Theses Doctoral

Uneasy Subjects: Affect, Censorship, Schooling

Niccolini, Alyssa Dodge

Recent years have seen a rising trend of censorship in US secondary schools. This dissertation looks at incidents when censorship caused a sensation in schools and beyond. The censorship events explored are moments when a text, pedagogy, bounded notion of curricula, or a body was removed from a classroom because it was deemed objectionable to someone. I trace how certain texts, pedagogies, and subjectivities get affectively invested as inappropriate for secondary students in four events between 2008-2014. Since each of the events caused affective intensities in schools and communities, at times even reaching national media, I take up the affective turn in cultural studies to explore the intensities both motivating and resulting from censorship. I see affect as the body reading the world and as a particularly potent theoretical lens for the investigation of contemporary literacies. Patricia Clough (2010) urges that “affect studies calls for experimentation in methodology and presentation styles” (p.228) and this dissertation labors to take up that call. To work towards generating affect in addition to theorizing it, I explore different modes and method of ‘working’ data, including visual analysis, autographics, sketching, and glitch methodologies.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
English Education
Thesis Advisors
Miller, Janet
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 17, 2016