Author

Zac Wendler

Publication Date

2015

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

First Advisor

Schaeffer, John D.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Department

Department of English

LCSH

Rhetoric||Criminology||Death row inmates--Quotations, maxims, etc--Research--United States||Last words--Research--United States||Death--Quotations, maxims, etc--Research--United States

Abstract

This dissertation examines the rhetorical context, preservation, and dissemination of the final statements of American felons executed between 1985 and Spring 2012, as well as the history of these items in the West generally and America specifically. This examination found little variance in final statement genre incidence rates with respect to ethnicity, gender, date of utterance, or any other temporal or demographic factor. As a result, it examines in detail the cultural context which stabilizes and centers this type of utterance, and explores how such statements move through American society and are transformed in the process. It argues that such distortion is productive and both the result of and a key tool in a search for common identity amongst modern Americans.

Comments

Advisors: John Schaeffer.||Committee members: Jessica Reyman; Karen Whedbee.

Extent

260 pages

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type

Text

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