Graduate Studies


First Advisor

Shari Stenberg

Second Advisor

Stacey Waite

Third Advisor

Rachael Shah

Date of this Version

Spring 5-2-2022


Droge, Simone. "Learning from Leela: The Rhetoric of Isolation and Teaching with Archives." 2022.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: English, Under the Supervision of Professor Shari J. Stenberg. Lincoln, Nebraska: April, 2022

Copyright © 2022 Simone L. Droge


This thesis contains two parts. The first part examines the rhetoric of isolation through an analysis of letters from a tuberculosis sanatorium, written by the author’s great aunt before she died. These letters, put next to contemporary texts of isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic, illuminate how we can continue to build our identities and relationships in solitude, and the role of hope in that process. The second part of this thesis offers a conceptual frame that views social media as a living archive and an access tool for teaching first-year students of writing core concepts such as arrangement, audience, context, and purpose. Part II also contains an example project sheet for having students build their own archive of materials, including an analytical assignment portion.

Advisor: Shari J. Stenberg