Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version

Spring 5-2013


Ewalt, J., Ohl, J., and Pfister, D.S. (2013). Activism, deliberation, and networked public screens: Rhetorical scenes from Occupy Lincoln (Parts 1 & 2). Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies 13:3 (2013), pp. 173–190; doi: 10.1177/1532708613477360


Part 1 of this manuscript is a dramatization of five rhetorical scenes that take the Occupy phenomenon as a moment to explore features of contemporary social protest and change. Drawing on rhetorical field notes collected over the first two weeks of Occupy Lincoln in Nebraska, we identify how historical tensions between activism and deliberation were both complicated and reasserted as the Occupy moment became a movement. The rhetorical scenes partially replicate actual conversations, though they are remediated through three composite figures: Anda, a longtime social activist; John, an advocate of democratic deliberation; and Dajuan, an undergraduate organizer of the local Occupy Movement. The footnotes throughout the dramatization anchor scholarly observations in Part 2 of the manuscript, a “footnote essay” which develops the concept of “networked public screens.”