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Methodologically, moves through historical events and textual representation in two ways: chronologically with an attention to archival materials through the antebellum era (beginning with the specters that emerge with the Panic of 1837) and interpretively across the readings of a literary specter (as a space of lack and potential, as exchange, as transformation, and as the presence of absence).As a failed body and, therefore, a flawed embodiment of economic existence, the literary specter proves a powerful representation of antebellum social and financial uncertainties.”“Sexual delinquency marked midcentury cinematic representations of adolescent girls in 1940s, 50, and early 60s.
She gains no authority or stability no matter how loving or even how necessary she is to a family because there simply is no position in the parental family structure for her.
The managing daughter thus reveals a deep crack in the structure of the traditional Victorian family by showing that it often cannot accommodate, protect, or validate a loving non-traditional family member because it values traditional hierarchies over emotion or effort.
As a contribution to scholarship in religious rhetoric and media studies, this dissertation offers evangelistic websites as a case study into the ways persuasion is carried out on the Internet.
Through an analysis of digital texts—including several evangelical home pages, a chat room, discussion forums, and a virtual church—I investigate how conversion is encouraged via web design and virtual community as well as how the Internet medium impacts the theology and rhetorical strategies of web evangelists.
By focusing on a variety of cultural texts—advertisements, fictional novels, historical writings, medical texts, popular print, and film—this project aims to create a sense of how these cultural productions work together to construct narratives about sexuality, reproduction, and reproductive control.
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Relying heavily on a historicizing of these issues, my project shows how these texts—both fictional and nonfictional—create a rich and valid site from which to explore the development of narratives of sexuality and reproductive practices, as well as how these narratives connect to larger cultural narratives of race, class, and nation.This dissertation, then, constructs a cultural narrative of the process of controlling birth.Moving away from a focus on “negative birth control”—contraception, abortion, sterilization—the term “controlling birth” also applies to engineering or encouraging wanted or desired reproduction. Visual rhetoricians have often attempted to understand text-image arguments by privileging one medium over the other, either using text-based rhetorical principles or developing new image-based theories. My dissertation addresses the question of how meaning is made when texts and images are united in multimodal arguments.The emergence and image of the postwar, sexually autonomous teen girl finally began to see expression in mainstream melodramas of the late 50s, and teen girl stars such as Sandra Dee and Natalie Wood created new, “post-delinquent” star images wherein “good girls” could still be sexually experienced.This new image was a significant departure from the widespread belief that the sexually active teen girl was a fundamentally delinquent threat to the nuclear family, and offered a liberal counterpoint to more conservative teen girl prototypes like Hayley Mills, which continued to have cultural currency.”“This dissertation joins a vibrant conversation in the social sciences about the challenging nature of care labor as well as feminist discussions about the role of the daughter in Victorian culture.It explores the literary presence of the middle class managing daughter in the Victorian home.Collectively, the novels in this study articulate social anxieties about the unclear and unstable role of daughters in the family, the physically and emotionally challenging work they, and all women, do, and the struggle for daughters to find a place in a family hierarchy, which is often structured not by effort or affection, but by proscribed traditional roles, which do not easily adapt to managing daughters, even if they are the ones holding the family together.This study simultaneously illuminates the structural and fundamental levels of design through which the web persuades as well as how—as rhetoricians from Plato’s King Thamus to Marshall Mc Luhan have recognized—media inevitably shapes the message and culture of its users.”“My dissertation argues that fiction produced in England during the frequent financial crises and political volatility experienced between 17 both reflected and shaped the cultural anxiety occasioned by a seemingly random and increasingly uncertain world.The project begins within the historical framework of the multiple financial crises that occurred in the late eighteenth century: seven crises took place between 17 alone, appearing seemingly out of nowhere and creating a climate of financial meltdown.