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This video essay functions as a reflective piece pondering the intersections between craft, family, and the act of memorializing. Specifically, this essay attempts to push beyond traditional assumptions of craft as a discourse related to home projects or food. Instead, suggesting that the craft is a practice that memorializes bodies that have passed away and/or pain and sorrow carried on our own bodies. To make these claims, the author narrates two personal stories of craft as a memorializing rhetoric. The first narrative recounts how she came to realize craft as an essential practice embedded in the passing away of relatives. The second narrative suggests that craft can also function as a counter culture. Diagnosed with infertility, she recounts how she participates in craft to challenge dominant norms of the family and motherhood. The video essay concludes suggesting that we also craft our scholarship. A video essay, like the one shown, begins to suggest how we can craft scholarship that honors and embodies how personal experiences are always influencing our professional scholarship.

About the Author(s)

Maria Novotny is a PhD student in Rhetoric & Writing at Michigan State University where she studies rhetorics of infertility. She facilitates arts-based infertility workshops with The ART of Infertility—a national arts, oral history and portraiture project. Participation in these workshops has led her to view craft as a essential component to healing and memorialization. In her free time, she travels to Northern Wisconsin where she fishes and hikes with her husband and their three “furbabies.”



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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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