Date of Award

Spring 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Director

David D. Metzger

Committee Member

Joyce Neff

Committee Member

Virginia L. Gunn


Quilts have been documented as artifacts of past experiences and social circumstances, but the rhetorical aspects have been largely unexplored. In this study, I establish quilting as a form of knowledge about memory, one of the canons of rhetoric. This task requires a rhetorical framework of memory to accomplish its end.

In order to create a rhetorical framework for the study of memory, I examine preservative and generative memory as represented in women's quilts. Previous quilt studies have not addressed these two facets of memory, and previous memory studies have paid little or no attention to quilts. Additionally, this study will link memory to identity. The dominant term discovered through Kenneth Burke's pentadic analysis for identity will also be linked to memory study. Thus, this study links the concepts of memory and identity together and establishes quilts as an artifact for rhetorical study. In particular, this study demonstrates how the distinctive nature of memory generates new memories, preserves captured memories, and provides a powerful conceptual tool for the study of identity through quilts.





Included in

Rhetoric Commons