Degree Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2006

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

English

First Advisor

Helen Ewald

Abstract

This dissertation examines ways difference or otherness is represented at three research sites to underscore practical ethical dilemmas engendered by the postmodern crisis of representation. Inspired largely by Gayatri Spivak's influential Can the Subaltern Speak? the dissertation seeks to illustrate a practical usefulness of postcolonial and post-structuralist insights for rhetoric and composition as well as business and technical communication practitioners who aspire to reconcile their allegiance with the postmodern and postethnographic representation critique and prevalent modernist, positivist, and reductive institutional exigencies;Embedded within the dissertation are three papers that elaborate on concrete representational practices in three specific research locales. Namely, the first paper draws on classroom observation and focus groups to argue for a cross-cultural composition pedagogy that, while benefiting mainstream students, can empower international students whose voices tend to be assimilated, if not excluded, by dominant composition discourses. The second paper proposes a student survey as a way of creating space for students' voices and compositionists' input, both of which are often missing from assessment processes. The final, third paper employs a rhetorical genre critique to scrutinize representational practices of three web sites featuring a newly independent Eastern European country and in so doing offers some suggestions for developing critical transcultural competence in business and technical communication students;The overarching conclusion three papers reach is that, while difference can speak in various ways, rhetoricians continue to face a challenge of ensuring that this speaking is dialogical, that is, the subaltern talk is listened to. Not listening is not only unethical but also impractical, contends this dissertation, as it challenges such modernist binaries as local versus global/international difference, empirical positivist versus humanist rhetorically-based assessment, and public versus personal research representation. In terms of the last dichotomy, the dissertation, in a postmodern/postcolonial deconstructive spirit, reflects on the researcher's own positionality and metarepresentational modes. Throughout, the dissertation provides a considerable space for reflecting on the methodology of the three studies from conceptualization to data analysis.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31274/rtd-180813-12355

Publisher

Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu

Copyright Owner

Oksana Hlyva

Language

en

Proquest ID

AAI3229084

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

129 pages

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