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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation-ISU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of English

First Advisor

Julie Jung


In partisan debates about the impact of climate change, climate change deniers often focus on short-term economic risk rather than take a long view that includes catastrophic risk, and climate scientists speak in ways that hedge because they are trained to avoid absolutist rhetoric. In this dissertation I argue that nondiscursive sensation shapes environmental policy and that rhetors can use rhetorics of sensation or sensory rhetorics to foster more equitable responses to environmental injustices. Drawing on the concepts of relationality and embodiment, I argue that how we orient ourselves to the environment and to one another defines how we think about environmental change and our capacity to do anything about it. A feminist sensory–rhetorical framework supports efforts of rhetoric and composition and technical communication scholars to consider the complexity of environmental change as it is tied to neoliberal policies that marginalize risk to bodies that are disabled, gendered, racialized, animalized, or otherwise deemed expendable in a colonialist, capitalist society. The goal is to develop proactive ecorhetoric(s) that foster our ability to sustain life on Earth.


Imported from ProQuest Phillips_ilstu_0092E_10772.pdf


Page Count


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