Fragmented Interpretations of the Feminine Text: An Expressive Autoethnography
This study advances communication scholarship on fragments (McGee, 1990), while demonstrating how to create and use an innovative approach to scholarship in this field. The research goal was two-part. First, to better understand the everyday critic’s role in co-creating discourse. This master’s project prompted eight collaborators to create an artifact in response or interpretation to a focal work, the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Ethnographic and autoethnographic methods were used to observe the discourse that emerged from this prompt. Observations challenge the separation between text and context, revealing the significant impact that vernacular fragments have on the rhetorical life of a work. The second research goal was to create an arts-based approach that would be most appropriate to reach this better understanding. This work can be used as an exemplar of arts-based research approaches applied to achieve theoretical understandings in communications scholarship.