So Much for Beauty: Realizing Participatory Aesthetics in Environmental Protection and Restoration

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/301529
Title:
So Much for Beauty: Realizing Participatory Aesthetics in Environmental Protection and Restoration
Author:
Stroud, Mary
Issue Date:
2013
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This study analyzes visual artifacts from three case studies, Hetch Hetchy Valley, Echo Park, and Glen Canyon, in order to contribute to scholarship devoted to environmental visual rhetoric. Through these studies, I address connections between aesthetics and environmental ethics and challenge scholarship that argues mainstream preservationist perspectives have adhered to an anthropocentric ideological paradigm. Grounding my argument in philosopher Arnold Berleant's notion of participatory aesthetics and deploying social semiotics and media analysis methodologies, I propose that two particular aesthetic grammars have been at use in mainstream environmental rhetorics, that which I call the wilderness sublime and the wilderness interactive. Present in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and well documented in existing scholarship, the aesthetic of the wilderness sublime has operated through strict dichotomies between nature and culture that promote reductive views of human relationships with nature. Conversely, I argue that the aesthetic of the wilderness interactive, discoverable in artifacts from the mid-20th century to today, has worked to resist these dichotomies through the use of participatory elements that feature humans and nature in what Berleant calls a "relationship of mutual influence," falling within a more ecocentric ideological view. Through my analysis, I extend Berleant's theoretical application from photography to websites to argue that web-based rhetorics contain distinct potential for the realization of participatory features. In particular, I focus on the aesthetic, technological, social, archival, subjective, and epistemological dimensions proposed by Melinda Turnley to discuss dialogic features of websites that can work to engage diverse stakeholders. Through my findings, I offer a visual analysis heuristic that can be used to discover participatory aesthetics within visual artifacts and resist dualistic views of the environment. Likewise, I present a user analysis heuristic that can help identify targeted stakeholders and recognize participatory aesthetics within websites. Ultimately, this study answers the call of environmental aesthetics to address the realization of perceptual norms that offer more ethical conceptions of human relationships with nature, and it extends this focus into the digital environment to discuss the ability of web design and aesthetics to promote generative stakeholder dialogue in environmental protection and restoration.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
environmental aesthetics; environmental visual rhetoric; Glen Canyon; Hetch Hetchy; participatory aesthetics; Rhetoric, Composition & the Teaching of English; Echo Park
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Rhetoric, Composition & the Teaching of English
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Kimme Hea, Amy C.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleSo Much for Beauty: Realizing Participatory Aesthetics in Environmental Protection and Restorationen_US
dc.creatorStroud, Maryen_US
dc.contributor.authorStroud, Maryen_US
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis study analyzes visual artifacts from three case studies, Hetch Hetchy Valley, Echo Park, and Glen Canyon, in order to contribute to scholarship devoted to environmental visual rhetoric. Through these studies, I address connections between aesthetics and environmental ethics and challenge scholarship that argues mainstream preservationist perspectives have adhered to an anthropocentric ideological paradigm. Grounding my argument in philosopher Arnold Berleant's notion of participatory aesthetics and deploying social semiotics and media analysis methodologies, I propose that two particular aesthetic grammars have been at use in mainstream environmental rhetorics, that which I call the wilderness sublime and the wilderness interactive. Present in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and well documented in existing scholarship, the aesthetic of the wilderness sublime has operated through strict dichotomies between nature and culture that promote reductive views of human relationships with nature. Conversely, I argue that the aesthetic of the wilderness interactive, discoverable in artifacts from the mid-20th century to today, has worked to resist these dichotomies through the use of participatory elements that feature humans and nature in what Berleant calls a "relationship of mutual influence," falling within a more ecocentric ideological view. Through my analysis, I extend Berleant's theoretical application from photography to websites to argue that web-based rhetorics contain distinct potential for the realization of participatory features. In particular, I focus on the aesthetic, technological, social, archival, subjective, and epistemological dimensions proposed by Melinda Turnley to discuss dialogic features of websites that can work to engage diverse stakeholders. Through my findings, I offer a visual analysis heuristic that can be used to discover participatory aesthetics within visual artifacts and resist dualistic views of the environment. Likewise, I present a user analysis heuristic that can help identify targeted stakeholders and recognize participatory aesthetics within websites. Ultimately, this study answers the call of environmental aesthetics to address the realization of perceptual norms that offer more ethical conceptions of human relationships with nature, and it extends this focus into the digital environment to discuss the ability of web design and aesthetics to promote generative stakeholder dialogue in environmental protection and restoration.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectenvironmental aestheticsen_US
dc.subjectenvironmental visual rhetoricen_US
dc.subjectGlen Canyonen_US
dc.subjectHetch Hetchyen_US
dc.subjectparticipatory aestheticsen_US
dc.subjectRhetoric, Composition & the Teaching of Englishen_US
dc.subjectEcho Parken_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineRhetoric, Composition & the Teaching of Englishen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorKimme Hea, Amy C.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHall, Anne-Marieen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMcAllister, Kenen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKimme Hea, Amy C.en_US
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