Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Human Communications

First Advisor

Bernadette M. Calafell, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Darrin Hicks

Third Advisor

Margaret Thompson

Fourth Advisor

Richie N. Hao


Arab Spring, Graffiti, Vernacular, Vernacular Discourse


The Vernacular Discourse of the "Arab Spring" is a project that bridges the divide between the East and the West by offering new readings to Arab subjectivities. Through an analysis of the "Arab Spring" through the lens of vernacular discourse, it challenges the Euro-Americo-centric legacies of Orientalism in Western academia and the new wave of extremism in the Arab world by offering alternative representations of Arab bodies and subjectivities. To offer this new reading of the "Arab Spring," it explores the foundations of critical rhetoric as a theory and a practice and argues for a turn towards a critical vernacular discourse. The turn towards critical vernacular discourse is important as it urges the analyses of different artifacts produced by marginalized groups in order to understand their perspectives that have largely been foreclosed in traditional cultural studies research. Building on embodied/performative critical rhetoric, the vernacular discourses of the Arab revolutionary body examines other forms of knowledge productions that are not merely textual; more specifically, through data gathered in the Lhbib Bourguiba, Tunisia. This analysis of the political revolutionary body unveils the complexity underlining the discussion around issues of identity, agency and representation in the Middle East and North Africa, and calls for a critical study towards these issues in the region beyond the binary approach that has been practiced and applied by academics and media analysts. Hence, by analyzing vernacular discourse, this research locates a method of examining and theorizing the dialectic between agency, citizenry, and subjectivity through the study of how power structure is recreated and challenged through the use of the vernacular in revolutionary movements, as well as how marginalized groups construct their own subjectivities through the use of vernacular discourse. Therefore, highlighting the political prominence of evaluating the Arab Spring as a vernacular discourse is important in creating new ways of understanding communication in postcolonial/neocolonial settings.

Publication Statement

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


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Fatima Zahrae Chrifi Alaoui

File size

146 p.

File format





Communication, Middle Eastern Studies