Delivering Rhetorical Entanglements

Pratt, Jacqui. Delivering Rhetorical Entanglements. 2019. University of Washington, PhD dissertation.

This dissertation—a hybrid artifact that employs both traditional and non-traditional means of academic labor— explores methods for producing, engaging, and delivering rhetorical and composition scholarship and pedagogy that captures and conveys the emergence, movement, dynamism, complexity, non-linearity, and embodied nature of myriad more-than-human processes, experiences, and phenomena around which our fields have developed theory. It also seeks to prepare individuals to respond to difficulty, disorder, ambiguity, and complexity through rhetorical practice: the delivery and experience of theory in material form. To accomplish these aims, my research comprehensively engages a metaphor of entanglement across five core “acts” that collectively perform/argue the theoretical, analytical, methodological, and practical possibilities of rhetorical discourse as an emergent, dynamic, non-linear, and aesthetic phenomenon, offering theoretical, pedagogical, and artifactual contributions for cultivating ethico-onto-epistemological rhetorical capacities with(in) entanglements. I also advocate for mattering and dwelling as two general approaches or orientations to observing, capturing, analyzing, working with, and, ultimately, delivering rhetorical entanglements. This dissertation, then, advances conversations on how we practice and conceptualize scholarship and pedagogy, modeling diverse and complex ways of composing, enacting, and delivering rhetorical theory that readies citizens, students, and scholars for ethically handling complexity, ambiguity, uncertainty, and impossibility — all necessary capacities within entangled existence.

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