Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design

Committee Chair/Advisor

D. Travers Scott

Committee Member

Diane Perpich

Committee Member

Michelle Smith

Committee Member

Clare Mullaney


Drawing on theoretical perspectives from lesbian studies, queer theory and studies and, feminist rhetorics while using rhetorical analysis, interviews, and archival research, this project traces the relationships lesbians have had to place, through case studies. To date, research on how space occupancy or land practices have contributed to the constitution of a contemporary lesbian identity in the United States lack scholarly attention. My following chapters ask: how has separatism historically and at present contributed to the constitution of lesbian identity? To answer, I turn to archival evidence of women’s lands in Southern Oregon, Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, and Olivia Travel. This dissertation argues that spaces self-identified as women-only through separatist principles have contributed to the formation of contemporary lesbian identity.



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