Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Ufuk Ersoy

Committee Member

Dr. Cynthia Haynes

Committee Member

Dr. Gabriel Hankins

Committee Member

Dr. Andreea Mihalache


Reading is an act of perception that begins in wonder and leads to wisdom. It is not a response to writing but a response-ability we have to interact with the world around us and the phenomena before us. Reading with the body leads to wisdom, and when we participate in our existence by being in the world, we are reading. So what is reading? Reading is making. We make connections, and we form relationships. The act of reading is more than a cognitive process and even surpasses the phenomenological encounter.

My research describes the reader’s relationship to the text as an act of perception that I liken to breathing. This relationship includes reception - the receiving of input, transformation - interacting with phenomena - and creation - the making of meaning. Reading includes several registers of perception, including but not limited to encounters of and with sensation, language, imagination, music, and nature. How we orient ourselves to these activities in space and time determines how we read, breathe, and live. I use the metaphor of breath to help my reader imagine the kind of relationship to reading that I am after, one characterized by correspondence between the reader’s body and the reader’s environment.



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