Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.



Degree Program

English Rhetoric and Composition, PhD

Committee Chair

Williams, Bronwyn

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Sheridan, Mary

Committee Member

Sheridan, Mary

Committee Member

Maxwell, Kristi

Committee Member

Ehrick, Christine

Author's Keywords

rhetoric of nostalgia; rhetoric of place; nostalgia; place; record stores


This study aims to explore rhetorical placemaking through how people understand and construct narratives around places that no longer exist. In doing so, it examines the relationship between nostalgia and place — how rhetorical construction of place is influenced and/or informed by rhetorics of nostalgia, how our experiences influence our sense of place (past and present), and how we create continuity for ourselves in the construction and maintenance of particular narratives. This study contributes to the emerging field of rhetorics of nostalgia and places it in direct conversation with rhetorics of place and unpacks how these two are more connected than apparent on the surface. Using the research site ear X-tacy, a former record store in Louisville, KY, which has been closed since 2011, the study uses a blend of oral history and qualitative interviewing. The primary data is collected from two rounds of interviews with eight participants, including former employees, former customers, and musicians, and other members of the Louisville music community. The methods and methodology were heavily influenced by community engagement research with rhetoric and composition studies to maintain relationships with participants and ethically analyze their narratives. This study concludes that there is a strong link between rhetorical placemaking and an individual’s self-continuity and sense of identity. One’s sense of self strongly informs sense of place, which further emphasizes the role of nostalgia in rhetorical placemaking. Consequently, it means there may be further research to do in individual relationships between people and place, which also influences temporal and spatial relations within placemaking.

Included in

Rhetoric Commons