Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Communication Studies

First Advisor

Bernadette Calafell

Second Advisor

Christina Foust

Third Advisor

Santhosh Chandrasekar

Fourth Advisor

Renee Botta


This research is an attempt to create a new way of understanding international relations, which is defined here as knowledge and practice that informs us of the nature, goals, and actors of international politics. At the core of the research is a simple concern, but one I am still rather unsure I have thought of enough: what does it mean to create a different discourse? The argument made is that international relations as we know it, is a discourse centered on state, sovereignty, and anarchy, and also white, hegemonic masculine culture, which forces us to maintain that culture’s social dominance.

Unfortunately, this cultural knowledge leads to a world of fear, wars, and deaths. The dissertation instead proposes that we instead work toward creating new international relations theories centered on our own personal experiences and on critical cultural theories. Accomplishing this requires us to reject the epistemology, genealogy, and theories of international relations. By doing this, we may be able to imagine a different international relations–open to diversity, accepting of differences, compassionate for marginalized and oppressed people.

Imagining a new international relations theory relies on the methodology of written performative autoethnography to draw on the researcher’s personal experiences. The dissertation makes a connection between the researcher’s identity as an Asian American male, international relations, and white, hegemonic masculinity. Through this connection, the researcher shows that by rethinking his identity performance, it is possible to subvert and reject international relations as we know it, and white, hegemonic masculinity, and create a new way to think about how we should relate to our world.

The dissertation concludes that we can create our own theories of international relations by interrogating our own identity performances. When we are able to reimagine what our own identity means and to form new connections to marginalized individuals and communities, then we can create new knowledge about our world that creates potentially new international relations. Simply put: if we want to know our world differently, we need to transform our identity into something more ethical, more compassionate, more accepting of difference.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Charles Darwin LuLevitt


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

183 p.



Included in

Communication Commons