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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Un-M-Othered: An Autoethnographic Performance Narrative of Adoption and Patriarchy
by DeBetta, Elizabeth, Ph.D., Union Institute and University, 2020, 163; 28288992
Abstract (Summary)

"Un-M-Othered" is a creative and theoretical project that has important implications for the adoption community and beyond. It began with considering the ways that we can use stories to build bridges to create understanding and empathy around difficult subject matter. Grounded in the conviction that my own story has meaning and could be used to explore cultural phenomena and challenge people to think differently about those phenomena, themselves, and their own experiences via the lens of my experiences it is written in mixed genre and incorporates poetry, spoken word, and narrative elements to tell the story of being an adopted woman and the impacts of trauma, lack of access to birth records, and the ways that women are denied agency (sexual and otherwise) in patriarchal society. This is a deeply personal piece of work that explores the intensely political and social institutions of patriarchy and adoption culture and seeks to disrupt them through the visceral experience of live performance. As a solo artist I am committed to creating work that is vulnerable, exploratory, and thought provoking. I want my audiences to leave changed in some way; because the dominant narratives about adoption are heavily skewed in favor of adoptive parents as saviors and heroes this work disrupts that particular status quo by highlighting the impact of trauma on those most directly affected by adoption - adoptees - and humanizes birth mothers who have been historically erased from the narratives. Keywords: Adoption, Adult Adoptee, Autoethnography, Embodied Performance, Feminism, Poetry Therapy, Trauma

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Allerdyce, Diane
Commitee: Mitra, Anu, Simanga, Michael
School: Union Institute and University
Department: Interdisciplinary Studies
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 82/5(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Womens studies, Creative writing, Performing Arts
Keywords: Embodied Performance, Feminism, Poetry Therapy, Trauma
Publication Number: 28288992
ISBN: 9798691294006
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