University of Oulu

Healing in the borderlands : a journey with translanguaging, Queering Yerevan and arts-based autoethnography

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Author: McGovern, Catherine1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 5.5 MB)
Pages: 85
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Language: English
Published: Oulu : C. McGovern, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-06-16
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Karjalainen, Magda
Reviewer: Pihkala, Suvi-Tuulia
Karjalainen, Magda


This thesis was deeply inspired by border thinking and the work of Gloria Anzaldua. It is a personal journey of finding healing through interactions with three principal sources: the linguistic concept of translanguaging, the work of a queer Armenian collective, and autoethnographic ways of thinking, writing and being.

The author explores notions of fluidity and opacity in regards to identities as well as conceptions of language and communication. She does this through unpacking the complexity of her various identities and connecting this to literature, research and theory that question the false construct of static and monolithic identity. She also explores and questions the space in between language, semiotics and art.

Inspired by the concept of translanguaging and how it relates to the work of the collective Queering Yerevan, who use multilingualism and multimodality to question the heteropatriarchy of the Armenian state, the author uses both linguistics and art to create a zine that questions potentially harmful forms of normativity. Autoethnography is woven throughout, as the author connects personal experience to larger societal implication, narratives and myths.

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Copyright information: © Catherine McGovern, 2023. Except otherwise noted, the reuse of this document is authorised under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) licence ( This means that reuse is allowed provided appropriate credit is given and any changes are indicated. For any use or reproduction of elements that are not owned by the author(s), permission may need to be directly from the respective right holders.