Preferred Name

Kathleen Smith

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


School of Communication Studies


Michael Broderick

Melissa W. Alemán

Kathryn Hobson


This thesis is an embodied autoethnography that examines my experiences of accepting and coming-to-terms with my relationship with my mother through my chronic illness. Utilizing creative vignettes and short personal stories, throughout this autoethnographic thesis project I shine light to my lived experiences as a daughter in a Catholic household, diagnosed with chronic illness in adulthood. I use narrative theorizing to understand how the stories I tell in this thesis create meaning in my relationship with my mother. Through personal narratives I explore themes of autonomy and connection within a mother-daughter relationship, illness narratives and illness as a turning point, and myself and mother as wounded storytellers.

Available for download on Monday, May 13, 2024