Doctoral Dissertations

Orcid ID

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Derek H. Alderman

Committee Members

Stefanie K. Benjamin, Isabel S. Muñoz, Robert N. Stewart


This dissertation develops the idea of "crowdsourced memory." The term captures three important developments in the conceptualization, technological delivery, and analytical study of public memory. In terms of conceptualization, a crowdsourcing approach recognizes that the remembering of the past is an inherently collective and often competitive enterprise in which the public participates in the co-construction of memory and the meanings of memorial landscapes and places. A crowdsourcing approach also recognizes the growing influence of the Internet and social media as not just a means of communication, but also a system of cultural and place representation, as well as, a memory technology—a way of expressing views about the past, but also a way of recording the history of place experiences at places devoted to the past. The posting of experiences and opinions through platforms, such as, Twitter have dramatically expanded public expression and contribution to the project of remembering, interpreting, and re-interpreting the past. Finally, a crowdsourcing approach represents a new methodology that recognizes social media posts provide an important source of not only quantitative, but also meaningful qualitative data for scholars to understand how the legacy and reputation of individuals and organizations are communicated, consumed, and co-constructed by the public. This dissertation also employs qualitative geographic information sciences to examine the locational variation of the themes associated with each Tweet. This dissertation applies a crowdsource approach based on critical race theory to understand the reputational politics that surround the annual holiday dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."