Title

Chronic

Graduation Year

2022

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

English

Second Department

Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Reader 1

Dr. Kimberly Drake

Reader 2

Dr. Piya Chatterjee

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2022 Anwen N Jones

Abstract

Chronic is a collection of personal essays dealing with academic ableism, the exclusion of chronic illnesses both physical and mental from disability movements, and reciprocal relationships built within and across disability communities that exemplify an alternative model of care to the punitive one modeled on college campuses. In this work, I focus on revealing and deconstructing the performance of disability and illness as it is shaped by my environment, and as I the performer shape my personal narrative. My goal is to move from performance to communication in my personal essays with the understanding that while another person’s pain is, as Elaine Scarry wrote, impossible to understand, it is not a futile exercise to try. Facing my readers with the reality of my pain as I interpret it, I ask them to bear witness to this vulnerable sharing and hear the ways my body and my boundaries have been violated, and the ways I am complicit in ableist harm in higher education due to my participation in its disembodied grind culture. I hope to provide examples and images of day-to-day ableism and its traumatic afterlives in my bodymind, and those of the people I love. I will also describe the alternative spaces of access intimacy and disability camaraderie that I share with those same beloved people. With this thesis, I welcome you to view my problematic and unwieldy body in an academic space that would prefer me to be simply a floating head. I hope you are willing to shift your gaze.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.

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