Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Studies

First Committee Member

Richard Jensen

Number of Pages



This study looks at the Names Project: AIDS Memorial Quilt as a rhetorical artifact and centerpiece of the current AIDS movement. The methodology for this study is an ethnographic and auto-ethnographic design, utilizing interviews with four Quilt volunteers and staffers, including my observations as a person living with AIDS. This study looks at the Quilt using social movement, rhetorical, and dramatist theories to prove that the Quilt is the rhetorical centerpiece of the AIDS Movement. Social movement theories explain how the Quilt mobilized thousands of people to fight AIDS. Rhetorical theories explain how the Quilt transformed the belief that AIDS was just killing "gay perverts" to an honest understanding that AIDS does not discriminate. Dramatist theories explain the emotionalism at work within the Quilt. Finally this study looks at the future use of the Quilt as an information tool to be used in the prevention of the spread of AIDS.


Aids; Epidemic; Immune Deficiency; Memorials; Movement; Names; Project; Quilt; Rhetorical; Social; Study; Transformation

Controlled Subject

Information science; Ethnology; Social sciences--Research

File Format


File Size

2662.4 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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