Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design
Dr. Michelle Smith
Dr. Heather Brook Adams
Dr. Jordan Frith
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.
Taylor, Hannah, "Unruly Periods: Reproductive Futurities and the Rhetorics of Menstruation" (2023). All Dissertations. 3421.