Valerie Rose Calegari was born in Salinas, California, on 13 September 1967, the daughter of Tracy Marie Anderson and Michel Joséph Calegari. After completing her work at Marin Catholic High School, she went on to the University of California at Berkeley where she studied rhetoric and received her Bachelor of Arts in December 1989. For the next four years she pursued a career in journalism, writing for newspapers and magazines in the San Francisco Bay Area and in New York City. She moved to Austin in September 1992, and in August 1994 entered The Graduate School at The University of Texas at Austin.
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This thesis was typed by the author. All illustrations are from slides taken by Rik Keller.
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