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Kellie Marin


My dissertation, “The Rhetoric of Anonymity: Secrecy, Exposure, and the Circulation of Affect within the Neoliberal Security State,” examines the possibilities and perils of anonymous speech in the contemporary networked world. Anonymity creates the possibility for people to speak out without being subject to personal recrimination or bodily harm, which is beneficial in situations including secret sharing, whistleblowing, coming out, and forming political groups (e.g. Anonymous). Yet, there are potential perils of anonymous speech, especially in how anonymity allows for the circulation of hate and resentment. Despite this, by examining how anonymity circulates affects—both positive and negative—there is a potential rhetorical resource for fostering political action within a neoliberal security state. I argue anonymity challenges us to rethink the practice of rhetoric in a networked age in order to foster better, more informed, more effective democratic participation.