Date of Degree

5-2018

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor(s)

Mark Mcbeth

Subject Categories

Nonfiction | Other Arts and Humanities | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Women's Studies

Keywords

creative nonfiction, transgenerational trauma, borderline personality disorder, Winnicott, gender studies, critical experimental writing

Abstract

By utilizing critical experimental writing, my capstone project will be an exploration of the haunting effects of transgenerational trauma and its lasting impact on the present-day psyche of one disturbed female subject - myself. Relying on multiple formats of writing, including but not limited to: memoir, autobiography, diaries, letters, poetry, and prose, as well the incorporation of multiple disciplines including the likes of: psychoanalysis, literature, philosophy, and critical theory, I will make an attempt to utilize the micro in exploration of the macro: to explore my unconscious realm in order to understand a larger political context surrounding female madness and hysteria. Focusing heavily on the works of the renowned 20th century psychoanalyst, Donald Woods Winnicott, in juxtaposition with the more experimental types of personal writing, I hope to intersperse his ideas surrounding early infantile development, play, and mother-infant dynamics, in order to give a rooted, psychological context not only to the lineage of female madness within my family, but also to a greater historical lineage of female hysteria. By doing so, I may place the particular, my life story, within a larger, contextual framework that incorporates intersectional ideas on race, class, gender, and sexuality. Although psychoanalysis and feminism have an oft combative history, I hope to reclaim the psychoanalytic space and the relationship between analyst and analysand through the writing out of my own experience in intensive psychoanalysis, as a potential liberatory space in which the feminine can finally begin to speak the traumas of not only herself but those who have come before her in order to put a stop to the train of instability that wreaks havoc through generations of womyn. Through my Capstone, I will valorize and give weight to the forms of personal narrative and critical experimental writing that act as politicized statements of being which continue to go unnoticed and neglected within academia. I hope to prove this style of writing worthy of future academic pursuits in order to expand the notion of what is considered legitimate and serious writing.

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