Communicating personal amnesty : a dismodernist approach to arts intersections between disability, personal stories and well-being

Vogelpoel, Nicholas (2012) Communicating personal amnesty : a dismodernist approach to arts intersections between disability, personal stories and well-being. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This thesis investigates the role of narrative devices in the process of improving an individual’s psychological and physiological experience of health and well-being using two methods of inquiry: a theoretical research project and a comparative analysis of two case studies. Through these two approaches the research examines how the health status of people experiencing disability can be re-positioned and re-designed to develop creative, narrative-based approaches to strengthen communication between the mainstream community and those marginalised by pathological, social and biological illness-centric policy. The theoretical section of the thesis examines two different, but complementary bodies of research: health and well-being, and narrative reconstruction. By invoking Antonovksy’s (1985a) theory of salutogenesis and Davis’s (2002) theory of dismodernism, the study examines the role of language and narrative in the defining of health in social, pathological and ableist spheres. The research positions health and well-being as disparate from historical and contemporary readings of illness and disability and presents literature to support the potential to improve health well-being through a creative re-narration of the experience of disability. The research examines the theoretical concepts of resilience, autonomy and social inclusion through a detailed examination of narratology and the amnesty narrative. The study links these theoretical approaches to a practical Arts-Health intersection program developed for the research project called Communicating Personal Amnesty. Through a comparative analysis of a Pilot Study and Major Case study, the research presents findings derived from theory-building participatory action research showing the efficacy of the program. The research provides a detailed analysis of key narrative structures through a variety of experimental methodological approaches to encourage an important dialogue between the creative components of the thesis and the more traditional health-based academic critique. The research is an example of emergent translational health methodologies, in disability studies.

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ID Code: 59491
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Gattenhof, Sandra Jane & Shakespeare-Finch, Jane E.
Keywords: ableism, aesthetic distance, amnesty, arts-health intersections, communication, disability, dismodernism, dynamic observation, forgiveness, salutogenesis, scar theory, well-being
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 29 Apr 2013 04:57
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2015 05:26

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