Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, English and Literary Arts

First Advisor

Joanna Howard

Second Advisor

Selah Saterstrom

Third Advisor

Brian Kiteley


Abolition, Authoethnography, Care work, Caregiving, Pandemic, Protest


The research and design of this dissertation involves four parts: 1) Bridges to Care Work in the Sick Room, an essay that begins bridges across care genealogies, foundational literature on nursing and sick rooms, and applications of care work and care logic via local protest, civic, and community engagements; 2) “Writing Lawthy,” which is a process-based approach to literary and social sciences research on “writing on memory loss” and dementia narratives that center personhood and autonomy; 3) Lawthy: Holding Flowers, a fragmented novel created by first-hand accounts of caregiving, a 1981 journal, and fiction; and 4) appendices of local city council and county commissioner public comment scripts. The direct actions referenced throughout the dissertation are the praxis of care work responding to the global Covid-19 pandemic, global uprisings seeking justice for Black lives, and the growing accessibilities with organizing education on social media. The public comment scripts all exist as public records in the recorded meetings kept on local city and county websites, and so the scripts themselves are a genre of performance, protest, and accountability work that continues to this day with multiple grassroots organizations in Winston-Salem, NC.

The overall project of this collected work radicalizes paths forward for care work in local community as a practice of disability justice and transformative justice that centers racial justice because systemic racism in the United States continues to be a public health crisis; and, this work intends on bridging more methods for people living with dementia and their caregivers to practice disability justice as a form of care. The collection of parts that make up this dissertation seeks a critical and creative assemblage as a ground and framework for continued writing, advocacy, and pedagogy. The emphasis on notes and noticing contributes to accessible genres of writing that create space for patient-centered and care worker-centered voices in building a language of care logic, creating conversations between communities of care, and encouraging a continuation of this work towards a creative and notational autoethnography.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Bailey Pittenger


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

307 pgs


Creative writing