Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

David Coogan

Second Advisor

Les Harrison

Third Advisor

Elizabeth Hodges

Fourth Advisor

Victoria Shivy


This thesis explores the nature of service learning projects that are structured to make interventions in rhetorical spheres and seek to achieve social change on a smaller scale rather striving for grander, or even systemic, change. In structuring community projects that include inherently limited interventions and equally limited goals, I argue that such projects should be open to immediate adjustments within themselves –to abandon any particular form or goal—to satisfy the immediate needs of the individuals served. I draw upon my work with a reintegration program for ex-offenders in Richmond, Virginia called Working with Conviction to help demonstrate that service learning constituents who create community projects need to be acutely attuned to the temporal and spatial constraints of any project, the ideological commitments of the relevant community, and the various locations of agency that can be affirmed and explored regarding the individuals served.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2011