Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Maria Novotny, Shevaun Watson, Jeremiah Favara
Care practices, Cultural rhetorics, Digital design, Reproductive justice, Rhetoric of health and medicine, Storytelling
Recent events have drawn national attention to the fight for reproductive rights. However, Black women, Indigenous women, Women of Color, and LGBTQ+ people have long been fighting for reproductive justice, which connects reproductive rights to issues like immigration rights, fair wages, housing, quality education, and safe neighborhoods. There has also been a shift towards reproductive justice scholarship in rhetoric and writing studies. This dissertation focuses on the efforts and experiences of the Promotores de Salud, Latinx health promoters working for reproductive justice in Wisconsin. By constellating rhetorics of reproductive justice, cultural rhetorics, and queer and feminist scholarship, this dissertation builds a foundation for a cultural rhetorics (CR) praxis of care that supports digital storytelling projects about reproductive justice. Through the methods of story, relationality, constellation, and decolonial practices, this dissertation grapples with the complications of implementing a CR praxis of care into a community-engaged digital storytelling project with the promotores de salud and of implementing the project into the digital classroom. Cuentos de Confianza: A Community Writing Project for Reproductive Justice is a bilingual digital storytelling project written by six promotoras about their lived experiences as Latina women advocating for sexual and reproductive education and health in their communities. Through a community writing class, the curation of the site, and the circulation of the stories to community and academic audiences, this dissertation examines how a CR praxis of care offered practical actions for caring for vulnerable stories and storytellers throughout the life of the project. The findings suggest that sharing stories about reproductive justice in digital spaces must be done through active care practices that value story and relationships over research methods and data analysis, that center community knowledges and experiences, and that pursues new and alternative methods to best care for their community partners. This dissertation demonstrates how feminist researchers and rhetoricians can expand their practices of care to better account for the complexities of caring for stories in digital spaces and use their rhetorical skills to support community efforts on the road toward reproductive justice.
Koepke, Danielle Marie, "Toward a Cultural Rhetorics Praxis of Care for Digital Storytelling Projects About Reproductive Justice" (2023). Theses and Dissertations. 3175.