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Title:Frontier Pedagogies: The Rhetorics of Expansion and Reform in Antebellum America
Author(s):Conley, Donovan Sean
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Stephen J. Hartnett
Department / Program:Speech Communication
Discipline:Speech Communication
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Rhetoric and Composition
Abstract:This dissertation examines the interconnections between antebellum citizenship, cultural education, and rhetorical invention through the historical lens of "the frontier." The antebellum frontier is uniquely suited for rhetorical criticism because it was a process of both deeply symbolic national imagining and brute material development; it created in simultaneous but not equivalent ways both "the nation" and the national subject. The dissertation illuminates the rhetorical dynamics of this historical dialectic, between the symbolic and the material, between the narratives of nationhood and the pedestrian experiences of civic life, by focusing on the interactions of expansion and reform. Since I operate from the assumption that civic behavior, popular discourse, and national interest are thoroughly entwined, each chapter fluctuates between close rhetorical readings of primary historical texts and broader considerations of their physical contexts. The project consists of three extended case studies: the first examines the overlapping "pedagogical grids" of the Public Land Survey System and the "pseudo-science" of phrenology; the second traces the rhetoric of citizen mobility in the "weltering styles" of Catherine Beecher and Margaret Fuller; and the third addresses the national work of both symbolic and physical disease in frontier Cincinnati. "Frontier pedagogies" refers then to the various cultural mediums---the juridical codes, volunteer societies, intellectual trends, religious doctrines, and educational technologies---through which the dialectic of expansion and reform was rhetorically mediated to produce national subjectivity and civic behavior, that is citizenship, on the antebellum frontier.
Issue Date:2004
Description:196 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3130901
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2004

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