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International Graduate Centre of Education

Creative Research Methodologies: The ‘I’ of the Researcher and the ‘We’ of Research: Critical Autoethnography and Community Making

  • IGCE symposium

Abstract

There is a vital, yet often unrealized relationship between the personal in research, critical theory, and community making. Where the ‘I’ in research brings the personal, the concrete, and an emphasis on storytelling to our scholarship, it often leaves us wanting for clear and powerful theoretical frameworks for understanding how we create the change we seek in the world. Critical theory provides us with such frameworks, though it is often dismissed as jargon-laden, difficult, and impersonal. The “we” in critical autoethnography reminds us that theory is not a static or autonomous set of ideas, objects or practices. Instead theorizing is an ongoing process that links the concrete and abstract, thinking and acting, aesthetics and criticism in what performance studies scholar Della Pollock describes as “living bodies of thought.” This talk engages a practice of performative storytelling that links the concreteness, risk and poetry of autoethnographic stories with the powerful intellectual and political commitments of critical theory as one example of critical autoethnography as a living body of thought.

About the Speakers

Anne HarrisDr Anne Harris, PhD is a Senior Lecturer at Monash University (Melbourne), and researches in the areas of arts, creativity, performance and diversity. She is a native New Yorker and has worked professionally as a playwright, teaching artist and journalist in the USA and Australia. She has published over 50 articles and 8 books, including Video As Method (Oxford University Press, 2016) and Writing for Performance (co-authored with Stacy Holman Jones) (Sense Publishers, 2016). She is the book series editor of Creativity, Education and the Arts (Palgrave), and a frequent contributor to The Conversation.

stacey-holman-jonesDr Stacy Holman Jones is a Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at California State University, Northridge, and a Professor of Performance Studies at Monash University Faculty of Arts, Centre for Theatre and Performance (Melbourne). She’s written over 50 articles and 8 books: Kaleidoscope Notes: Writing Women’s Music and Organizational Culture (AltaMira,1998), Torch Singing: Performing Resistance and Desire from Edith Piaf to Billie Holiday (AltaMira, 2007), Handbook of Autoethnography (Left Coast Press, 2013 co-edited with Tony E. Adams and Carolyn Ellis), Autoethnography (Oxford University Press, 2015, co-authored with Tony E. Adams and Carolyn Ellis), Identity, Place, Exile: Storying Home (Lexington 2015, co-edited with Devika Chawla), Queer Autoethnography (forthcoming 2018, Routledge, co-authored with Anne Harris), Writing for Performance (Sense, 2016, co-authored with Anne M. Harris) and The Handbook of Performance Studies (Wiley Blackwell, forthcoming). She is the founding editor of Departures in Critical Qualitative Research, a journal dedicated to publishing innovative, experimental, aesthetic, and provocative works on the theories, practices, and possibilities of critical qualitative research.

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