Virginia Tech has been a world leader in electronic theses and dissertation initiatives for more than 20 years. On January 1, 1997, Virginia Tech was the first university to require electronic submission of theses and dissertations (ETDs). Ever since then, Virginia Tech graduate students have been able to prepare, submit, review, and publish their theses and dissertations online and to append digital media such as images, data, audio, and video.
University Libraries staff are currently digitizing thousands of pre-1997 theses and dissertations and loading them into VTechWorks. Most of these theses and dissertations are fully available to the public, but we will, in general, honor requests by the item's author to restrict access to Virginia Tech only. See our process for Requesting that Material be Amended or Removed.
Materials that are restricted to Virginia Tech only may be requested via your own university or public library's Interlibrary Loan program or through the VTechWorks request form that appears when you try to access the item. You might also be able to obtain a copy of the work through ProQuest's database of theses and dissertations. If you are on a Virginia Tech campus but are unable to find the pre-1997 thesis or dissertation you are seeking in VTechWorks, you may also be able to order a physical copy from library storage. Please check the library catalog at http://www.lib.vt.edu/ for physical copies.
O'Brien, William Eugene (Virginia Tech, 1996-05-17)
"Slash-and-burn" agriculture, or shifting cultivation, is perceived by many to be the leading cause of land degradation in tropical forests. Performed mainly by resource-poor farmers, shifting cultivation is the most widespread form of agriculture in the tropics. Concern over its environmental impacts has led to calls throughout the twentieth century for alternatives by policy-makers and development planners. This study employs a constructivist framework, post-colonial perspectives, and rhetorical methods to understand the images which support such assertions regarding shifting cultivation, primarily in policy-oriented depictions. Elements of Kenneth Burke's "dramatistic" method are used, including the analysis of hierarchies which structure discourse, and pentadic analysis.