Unfolding and Enfolding Rhetorical Ethos: Stylistic, Material, and Place-Based Approaches
AdvisorEnos, Theresa J.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis project expands the traditional definition of ethos from perceived character in written texts and the study of the ethical to ethos as connected to the habits, places, and objects of everyday life, offering contributions to the subfields of material and place rhetorics. It is argued here that our surroundings (material, natural, cultural) help construct and inform a living ethos. This project addresses how this living ethos can be paramount in processes of identification between the subject/object—whether considering the other as person, material, or environment. I forward that when an author practices a generative ethos, a threshold (Heidegger) is created that invites others into the world of the author, and the crossing of the threshold can be thought of as a type of fold (Delueze). The folding of the self and other, I argue, serves as a central metaphor for rhetorical identifications. I demonstrate how the fold is enacted discursively through stylistic means and additionally show its relevance as a visual metaphor to describe our engagements with material objects and our wanderings through places. This dissertation thus contributes to the growing field of material rhetorics because I identify, define, and synthesize six principles for material scholarship and then apply them to an analysis of writings from materialists. This project also adds to scholarship on place-based writing as I forward the idea of wandering as a rhetorical practice of dwelling, and I ask scholars to consider movement's important role in our experience of place and its contribution to character development. I also apply the idea of wandering as rhetorical practice to classroom pedagogy and examine student place-based compositions. I draw upon the works of rhetoric and composition scholar Jim W. Corder, published and unpublished, as a case study in my dissertation. Corder shows readers how a writer can understand the term "ethos" beyond a stylistic interpretation. He values bringing the personal—discussion of his sacred objects and places in West Texas—into his writing because he believes communicating identity is a part of ethos. My use of Corder clarifies and complicates important elements of rhetorical theory—material and place-based studies—rather than treating him as an historical figure in rhetoric and composition, which is how he has traditionally been discussed in scholarly work.
Degree ProgramGraduate College