Date of Award

May 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design

Committee Member

Cameron Bushnell

Committee Member

David Blakesley

Committee Member

Abel Bartley

Committee Member

Mike Coggeshall


A Rhetoric of Resentment: Dismantling White Supremacy through Definition, Scholarship, and Action examines the role that Confederate symbolism and ideology has in informing both white supremacist and resentment rhetoric. Using a recently published alt-right text for analysis, I trace how groups affiliated with the alt-right use their version of rhetoric to keep and garner followers. I argue that this rhetoric can be dismantled not only though scholarship, but also through positive pedagogical disturbance, rhetorical listening, and action in the classroom and community. The academic and social outcomes of this dismantling result a New Dialogic pedagogy, a form of Anti-Racist Pedagogy, which promotes teaching for activism. Teaching for activism and awareness is paramount now; our divided country faces an uncertain future and it is our scholarly responsibility to address this. I end with a section on what I term rhetorical outliers. Through Inverse Enculturation and the idea of the community rhetor and vernacular rhetoric, I give examples of how those in the academy can partner with those in the community to combat the rise in white supremacy and hate groups. Through the use of responsible rhetoric, change can occur.



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