Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Lisa Melonçon, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Carl G. Herndl, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Nathan R. Johnson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Nicole Guenther Discenza, Ph.D.


Invention, New Materialism, Place, Rhetoric


This dissertation seeks to define the theory of rhetorical dynamism and illustrate how this theory can be applied to studies of rhetoric and place. The study builds on current rhetorical scholarship and adds to it with the four characteristics of rhetorical dynamism: that places are rhetorically invented, that they hold rhetorical tensions, that they are fluid and constantly evolving, and that they are active participants in a reciprocal rhetorical process. Rhetorical dynamism is illustrated in two places, Westlake Terrace and Idora Park, each in Youngstown, OH. By building a rhetorical history of each site, the study shows how each place is representative of the study’s theoretical claims. Finally, the study finds that rhetorical dynamism can be usefully applied as a heuristic in future rhetorical scholarship to uncover instances of inequality and injustice and to find avenues to address these issues as they are grounded in particular places.

Included in

Rhetoric Commons