Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
School of Communication
On June 12, 2016, 49 people were killed, and 53 people were injured in a shooting at Pulse, a popular gay club in Orlando, Florida. The Pulse Nightclub shooting was the deadliest mass shooting in the United States at that time and the deadliest violent act against the LGBTQ+ community in the United States (Hancock & Haldeman, 2017; Jackson, 2017; Walter, Billard, & Murphy, 2017). The media were divided in labeling the shooting a terrorist attack or a hate crime, creating a master narrative surrounding the shooting. However, LGBTQ+ spoken word poets rejected the media’s storylines, developing counter-narratives, and instead called attention to existing violence targeting the LGBTQ+ community and promoted healing after Pulse. To better understand the connection between the Pulse Nightclub shooting, spoken word poetry, and counter-narrative creation, I conducted focus groups where individuals watched and reacted to poems about Pulse, performed by LGBTQ+ poets. Applying Braun and Clark’s (2006) thematic analysis, I hope to uncover how the counter-narratives created by the LGBTQ+ poets influence the way their audience make sense of their own experiences.
Trew, Hannah G., ""We Need to Stop Temporarily Caring:" Pulse, Spoken Word Poetry, and Audience Counter-narrative Creation" (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 1095.