Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisorBrummett, Barry, 1951-
dc.creatorGatchet, Roger Davis
dc.description.abstractThis thesis offers a rhetorical re-conceptualization of witch-hunting as one manifestation of a form of persecution that repeats, in different contexts, throughout history. Understanding witch-hunting as form is a useful heuristic that frees the hunt from the confines of one specific historical context (such as the early modern era, or colonial America), and allows the critic to examine a number of present-day persecutory phenomena in terms of the underlying formal characteristics that define them. Chapter one outlines a theoretical framework for understanding witch-hunting in terms of form, specifically as it operates through the unconscious mechanism of projective identification. The next three chapters are individual case studies that explore the rhetoric of persecution in the contemporary US. In chapter two, rhetorical homology theory is used to connect a seventeenth century witch-hunt in northern Spain to the 1993 investigation and trial of three teenagers in West Memphis, Arkansas. Chapter three compares the rhetoric of demonic heteronormativity in early witch-hunt treatises such as the Malleus Maleficarum to the US military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, and shows how the policy is an example of a witch-hunt-style persecution that targets the GLBTQ community today. Chapter four examines the function of persecutory texts in postmodernity, through an analysis of artifacts that demonize President George W. Bush. The concluding chapter offers directions for further study and considers how communities might lessen the violent effects of this persecutory form.en_US
dc.relation.ispartofUT Electronic Theses and Dissertationsen_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Presentation of this material on the Libraries' web site by University Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin was made possible under a limited license grant from the author who has retained all copyrights in the works.en_US
dc.subjectRhetoric of persecutionen_US
dc.subjectUnited Statesen_US
dc.subjectWest Memphis Three (Criminal case 1993)en_US
dc.subjectDon't Ask Don't Tell Policyen_US
dc.subjectGeorge W. Bushen_US
dc.titleHunting the self : repression, projection, and persecution in the contemporary United Statesen_US
dc.description.departmentCommunication Studiesen_US

Files in this item


There are no files associated with this item.

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record