Open Access Dissertation
Date of Award
Richard . Marback
A Rhetoric of Zaniness: The Case of Pepe the Frog argues that Sianne Ngai’s aesthetic category of zaniness is an essential concept for understanding and studying digital rhetoric in the post-truth era. To illustrate how zaniness has come to define online discourse, the dissertation traces the character of Pepe the Frog through various moments of, what Laurie Gries calls, “rhetorical transformation.” Specifically, the dissertation focuses on his initial appearance in Matt Furie’s Boy’s Club comics and transformation into a meme, his appropriation by the alt-right, and his adoption as propaganda for the Trump presidential campaign.
Milligan, Sean, "A Rhetoric Of Zaniness: The Case Of Pepe The Frog" (2019). Wayne State University Dissertations. 2365.