Single Motherhood, Media, Methods, And Messiness: Exploring Virtual Reality As A Tool For Autobiographical Expression
thesisposted on 07.12.2021, 16:29 authored by Katherine Elizabeth Womby
This research/creation project documents my experiences of living as a single mother with minimal financial, family, and social support. Since research suggests that virtual reality (VR) can generate heightened empathetic response in users, I chose to develop my story using VR as the primary creative tool. This study required engagement with the creative and methodological approaches of arts-based research—a process of learning-by-making that prompts questions and reflections on ethics, techniques, aesthetics, value, and subjectivity. The finished project, then, is an exploration of my journey not only as a single mother, but also as a researcher exploring emerging technological affordances and their capacity to engender empathy and serve as tools of autobiographical expression. In this way, the work could further be understood as contributing to the emerging field of autotheory, in which the researcher’s subjective and embodied experience is integrated with theoretical and philosophical approaches.