Preferred Name

Erjona Gashi

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

Carlos Alemán

Iccha Basnyat


Utilizing creative analytic practices of poetic vignettes and personal narratives (Richardson, 1999), throughout this autoethnographic thesis project I illustrate how I talk about my lived experiences, as a refugee, a child of war in Kosovo, and as a Kosovar international student in the U.S. I was forcibly displaced in 1999 when the Serbian government began a campaign of ethnic cleansing and oppression in Kosovo with the goal of erasing our culture, history, and language. Twenty years later, I still sense a reluctance of those in my family and culture, including myself, to give voice to the most difficult times in our history, a lack of ownership of our own stories, and a feeling of transgenerational trauma that still ripples through me and every child born in Kosovo. Carrying the residue of trauma in my body and my mind, I draw upon fragments of memory from my childhood juxtaposed with present-day experiences to explore moments of my life as a Kosovar international student in the U.S. while rendering the deep impacts of war trauma and cultural adjustment.



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