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Magic and Madness: An Autoethnographic Creative Nonfiction Arts-based Research Project Exploring the Makings of Mad Home Within and Outside of Dance Spaces

  • Author / Creator
    Smorschok, Megan
  • The following thesis is an artistic exploration interested in discovering how Mad Home (Eales, 2018) can be crafted within dance spaces. In doing so, I discovered how my experiences with madness have infiltrated, inhabited, and influenced my experiences within normative dance spaces and beyond. My main objectives were to: (a) highlight and critique the sanism typically present within conventional dance spaces, (b) explore how these spaces could be made more madly accessible for Mad, psychiatrized, and/or neurodivergent folks, and (c) encourage others to dream of these spaces for themselves. To support the ethics of Mad creation and culture, I chose to use an arts-based methodology to autoethnographically examine my own experiences of madness within and outside of dance spaces. I then began writing an autoethnographic creative nonfiction piece in the form of a whimsical fairy tale that sought to deconstruct my personal experiences and connect them to greater Mad literature (Smith et al., 2015). One of my findings throughout this process of creation was learning how engaging with art can foster a deeper and more sensorially immersive relationship with my own mind. I also began noticing similarities between my personal experiences of dance and my personal experiences of madness, making me realize how madness has infiltrated and connected seemingly separate world(s) of my life. Finally, I began to recognize how the political shapes the personal, or rather, how my own realities of madness are continually crafted by and through the normative bodies and spaces I interact with. In my quest to build a Mad Home inside dancing spaces, I learned how these spaces are reflections of the much broader systems that construct and uphold them.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2021
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-5qwv-0p84
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.