• Indigenous (Dis)embodied Research Methodologies

  • Author / Creator
    Purcell, Kaitlyn
  • In the introduction to my thesis, I discuss how I use a writing technique in my creative work in order to cope with the process of writing autobiography.  As an Indigenous scholar and creative writer, I have been influenced by Indigenous research methodologies that support the practice of autobiography.  However, I have found that in order to write my own stories, to face what is sometimes extremely painful, I need to use a disembodied writing technique that allows me to assume a more objective position.  I discuss my story and this technique in my introduction, and I demonstrate my practice of this technique in my collection of short stories. ʔbédayine (the Chipewyan word for “its spirit”) is a collection of short stories existing in the same world and timeline, and that are hinged on experiences of sexual trauma and the ways that disembodiment instinctively works as a coping mechanism.  I was inspired by my experiences as a troubled adolescent to write these stories, and as an Indigenous scholar it was crucial that I wrote these stories to come to terms with myself, and consequently making myself a better academic and creative writer.  The first section of this collection begins with the protagonist, Ronnie, and her friend Thana, as they depart from their home town of Fort Smith.  In their drive towards Edmonton, Ronnie recounts some of her experiences growing up in Fort Smith where the shame of their sexual experiences spurred their desire to leave.  Once they reach Edmonton, both Ronnie and Thana’s experiences become overrun with substance abuse; chaos conceals the loss of culture.  The theme of sexuality and sexual violence persists despite the move from their small town to a city.  Ronnie's traumas are embodied in the impressionistic poetry and fragmented memories that each story possesses.  Eventually, Thana exacts revenge for Ronnie’s experience of sexual violence, but this only continues to mask the trauma that they have experienced.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2019
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
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