Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design

Committee Chair/Advisor

Cameron Bushnell

Committee Member

Walt Hunter

Committee Member

Ufuk Ersoy

Committee Member

Michael Meng


Memorials operate rhetorically, architecturally, and spatially as a written mode of remembrance. The rhetorical potential of memory texts has been discussed in rhetorical theory and includes the idea that the monuments and memorials are conveying something to someone for the purpose of influencing memory and remembrance of a place, person, or event. Still what makes them public, rhetorical, and architectural is not as clearly defined, so understanding only what the objects are saying and to whom misses the opportunity to more fully understand the ways in which they are rhetorical and architectural: rhetorical in their epideictic functions and kairotic possibilities, and architectural in their communicative, spatial, and emplaced functions. I theorize that memorials are an aggregation of principles, qualities, and attributes that depend on each other for meaning. The term use to name this aggregation is Rhetorical Architectural Memory Text (RAMT). Conceptually complex, RAMTs are part of the discourse of public remembrance and memory; they contribute to public memory as a specific entity with attributes that require careful considerations. RAMTs as an aggregate requires a strategy for reading their qualities, and attributes that account for their component functions. The dual heuristic method that I designed recognizes and uses the components of the aggregate meaning to interpret how public memory is conveyed. The first heuristic employs modifications to the five canons of rhetoric, in the form of a digital Esri Survey 123 ® customized questionnaire which asks for attributes and characteristics of the aggregate entity of, the RAMT The responses to the questionnaire uploaded to an Esri/Arc-GIS® digital map which provides the second heuristic that is an aerial view of the RAMTS across a defined location to interpreting the meaning conveyed through emplacement. This method has been used successfully in an Advanced Writing Class at Clemson University.



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