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Title:Haunted belongings: testimonios of body and home as autoethnography
Author(s):Martinez, Shantel Desiree
Director of Research:Molina, Isabel
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Molina, Isabel
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Denzin, Norman K; Valdivia, Angharad; Tierney , Therese; Rodriguez, Richard T.
Department / Program:Inst of Communications Rsch
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Women of Color Feminism
Abstract:This dissertation investigates testimonio as means for interpreting the body and home as affective geographies. Deploying a theoretical framework I describe as "haunted belongings," I recognize how belongings are both material (objects, things, products) and spatial (identity, positionality, placement). I argue that the sense of belongings is produced through unsettled ties between materiality and spatiality. To elucidate the unfixed relationship between material and spatial, I forefront two major signifiers of belonging for many people: the body and the home. For marginalized people, their sense of belonging is always haunted since they have been historically excluded from an original home-space and many are believed to lack material possession, especially of their own bodies. Through the methodology of autoethnography, I probe the way themes of home and body are interconnected through personal lived experience and narrative practices. This interdisciplinary project has two main objectives, one disciplinary and the other methodological. The first is to draw attention to autoethnography as an innovative approach for studying issues of home/body, especially to disciplinary fields that typically investigate these issues such as geography, communications, education, and diaspora studies, but which tend to ignore the "affective" elements of belonging over the material. The second is methodological insofar as my critical work is in conversation with diverse intellectual formations such as queer theory, women of color and indigenous feminisms, and ethnic studies. Autoethnography has been used before to study subjugated or scattered histories but deployed in heteronormative fashion that merely re-centers bodily integrity and an ancestral located sense of home. I bring out the disparate, contradictory, and virtual nature of this body and home through narrative constructions that are fluid and indeterminate. In calling attention to personal and collective belongings in their pluralistic and phenomenological character, I recognize how affective geographies are both tied to lived traumas but also those immaterial ghostly forms of oppression, intimacy, and kinship which continue to demarcate the unstable liminal lives of subaltern subjects.
Issue Date:2016-04-22
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Shantel Martinez
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-07-07
Date Deposited:2016-05

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