Making conservation public: rhetorical environmentality and the contested future(s) of America's national parks Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Spurlock, Cindy Michelle
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication
  • National parks have long played an important role in American culture as sites and sights of national nature. As tourist destinations, these places are imbued with rhetorical and cultural significance. At the same time, these public lands are often contested places where conservation and environmental issues are defined and presented to the visiting public. Following a critical-rhetorical methodological orientation, this dissertation explores how three park system units (Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Cape Hatteras National Seashore) make conservation public in ways that are particular to each unit's historical, environmental, and political contexts. This research extends the theoretical analytic of environmentality by suggesting that its rhetorical and performative elements are significantly important to understanding how power, discourse, public memory, and the rhetoric of place (re)produce environmental subjects. Drawing from fieldwork, interviews, and discursive analysis, this dissertation proposes the notion of conservation civics as a critical interpretive framework for understanding how nature, culture, and nation are articulated in official public discourses.
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  • In Copyright
  • Blair, Carole
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

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