Merging academic discourse and story-telling: My mother's story as a narrative of contradictions

Loewen, Mary Ann
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University of Guelph

This thesis is an investigation of how academic discourse and story inform one another, and how the merging of the two forms a hybrid genre that both "shows and tells." It employs my mother's story as a case narrative based on several interviews that I conducted with her. Chapter one introduces and examines the theoretical frameworks of personal narrative, feminist criticism, and memory, as well as the particular social milieu in which my mother's life was set. Chapter two offers a hybrid narrative that includes a telling of my mother's life, interspersed with appropriate academic criticism. Chapter three reveals samples of my mother's published writing from the 1970s along with critical interpretation. An examination of her oral narrative as well as a comparison between her story and her published work reveal "competing narratives" that, I argue, lend credibility to her story. This thesis serves to both explore and demonstrate the blending of academic discourse and personal narrative, highlighting the potential epistemological implications such a merging produces.

academic discourse, story, shows and tells, contradiction, personal narrative, epistemological implications, merging