Date of Award

12-1-2016

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Communication Studies

First Advisor

Gingrich-Philbrook, Craig

Abstract

As a point of political and ethical contestation in U.S. American discourse, the “abortion debate” asks us to consider questions of choice, life, morality, and identity embedded with/in unequivocally conflicting axiological matrices. Consequentially, women who’ve had abortions are left caught in-between the cultural chasm between stigmatizing discourses. Framing abortion narratives within Turner’s (1969) conceptualization of liminality, this project aims to nuance the conversation from a performative autoethnographic orientation (Spry, 2011) which attends to ethical, aesthetic, and epistemic dimensions of narrative (re)construction. Layered narrative and poetic fragments (re)constitute the ruptured “truthfulness” of my abortion experience (Žižek, 2008) while (re)centering epistemological foundations of abortion discourse through subjugated corporeal knowledges (Foucault, 1980). By “talking back” (hooks, 1989) to neoliberal postfeminist discourses, this autoethnographic project seeks to performatively (re)construct the abortion experience through a language of liminality and explore the potentials of an alternative “imaginary” (Irigaray, 1991; Cixous, 1976, 1998).

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