Exploring the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial (King Memorial) in Washington, DC through a multi-faceted rhetorical analysis of the site's visual and textual components, Jefferson Walker reveals multiple critical, popular, privileged, and vernacular interpretations of the site and Dr. Martin Luther King's memory. Walker argues that the King Memorial and its related texts help to universalize and institutionalize King's ethos - creating a contentious rhetorical battleground where various people and organizations contest the ownership and use of King's memory. Walker uses these analyses to uncover how the site contributes to the public memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jefferson Walker is Assistant Professor of Communication at Louisiana Tech University, USA. His research and teaching interests are in public memory, political communication, and the rhetoric of social movements. His work has been published in Alabama Review and the Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric. He earned his PhD in Communication and Information Sciences from the University of Alabama, USA.
Date of Publication
Palgrave Studies in Cultural Heritage and Conflict