Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Stacy Holman Jones, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Elizabeth Bell, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Carolyn Ellis, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rozalinda Borcila, M.F.A.


Cob, Feminist poststructuralism, Arts-based research, Commune, Scavenger


Cob, as an arts-based research process, creates movements and moments of survival. Survival is an ideological construction and an actual, local practice. Survival is also about desiring and fulfilling arts-based desires to work with the land through academic and material scavenging. Cob creates strategies for surviving, for working with our respective environments wisely. Cob building teaches people how to negotiate the natural economy and their relationships to labor and each other through an artistic and intimate practice. From a feminist poststructural lens, survival happens on the local level, between and with people. Cob building creates knowledge through creative, kinesthetic, and collaborative engagement.

As a feminist poststructuralist, arts-based research allows me to examine local action and interaction among people, positionalities, and competing differences. Rather than appeasing the modern impulse to objectify and rationalize an end-point or an object- oriented view of the production of art, feminist poststructural theory works to problematize the end-point. Through cob building, a rich, arts-based process, I call into question the modern impulse to find Truth and ask that we be aware of developing new oppressions when working toward equity and justice. Cob building teaches people how to engage together within the form of artistic creation. Cob is an arts-based research process that includes the land as an integral part of its canvas.

In order to articulate, uncover, and engage the claim that, as an arts-based process, cob creates movements and moments of survival, I use the arts-based process, a/r/tography. This a/r/tographical text does not offer an end point but works to recreate moments and movements of cob building as an arts-based research project. A/r/tography helps to layer the movements of arts-based survival within cob building and this text. Throughout this work, the arts-based process of cob building is the overlying metaphor for the construction of the structure of this text. As the chapters move forward, the structure builds up.