Performing My Recovery: A Play of Chaos, Restitution, and Quest After Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Claire Smith University of Ottawa
Keywords: performance, self, identity, traumatic brain injury, chaos, restitution, quest

Abstract

This play is an example of Performative Social Science. The play may be performed for an audience or, equally effectively, be read. I have written my story as a play for the following reasons: 1) reader accessibility, 2) to experiment with a performative approach, 3) to enable the use of multiple literacies, and 4) to explore my performance of my recovery and of the impact of injury on my life story. Three of the characters in the play, Chaos, Restitution, and Quest, perform three of the selves that I have been during my recovery from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). They endure interjections by the presence of "Stigma" who describes how and when I felt stigma. The self "What if" periodically wonders in what alternative directions my life may have headed had I not sustained a TBI. So that the play can be experienced and reflected upon by a wider audience including other survivors, theoretical information that may be of interest to only some readers has been put in footnotes. Although the stories of my recovery are conveyed imaginatively as a play, all the tales told by the characters are my memories of what I experienced. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0802301

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Author Biography

Claire Smith, University of Ottawa
Claire SMITH is a PhD Candidate at the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada. Both her MA and PhD studies are auto-ethnographic studies of individuals who have sustained head injuries. Her MA thesis included artistic interpretations: a focus group interview written as a play, her own story as a short story, and she painted and sculpted the conceptual framework and her interpretation of the data. In her PhD research she is also intends to artistically represent parts of her findings.
Published
2008-05-31