Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Michelle Smith

Committee Member

Dr. Heather Brook Adams

Committee Member

Dr. Jordan Frith

Committee Member

Dr. Kristen Okamoto


“Unruly Periods: Reproductive Temporalities and the Rhetorics of Menstruations” argues that dominant rhetorics of shame and regulation around menstruation work to maintain strict reproductive temporalities that uphold heteropatriarchal norms. Specifically, I draw upon scholarship in queer studies and disability rhetorics to assert that sexual health texts (such as puberty books), menstrual care products (pads and tampons), and technologies of menstruation (period-tracking apps) function as a form of chronobiolitics—a teleological force that seeks to reinforce bodily normalcy. In doing so, these rhetorics of menstruation deny or elide the embodied experiences of diverse, queer, and disabled menstruators, limiting reproductive possibilities. Reproductive justice scholarship and activism began with the work of women of color, so this dissertation foregrounds their voices. Additionally, the dissertation explores my involvement with the Period Project, a local activist organization in Greenville, SC, and Period, a digital activist community, two groups that ground their activism in the affective, embodied experiences of the menstruators they aim to help. The Period Project works to incorporate menstrual activism and rhetoric within the paradigm of reproductive justice and offer feminist and digital rhetoricians a model for analyzing affective activism.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.