Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Mary E. Stuckey

Second Advisor

Carol K. Winkler

Third Advisor

David Cheshier

Fourth Advisor

Robert L. Ivie

Abstract

This dissertation identifies and explains the rhetorical strategies presidents engage in at the end of war to remedy the problem created by the production and circulation of savage depictions of the enemy. By analyzing presidential rhetoric at the conclusion of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan, this research demonstrates how presidents recivilize, transfer, erase, and distribute savage imagery, how those processes facilitate the closure of war, and how that rhetoric reconstitutes war as a permanent condition of American foreign policy.

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