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A new biocitizen : reclaiming agency through radioactive narratives
Lily Michelle Monsey
May 10, 2017
Department or Program
This thesis deals with the human and creative dimensions of living in proximity to radiation from nuclear production facilities. The effects of radiation exposure are complex, ambiguous, and unquantifiable. I use anthropological theory on illness narratives and embodiment to argue that through creative writing, people living "downwind" of such production zones are defining a new kind of biological citizenship focused on facets of personal and communal experience. This emerging and collective identity connects writers across national boundaries through their unique portrayals of the body, disease, and recognition that they must define for themselves a level of personal truth that remains unacknowledged by dominant political and scientific discourse.