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THE WINDS: RURAL SUSCEPTIBILITY, ENVIRONMENTAL RHETORIC, AND THE AFTERLIFE OF MUNICIPAL DELIBERATION

TAGUE, NOEL (2018) THE WINDS: RURAL SUSCEPTIBILITY, ENVIRONMENTAL RHETORIC, AND THE AFTERLIFE OF MUNICIPAL DELIBERATION. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The central argument in this dissertation is a simple one: shrouded in rhetorics of energy independence and sustainability, the proliferation of so-called wind farms in the United States tends to direct our attention away from the complex and contingent rhetorical activity on the ground in the rural communities that host these facilities—often to the benefit of Big Wind and the exploitation of rural life. Taking as its case the contentious municipal deliberations about industrial wind development that unfolded in the northern New York town of Hammond from 2008 to 2013, this dissertation examines the influence of regional history, agrarian heritage, embodiment, and imagination in residents’ construction of arguments for or against the installation of wind turbines in their town. Reconstructing the rhetorical trajectory of what became a notoriously bitter debate in the town, the first chapter connects the Hammond wind issue to a longer regional history of environmental exploitation and civic participation. Later chapters then go on to examine how Big Wind’s appropriation of agricultural heritage narratives, the discursive contagion of a contested illness known as Wind Turbine Syndrome, and the convergence of individuals’ sentiment, memory, and imagination, all played a part in inflicting lasting wounds upon social life in the town. Overall, this work argues for a theory of susceptibility as a category of rhetorical being, critical to understanding why individuals are persuaded by some arguments and not others. Distinct from gullibility or vulnerability, susceptibility—a felt, embodied inclination toward a particular stance on an issue—gains traction through not just a personal history of firsthand and inherited experience, but also, for example, economic factors, environmental and cultural history, and constructions of local place from within and without. Ultimately, through investigations of susceptibility in rural northern New York, this dissertation connects the exploration of wind energy development in rural America to a broader claim about the entanglement of sensation, history, and place in individuals’ construction of and susceptibility to certain kinds of arguments and political stances.


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Details

Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
TAGUE, NOELNET16@PITT.EDUNET16
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairHOLDING, CORYCHOLDING@PITT.EDU
Committee MemberBIALOSTOSKY, DONDHB2@PITT.EDU
Committee MemberPURI, SHALINISPURI@PITT.EDU
Committee MemberANDERSON, MARK LYNNANDERSML@PITT.EDU
Committee MemberBRUCE, CAITLINCAITLINB@PITT.EDU
Date: 26 September 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 15 May 2018
Approval Date: 26 September 2018
Submission Date: 4 September 2018
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 220
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > English
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: WIND ENERGY, HOME RULE, DAIRY FARMERS, NORTH COUNTRY, PHANTASIA, RURAL LIFE
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2018 23:12
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2018 23:12
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/35299

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