Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


English Rhetoric and Composition


Kate Mangelsdorf


This project critically examines the visual and digital representations of African countries on,,, and, using Ethnographic Content Analysis (ECA), Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), and focus group interviews. Grounded in interdisciplinary conversations within rhetoric and composition, intercultural technical communication, postcolonial studies, and development studies, this project reveals how inequalities of the past continue to exist in both visual and digital forms on international NGO websites. It shows that although these organizations seek to promote development and social change in low- and middle-income communities in Africa, the online content they use not only engender but keep in constant circulation the same inequalities they seek to address. I argue that although some of the organizations, particularly Mama Hope and Oxfam, attempt to promote community engagement and challenge development-related stereotypes by incorporating local voices in their content, these voices are minimized through fragmented and individualized representations. This project presents implications for how researchers, teachers, and web designers can move towards more culturally-sensitive approaches in the theorizing and designing of visual and digital communication in intercultural contexts.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

154 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Ruby Pappoe

Included in

Rhetoric Commons