Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Rhetoric & Comm Studies
Dr. Mari Lee Mifsud
Taking my cues from feminist rhetorical studies, and the enactment of the personal as political, my thick description of women’s reproductive healthcare is focused on my own encounters with these rhetorics through a collection of my experiences through various media. This description adopts an autoethnographic attitude to approach these rhetorics “as pluralistic, subjective, personal, and potentially inclusive,” by using my own position and narrative to frame this rhetorical study. Just as feminist rhetorical studies require meta-reflexive awareness, autoethnography requires the acceptance of “responsibility for our subjective lenses through reflexivity.” My thick description uses the metadata of these media, including the date encountered, title, creator/author, date of publication, link, genre/format, brief description, source, topics, and tropes. By “topics,” I mean the general subject of the rhetorical text or artifact. Some examples include birth control, menopause, and medical surveillance. By “tropes,” I mean the way the rhetorical text or artifact operates to turn attention. Examples of troping include birth control troped through freedom, menopause through pain, and medical surveillance through comfort. In gathering this metadata and creating a thick description of the rhetorics of women’s reproductive health, I discern ways in which those rhetorics share structural similarities as they emerge in genre, topic, or trope. I orient my work towards personal and systemic prioritization of women’s reproductive health to focus the media audit. Drawing from Ahmed, I offer troping as a tool in the killjoy survival toolkit to better understand and manage relationships with reproductive healthcare and to find my way to justice and joy. I document instances of reproductive health rhetoric as I experienced them in my daily life through a live media audit, which began on January 1, 2019 and ended on December 31, 2019. Personalizing the media audit can inform mindful consideration, organization, and recognition of anyone’s navigation of daily media. This personalized media audit offers insight into the patterns, themes, and effects of my encounters of media related to reproductive healthcare.
Noppenberger, Claire E., "Troping for Justice and Joy: A Feminist Rhetorical Study of Women’s Reproductive Health" (2020). Honors Theses. 1491.