College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

Graduation Date


Document Type


Department/Program Conferring Degree

Women's & Gender Studies


madness studies, queer theory, feminist autobiography, narrative therapy, digital humanities


This thesis project explores how social media intervenes in and co-constructs spaces, affects, communities, and identities. I demonstrate how autobiography through social media constrains, expands, automates, normalizes, and surveils us as we write, post, and share ourselves into a profoundly communal existence. I argue that social media guides our experiences and understandings of gender, race, class, and (dis)ability — by incorporating queer theory, feminist autobiography, disability justice, and narrative therapy frameworks, I recall how I have storied my life and how my life has been storied for me online over the past 20 years to curate a mad auto ethnography of social media profiles. This thesis brings together multiple interdisciplinary theoretical fields and works within emergent methodologies rooted in disability justice and madness liberation to give a surrealist sense of space and emotion reflected in both the mania of insanity and the rush of social media experience. By doing so, I demonstrate and reveal how social media impacts identities and communities via new sensations characterized by anticipation, intensification, immediacy, and transition.