Date of Award

May 2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design

Committee Member

Cynthia Haynes

Committee Member

Steven B. Katz

Committee Member

Becky Becker

Committee Member

Hamilton Altstatt

Abstract

By applying a “sound-mapping” methodology that incorporates qualitative interviews and field research, I argue that theater sound design provides new means to connect sonic rhetorics with social change. I examine theater sound design as an ecological composing practice that lends itself to empathy, community, action, and pedagogy; and further argue that there is rhetorical potential in what I call “soundscapes for social change,” a concept that encourages sonic agency and sound as contemporary resistance. The theater setting introduces sound and vibration experiences carefully calculated and developed to impact a variety of audiences and stir their imaginations through sensory experiences, accessed not just through the ear but also through the body.

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