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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Articulate Bodies: Affect, Embodiment, and Alienation in the NFL Anthem Protests
by Lliteras, Talia Renae, M.A., The American University of Paris (France), 2019, 90; 28317788
Abstract (Summary)

Through a Critical Discourse Analysis of press coverage of Colin Kaepernick’s protest during the National Anthem of NFL games beginning in August 2016 to the settlement of his collusion suit against the NFL in February 2019, this paper evaluates affect as not only an amorphous byproduct that reverberates naturally from the protest and all football-related events, but also as a driver of the mediation and coverage of such events. This project highlights two “interpretive repertoires”(Gill) that demonstrate how affect is entangled in the discourse in various layers of complexity—ultimately revealing that affective alienation is a discursive maneuver inherent to football genres established in the mythological and narrative subservience to normalized hegemonies of masculinity, race, and class. This alienation is further made explicit in the affectively excessive language centered on the bodies of players. The political primacy of football suggests this alienation transverses media and cultural lines and articulates meanings and relationships of power writ large. This project further complicates affect in spectatorship in proposing that alienation and divisiveness need not be the only powerful articulation of affective engagement through media. In doing so, it argues for a “middle ground” in the epistemological divide long exhibited in the field of affect theory and provides a compelling example of the value of applying affect theory to media and communications.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Payne, Robert
Commitee: Talcott, Charles
School: The American University of Paris (France)
Department: Global Communications
School Location: France
Source: MAI 82/8(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Multimedia Communications, Black history
Keywords: Affect Theory, Critical Race Theory, Football, Maculinity, Media ecosystem, Sports
Publication Number: 28317788
ISBN: 9798582536253
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