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Title:The divergent archive and androcentric counterpublics: Public rhetorics, memory, and archives
Author(s):Groundwater, Evin Scott
Director of Research:Ritter, Kelly
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Ritter, Kelly
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Mortensen, Peter; Gallagher, John; Enoch, Jessica
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Writing Studies
Abstract:As a field, Writing Studies has long been concerned with the rhetorical representation of both dominant and marginalized groups. However, rhetorical theory on publics and counterpublics tends not to articulate how groups persuade others of their status as mainstream or marginal. Scholars of public/counterpublic theory have not yet adequately examined the mechanisms through which rhetorical resources play a role in reinforcing and/or dispelling public perceptions of dominance or marginalization. My dissertation argues many counterpublics locate and convince others of their subject status through the development of rhetorical resources. I contend counterpublics create and curate a diffuse system of archives, which I refer to as “divergent archives.” These divergent archives often lack institutional backing, rigor, and may be primarily composed of ephemera. Drawing from a variety of archival materials both within and outside institutionally maintained archives, I explore how counterpublics perceiving themselves as marginalized construct archives of their own as a way to transmit collective memories reifying their nondominant status. I do so through a case study that has generally been overlooked in Writing Studies: a collection of men’s rights movements which imagine themselves to be marginalized, despite their generally hegemonic positions. By critically scrutinizing the rhetorical practices of these men’s movements, we come to a more nuanced theory of the rhetorical formation and position of publics. Such work also illuminates the rhetorical practices and arguments of a group poorly represented in academic research. Ultimately, I answer the question of how counterpublics that see themselves as “outside” the cultural mainstream work to convince others of that status and a need to change it.
Issue Date:2020-04-28
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Evin Groundwater
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-08-26
Date Deposited:2020-05

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