Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication, Technology, and Society

Committee Chair/Advisor

Travers Scott

Committee Member

Kristin Okamoto

Committee Member

Brian Miller


This project thesis is centered around coping with early onset childhood trauma through an autoethnography of narrative and art creation. The goal of this project is to understand more deeply how the art making process synthesizes or disrupts trauma sense-making through the introspective lens of the artist as scholar. The project consists of an interactive art exhibit and this written scholarly analysis of the creation and display of this exhibit. This includes an introduction to my life as a trauma survivor and Greek-American woman, informed by communication scholarship and other relevant fields regarding narrative theory, Greek history, religious and trauma studies. Within the socially constructed “life-world,” the epistemological assumptions of subjective-narrative research focus on the interpretations of lived experience, not to produce generalizable knowledge (Kvale, 1996). Because trauma-sensemaking is both analytical and symbolic, inspired by previous autoethnographic scholarship, this project is written in both a creative and academic voice (Fink, 2022). In addition, the project thesis discusses relevant extant literature surrounding autoethnographic methods and artistic practice and outlines the plans and outcomes of my art exhibit and the design of the autoethnography, including a description of the art-making plan and a discussion of the various art media involved in the project, such as creative writing and painting.


This thesis project delves into complex trauma and psychological themes, and the contents of this work should not be taken lightly. The research conducted for this thesis was done with the utmost care and consideration, but it is important to note that this project is not intended to serve as a guide or recommendation for others to conduct similar research without proper consultation with a qualified professional. Curious readers are urged to exercise caution and seek professional guidance before attempting to replicate this research. The author of this thesis cannot be held responsible for any adverse effects resulting from the use of the information presented herein.



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