Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Hollis Glaser


The purpose of this study is to examine a discourse of sustainability. Proponents of particular environmental and development practices use the term sustainability in a variety of contexts in order to signify a variety of preferred states for the planet, and descriptions of a relationship between natural and man-made environments. I argue that this term should be studied in places where people are talking about, promoting, teaching and negotiating its meaning. Because sustainability discourse is ultimately concerned with places and times that are removed from the immediacy of the present, Fantasy Theme Analysis (FTA) is an ideal methodology for studying a discourse of sustainability. I describe the discourse of The Joslyn Castle Institute for Sustainable Communities in terms of a unitary rhetorical vision: Designing Sustainable Communities and Creating a Sense of Community. The formulation of this rhetorical vision is instructive for understanding how the term sustainability is constructed, negotiated and implemented in practice.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Communication And the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright James L. Leighter August, 2003