Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Bernadette M. Calafell, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Kate Willink

Third Advisor

Darrin Hicks

Fourth Advisor

Frédérique Chevillot


Affect, Class, Feminist alliances, Gender, Sport, Whiteness


While this research appears to be about horses and riding, it is really a project about the conditions of White women, White femininity, and feminist futurities. Driven by my investment in imagining possibilities of dismantling Whiteness and heteropatriarchy, this research begins to mark the dominant performances of White femininity and those fleeting moments of disruption by White women. My intentions for this project were to stage performances of feminist futurities that imagine feminist aesthetics as relational probabilities towards feminist alliances.

The research was drawn from a six month critical performance ethnography of a local Hunter/Jumper barn. This critical performance ethnography was also informed by co-performative interviews, embodied cultural memory of my life long experiences within this community, and critical rhetorical analysis of vernacular discourses within the site to speak to and enlighten my ethnographic findings. My analysis was informed by my conceptualization of affective intersectionality.

The research findings expose how White-supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy is served by White women and the possibilities within their performative disruptions of normative politics. The analysis reveals how the performance of class maintains affective qualities that discipline White femininity into serving White heteropatriarchy but these performances of White feminine elitist classism break the relational possibilities between horse and rider. The research locates the doings and undoings of White feminine civility when White women's bodies serve or disrupt normativity.

Next, the relational aspects of the performance of riding render lessons in affective reasoning that reveals an embodied-communicative-performative space to deconstruct White femininity. Affective reasoning frames new forms of communication that are not beyond Whiteness but actually allots White women new means to negotiate the performance of White femininity. These potential feminist performatives challenges White capitalist heteropatriarchal binds on White women's bodies in order to engage with others.

Finally, embodied feminist aesthetics best weaves these two analytical findings together to picture a culminating view of feminist futurities that stretch towards a horizon of feminist alliances. Embodying feminist aesthetics allots normative framings of power to become reshaped and perhaps remade. Feminist aesthetics stages utopian performatives that White women both can and should performatively engage in order to foster feminist futurities.

Publication Statement

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

Rights Holder

Dawn Marie D. McIntosh


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

300 p.


Communication, Gender studies, Performing arts