Rhetorical genre theory, genre ecologies, rhetorical ecotones, literacy sponsors, agricultural community, database theory, hyper genre, digital archives


This research examines the history of a small Florida agricultural community over the course of the twentieth century from a rhetorical perspective in order to understand the technological and communicative transitions that governed the development of American agricultural production. By examining archival and oral histories, this research will add to our understandings of how written and oral communications temper the relationships and social situations of an agricultural community, including the knowledge-making and technological adaptation resulting from communications within the community and with outside institutions and entities. Agricultural villages are not isolated entities, but rather sites of multiple rhetorical situations, and farmers do not farm alone, but inside an ecosystem of networked knowledges, practices, and traditions. Thus, the history of a singular farming community may serve as a rhetorical microcosm of modern American agriculture's evolution over the course of the twentieth century, and provide some mindfulness concerning the social, technological, and natural ecologies that act and interact within modern farming communities. This dissertation will use rhetorical genre theory and ideas of local literacies to examine the written and oral discourses that run through these ecologies for the purpose of tracing the relationships between the sponsors of agricultural ideas and technologies and the local farmers who interpreted, employed, and modified them. In addition, this project purports to add to digital history-making research through the construction of an historical archival website to which community members can add their voices. The Samsula Historical Archive creates an online nexus where community members can document, organize, and preserve the history of the community, offering a portal supporting multiple narratives and perspectives. Each family has its own stories and perspectives on historical happenings; by bringing these together in one databased location, the layers and interconnections will become clearer and perhaps stimulate further memories and insights. A discussion of the rhetorical choices faced in constructing such an artifact may also help future researchers embarking on such a project.


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Graduation Date





Scott, Blake


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Arts and Humanities

Degree Program

Texts and Technology








Release Date


Length of Campus-only Access

3 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities