Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Piano, Doreen

Second Advisor

Easterlin, Nancy

Third Advisor

Striffler, Steve



Josh Fox's film Gasland, released in 2010, started the national debate concerning the process of hydraulic fracturing and launched the term "fracking" into the public consciousness. Gasland, nominated for four Emmy Awards, was the winner of the 2010 Environmental Media Award for Best Documentary, the Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize, and the Yale Environmental Film Festival Grand Jury Prize. Using the momentum from the film's popular reception, Fox and the Gasland team successfully established a grassroots movement that was responsible for helping create the Frack Act and a moratorium of fracking in the Delaware River Shed.

This thesis intends to determine what made Gasland so influential. Through a rhetorical criticism and media analysis, I will show how Fox's film ignited the debate on domestic natural gas production and has created a multi-public literacy that enables social change.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

Included in

Rhetoric Commons