Date of Award
MA - Master of Arts
COVID-19’s looming hold over the global landscape compounds already established stressors facing international students studying in the U.S. Now, more than ever, there needs to be intentional and innovative research approaches to meet the growing needs of this overlooked population. Thus, a virtual expressive arts-based performative inquiry of reciprocity and collaboration was developed to support international students in the midst of the pandemic. This arts-based participatory action research was built in three stages: phase one consisted of a devising process where international students could build a performance collectively, phase two invited members of the wider expressive therapies study body to participate in a community engagement event of further co-creating, and phase three made space for my arts-based reflection. As an international student, I opted to adopt an autoethnographic model that allowed me to better situate myself more (w)holistically into the study while drawing from my own experiences and offering an arts-based reflection to integrate the identity of both researcher and active participant. Results indicate that international student participants felt empowered and inspired by the process of devising and owning their own voices, which had a noticeable impact on the audience member’s ability to engage with the material and continue co-creating towards a collective resonance of being part of something bigger. These findings suggest that the expressive arts hold promise as an engaging, embodied, and culturally sensitive tool to support international students through discomfort, to open up discovery for new possibilities, and to disrupt traditional approaches to communication, research, and education.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
De Silva, Kaeleigh, "Shape-Shifting Anew: A COVID-19 Come-Unity Engagement Project Co-Created by an International Student Collective" (2021). Expressive Therapies Capstone Theses. 498.
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