Date of Award

Spring 5-30-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Paul Sproll

Second Advisor

Nancy Friese

Third Advisor

Michael H. Stewart


The standards by which we assess the legitimacy of knowledge production are deeply biased: resting ideologically, systemically, and formally on processes that are deeply rooted in systems of oppression. Consequently, our current body of “legitimate” or scholarly knowledge presents only a partial, partisan picture of what it is possible—and worthwhile—to know. This thesis addresses how hegemonic institutions (like the academy) rely on two central notions: (1) that their methods are “objective,” “value-neutral,” or otherwise impartial (2) that these methods are the best—if not the only—ones through which “real” knowledge may be accessed and communicated. As this paper demonstrates, each of these assumptions is gravely flawed, and reliance upon them maintains hegemonic institutions’ ideologically biased monopoly on “truth.” Such a monopoly excludes ways of knowing that might challenge these institutions’ power—power that is wrapped up in systems like white supremacy, sexism, heterosexism, and capitalism. It is systems like these that hegemonic processes of knowledge production are, ultimately, designed to uphold. Practitioners and advocates of both arts based research and queer theory have each levied critiques and resistances to this hegemonic system of knowledge production. As such, this thesis proposes that arts based research and queer theory have much to offer one another. To combine these approaches is to affirm the possibility of knowledges that are local, situated, unstable, unspeakable, and contradictory, and to imagine worlds outside the oppressive systems that invisibly structure our lives.

Included in

Art Education Commons



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