Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Communication Studies

First Advisor

Gray, Jonathan


This dissertation explores the process of creating and touring a community-sourced memorial quilt for the anti-mountaintop removal activist Julia “Judy” Bonds, who died in 2011. As a practice, the project positions memorialization as a possible framework for social movements to utilize when faced with loss that allows for actions that honor members of the movement while still engaging in consciousness raising and organizing efforts. From a theoretical standpoint, the practice of memorialization—especially when it is intentionally designed to align with the practices/legacy of the person(s) being remembered—is also considered through an object oriented ontology perspective, providing insight into the affective ways that a more personal/community base memorial can be considered as both a symbolic and real material representation of a person who has died.As a practice, the dissertation brings together work on object oriented ontology and travel as a way to highlight travel as a mobile object and performative practice, not just as a practice that allows for research to be presented, which can serve as a valuable site of knowledge generation and creation.Finally, this document is concerned with the materiality of textual representation, offering a series of experiments in performative writing to align with the larger goals of community organizing and environmental action, insisting that the documentation of our actions as well as the actions themselves can help to imagine new ways of being and knowing.




This dissertation is Open Access and may be downloaded by anyone.