ideal caliphate which persists in the ideology of contemporary extremist Islamist groups. In a larger sense, I am arguing that exploitation of the internet (particularly social networking platforms) …

Contributors
Salihu, Flurije, Ali, Souad T, Miller, Keith, et al.
Created Date
2014

At the heart of this dissertation is a push for critical genealogy that intervenes into two major theoretical bodies of work in rhetoric and composition -- affect studies and queer latina rhetorics. Chapter one intervenes into emerging discourses on publics and affect studies from seamlessly recovering "the body" as an always-already Western body of rhetoric in the advent of this renewed interest in emotion, embodiment, and structures of affect as rhetorical concepts showing the long history of theorizing by queer mestizas. Chapter two focuses on one register of affect: anger, which articulated from the works of writers such as Maria …

Contributors
Martínez, Natalie A., Miller, Keith, Roen, Duane, et al.
Created Date
2014

Rhetorical theorist Kenneth Burke has asserted the significance of paying equal, if not more attention to, propagandist rhetoric, arguing that "there are other ways of burning books on the pyre-and the favorite method of the hasty reviewer is to deprive himself and his readers by inattention." Despite Burke's exhortation, attention to white supremacist discourse has been relatively meager. Historians Clive Webb and Charles Eagles have called for further research on white supremacy arguing that attention to white supremacist discourse is important both to fully understand and appreciate pro-civil rights rhetoric in context and to develop a more complex understanding of …

Contributors
Ladenburg, Kenneth, Ore, Ersula, Miller, Keith, et al.
Created Date
2013

ABSTRACT This dissertation examines the literate practices of women reading and writing in the press during the civil rights movement in the 1950s/60s. Through a textual analysis of literacy events (Heath) in the memoirs of Sarah Patton Boyle (The Desegregated Heart: A Virginian's Stand in Time of Transition), Anne Braden (The Wall Between), Daisy Bates (The Long Shadow of Little Rock) and Melba Pattillo Beals (Warriors Don't Cry), this dissertation highlights the participatory roles women played in the movement, including their ability to act publicly in a movement remembered mostly for its male leaders. Contributing to scholarship focused on the …

Contributors
Adams, Kelly Robin, Goggin, Peter, Boyd, Patricia, et al.
Created Date
2012

ABSTRACT For many years, difference scholars, such as Cornel West, Iris Marion Young, and Janet Atwill have been reminding humanities scholars that if social equity is ever to be realized, difference needs to be reconfigured and reframed. As Janet Atwill puts it, "difference can no longer be the anomaly, the enemy, or the problem to be solved. Difference is the condition" (212). While these scholars insightfully recognize that difference needs to be accepted, welcomed and loved rather than merely tolerated, they have not sufficiently addressed the perceptual change that must occur worldwide if difference as an intrinsic underlying condition of …

Contributors
Holiday, Judy, Goggin, Maureen D, Long, Elenore, et al.
Created Date
2012

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 …

Contributors
Lowry, Elizabeth, Daly Goggin, Maureen, Long, Elenore, et al.
Created Date
2012

Increasing numbers of courses are offered online and increasing numbers of students are pursuing post-secondary studies. At broad-access institutions, such as land grant universities and community colleges, this presents a particular concern around student persistence--that is, the number of students who complete diploma, certificate, or degree requirements from an institution. Such increased access and increased enrollment also present unique challenges to first-year writing instructors, who are often the first professionals with whom first-year students are in contact. Here I explore the many reasons why student persistence should interest first-year writing instructors, in particular, those who are teaching online. Student persistence …

Contributors
Bergin, Jeffrey Richard, Roen, Duane, Miller, Keith, et al.
Created Date
2012

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 …

Contributors
Accardi, Steven, Daly Goggin, Maureen, Miller, Keith, et al.
Created Date
2011

The discipline of rhetoric and composition established the Writing Program Administrators Outcomes Statement (WPA OS) to fulfill a general expectation about the skills and knowledge students should be able to demonstrate by the end of first-year composition. Regardless of pedagogy used, academic preparation of the teacher, or preference of particular topics or types of assignments, the WPA OS is versatile. This dissertation employs a problem-solution argument showcasing methods to improve assignments through intentional use of the WPA OS for a fluid conversation throughout first-year composition and a more clear articulation of course goals. This dissertation includes summation, analysis, and synthesis …

Contributors
Rankins-Robertson, Sherry, Roen, Duane H, Miller, Keith, et al.
Created Date
2011