The (em)placed vernacular: rhetorics of transgression and control in new york city

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Humanities
Department Communication
Author Light, Elinor
Title The (em)placed vernacular: rhetorics of transgression and control in new york city
Date 2015-08
Description Traversing the vectors and tensions of everyday places is to experience a profoundly powerful rhetorical force. Through the particularities of place, identity is forged, communities are created, and ideological wars are waged through images, aesthetics, and materiality. The (Em)placed Vernacular: Rhetorics of Transgression and Control in New York City explores these intersections and the larger rhetorical possibilities of taking a vernacular approach to the study place through an exploration of New York City as an ideological text and site of rhetorical acts of place-making. This project develops the notion of the (em)placed vernacular as a critical framework that acknowledges the important ways that place is perpetually created, maintained, and re-coded by the actions and reactions of users. The (em)placed vernacular is defined as the visual, aesthetic, and material codes embedded in the particularities of place. These codes not only provide the symbolic resources for living in the contemporary moment, they are one of the fundamental ways that ideology is materialized and acts of transgression and control emerge in the city. I explore three particular engagements within the (em)placed vernacular of New York City. As a larger dwelling place that has historically existed as a microcosm for the larger United States, I study the use of Zuccotti Park by Occupy Wall Street, the everyday surfaces used by British street artist Banksy, and the memory place of the 9/11 Memorial. Because of the intersectional dimensions of the (em)placed vernacular, I engage the virtual contexts and (cyber)places where the images roam, the constitutive force of materiality in producing ideal and transgressive subjectivities, and the larger political and rhetorical implications of transforming contemporary (non)places into places where new subjectivities can emerge through acts of place-making. I argue that acts of place-making provide particular ways of seeing the world, through which the possibilities of transformation are seen and engaged. The (em)placed vernacular provides a useful critical framework for studying acts of transgression and control that work always within the contingent foundations of postmodern politics.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject (em)placed vernacular; New York City; Rhetoric; Spatial Studies; Transgression; Visual Rhetoric
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Elinor Light 2015
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 27,372 bytes
Identifier etd3/id/3880
ARK ark:/87278/s6n61vqm
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2016-06-06
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 197431
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6n61vqm
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