Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design


Howard, Tharon

Committee Member

Haynes , Cynthia

Committee Member

Nakuma , Constancio

Committee Member

Egan , Clifton


A Rhetorical Approach to Cultural Literacies Across Media finds exigency in the challenges presented to students and teachers by the growing emphasis on globalization, and by the increasing demands for literacy in new media. My research develops a theoretical model for a rhetorical reading of cultural ―texts‖ in the context of cross-cultural learning experiences. This model is built on the metaphor of ―stolons,‖ those botanical strands that serve to propagate plants across wide areas into a single woven organism, i.e., a lawn. Approaching ―culture‖ as a complex organic system of a multiplicity of sources, this model of literacies evaluates the cultural functions of texts across several impulses, namely through: muthos - stories, legends, histories; nomos - naming, labels, categorization; ethnos - self-identification of a societal group; techne - the artistic and industrial production of a group; and archon - the acts and artifacts ―on display.‖ This work focuses on the cultural composition, instantiation, reification and resistance that take place in various media from speech to performance acts to digital media. By means of a tropological analysis of cultural narratology across these various media, this ―stoloniferous‖ model will serve as a tool for students and instructors to critically engage the interconnected web of cultural texts, and as a tool to express that engagement via multimoda