King's return to the Mall: public memory and the rhetoric of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial

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dc.contributor Bennett, Beth Susan
dc.contributor Bagley, Meredith M.
dc.contributor Gower, Karla K.
dc.contributor Frederickson, Kari A
dc.contributor.advisor Black, Jason Edward Walker, Jefferson Douglas Greene 2017-03-01T16:50:56Z 2017-03-01T16:50:56Z 2013
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0001366
dc.identifier.other Walker_alatus_0004D_11558
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract In recent years many scholars have taken up the rhetorical study of sites of memory, observing how museums, memorials, and other commemorative sites function to cultivate public memory. This study situates itself in this field of research by examining the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Through a multi-faceted rhetorical analysis of the site's visual and textual components, surrounding landscape, and supporting texts, this study reveals multiple critical, popular, privileged, and vernacular interpretations of the site and King's memory. I contend that the Memorial and its related texts, notably including its dedication ceremony, help universalize and institutionalize King's memory, creating a contentious rhetorical battleground where various people contest the "ownership" and use of King's memory. This study complements the field of memory studies, as well as scholarly knowledge on King's public memory. In Chapter Two, a review of public memory literature details the study's theoretical framework. Chapter Three's historical-contextual analysis recounts the Memorial's history and collects many official and critical interpretations of the site. Chapter Four presents my own critical interpretation of the Memorial's visual and textual elements, along with its surrounding landscape, offering a composite reading of the site. In Chapter Five I examine the site's dedication ceremony as supplementary rhetoric to the site, observing how privileged rhetors interpreted, politicized, and helped institutionalize King's memory. Chapter Six concludes the study by offering implications, limitations, and directions for future research.
dc.format.extent 155 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other Communication
dc.subject.other Rhetoric
dc.subject.other African American studies
dc.title King's return to the Mall: public memory and the rhetoric of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial
dc.type thesis
dc.type text University of Alabama. College of Communication and Information Sciences Communication & Information Sciences The University of Alabama doctoral Ph.D.

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