Two voices : the marginalised body as a voice & Imperfect Offerings a novel

Hancox, Donna Maree (2009) Two voices : the marginalised body as a voice & Imperfect Offerings a novel. PhD by Creative Works, Queensland University of Technology.


This thesis investigates the phenomenon of self-harm as a form of political protest using two different, but complementary, methods of inquiry: a theoretical research project and a novel. Through these two approaches, to the same research problem, I examine how we can re-position the body that self-harms in political protest from weapon to voice; and in doing so find a path towards ethical and equitable dialogue between marginalised and mainstream communities. The theoretical, or academic, portion of the thesis examines self-harm as protest, positing these acts as a form of tactical selfharm, and acknowledge its emergence as a voice for the otherwise silenced in the public sphere. Through the use of phenomenology and feminist theory I examine the body as site for political agency, the circumstances which surround the use of the body for protest, and the reaction to tactical self-harm by the individual and the state. Using Bakhtin’s concept of dialogism, and the dialogic space I propose that by ‘hearing’ the body engaged in tactical selfharm we come closer to entering into an ethical dialogue with the otherwise silenced in our communities (locally, nationally and globally). The novel, Imperfect Offerings, explores these ideas in a fictional world, and allows me to put faces, names and lives to those who are compelled to harm their bodies to be heard. Also using Bakhtin’s framework I encourage a dialogue between the critical and creative parts of the thesis, challenging the traditional paradigm of creative PhD projects as creative work and exegesis.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 31849
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD by Creative Works)
Supervisor: Bourke, Nicole & Olsson, Kristine
Keywords: the body, self-harm, tactics, political protest, phenomenology, dialogism, dialogic space, creative writing
Divisions: Past > Schools > Creative Writing & Literary Studies
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 19 Apr 2010 05:04
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:56

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