Dissertation Defense – Kelly Limes-Taylor Henderson @ College of Education and Human Development, room 481
Oct 13 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

One Hundred and Sixteenth: One Family’s Education
by Kelly Limes-Taylor Henderson

For this study, I employed oral history collection and fiction writing to investigate the educational life history of Samenia Limes (1912-2000). VVhile this life history featured historical discussions of Georgetown, South Carolina and Harlem, New York – the areas in which Limes spent the better part of her life – the main focus of the study was on the ways Limes both learned and taught survival within a settler colonial context. Working from a Black-indigenist paradigm, which privileges kinship/community and storytelling as sites of resistance to anti-Blackness, I conducted oral history interviews with Limes’ nine children. I then displayed the results in the form of a four-part novella. These results have been categorized as historical fiction, as fictional elements can fill in  gaps left by transcripts and other historical documents, gaps that are part of a national history of Indigenous erasure and Black negation. The filling in of these gaps matters, as it represents an initial step in decolonizing practice, both in and outside of academia.

Dissertation Defense – Amana Marie Le Blanc @ College of Education and Human Development, room 409
Oct 26 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Gender and Gaming: Postmodern Narratives Of Liminal Spaces and Selves
by Amana Marie Le Blanc

This study employs a narrative approach to explore the relationship between gender and video gaming using a postmodern theoretical perspective. At issue here is the meaning ascribed to the construction and iterative performance of gender identity by self-identified female garners. Using an alternative to the conventional multicase methodology (which inscribes stark demarcations around distinct cultural identities) this research understands participant cases as fragmented and fluid artifacts of hyper-mediated postmodern experiences. This study examines three garners in an attempt to offer some provisional answers to the question: What does it mean to the participant in thi s study to identify as a female gamer? Furthermore, the following sub-questions will assist in cultivating understandings that offer unique and multifaceted world views: a) How is gender identity enacted within video games? b) How is gender identity enacted in out-of-game contexts related to gaming? c) How does the construction and enactment of a gendered identity as part of the gaming experience influence individual gamer conceptions of gender? Data sources – including interviews, observations, audiovisual artifacts, and researcher memos-reveal types of “lived” events (Deleuze & Guattari, 1991/1994, pp. 33-34) as opposed to participants’ truths as substantiated by means of “brute data” (St. Pierre, 2013a). Data is represented in narrative form as a means of disrupting the prevailing discourse that stages digital culture as male purview, and opening up the space for re-inscription.