Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

George Pullman

Second Advisor

Marti Singer

Third Advisor

Calvin Thomas


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The purpose of this project is to provide a thorough account of delivery by tracing the history and evolution of delivery from antiquity to the present day in order to expose the spread and transmission of proto-masculine ideologies through delivery. By looking at delivery from an evolutionary perspective, delivery no longer becomes a tool of rhetoric, but the technology of rhetoric, evolving over time in the same way the system of rhetoric itself has evolved. Contemporary scholarship on delivery continues to look at delivery as a tool—as the ink, the paper, the computer screen, the keyboard, the font, the hypertext, the web design, and so forth—of communication. Contemporary scholarship re-works the classical definition of delivery to fit into a contemporary context, and consequently ignores the proto-masculinity embedded into classical delivery and its spread from public speaking to all speaking situations—and the larger consequence of this approach is that proto-masculinity remains embedded and idealized.

Focusing specifically on delivery’s history and evolution into a post-human, cyborg technology demonstrates how proto-masculinity has operated within delivery and how proto-masculinity has been spread through delivery instruction. The importance of re-situating delivery within the rhetorical canons affects rhetoric as a whole because it demonstrates that not only is delivery still crucial to rhetoric, and possibly still the most important rhetorical canon, but also because it de-naturalizes the proto-masculine imperatives embedded within delivery and conveyed through delivered language performances.