Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


English Language and Literatures

First Advisor

Byron Hawk


The recent mingling of rhetorical theory and new materialism provides the space to ask different kinds of questions about our built history. Simultaneously, a parallel disciplinary interest in qualitative rhetorical field methods provides a growing arsenal for researchers who are invested in ‘being there’ and making a difference in the world. Working at the intersections of rhetorical theory, documentary film studies, and historic preservation, this project engages the Christine building differently. I offer a methodological framework to bridge rhetorical new materialism and rhetorical field methods and create a heuristic based in documentary theory and practice. As an archival, performance ethnography, this project deploys participant observation, thick description, interviews, and media archaeology to investigate the Christine building as a multiple object. I identify a set of visual methods for researchers and practitioners to consider archives and objects as they diffract through various documentary productions. In an attempt to understand the Christine as a multiple, moving object, I regard this building from as many angles—visually, textually, aurally, structurally, aesthetically, and historically—as possible, anchored in a series of personal and media engagements with the Christine and the many people who occupied and traversed its spaces.


© 2023, Charles Brian Dedrick Harmon

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