Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Sean Morey

Committee Members

Jud Laughter, Jeff Ringer, Lisa King


The theoretical framework, Shoaling Rhizomes, can be used to examine the social justice movement, March for Our Lives (MFOL), and its use of social media to further discourse on gun reform. The Shoaling Rhizomes Matrix helps to put into conversation the theory and research explored through that framework with established research on the public sphere, networked ecologies, rhetorical velocity, and circulation from researchers and theorists such as Michael Warner, Frank Farmer, Jenny Edbauer, Jim Ridolofo, and Dànielle Nicole DeVoss. The resulting conversation emphasizes the social, participatory, and communal nature of new media, like that of social media, by examining how student activists from Parkland, Florida united with other marginalized communities like Chicago’s black youth to champion their discourse.


Portions of this document were previously published in Computers and Composition on May 23, 2019.

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