What are you up to this week?

Personal Narrative

I’m excited to be in North Carolina this morning. I’m attending the 10th Annual Qualitative Research Summer Intensive. I’m here for a two-day workshop on grounded theory with Kathy Charmaz. Very awesome. I brought my survivor story as my sample data, so this should be interesting.

In other news, I’ve launched a book project (unrelated) and once that’s more fully established, I’ll share a bit in this space. It’s a good entry point into thinking and learning more about mass incarceration and the prison-industrial complex.

There are a couple of other projects I’m mulling that are just about ready to shift into the doing stage. That’s something I’m working on this year – taking action on ideas instead of letting them live (and sometimes eventually, die) in my head.

Speaking of other projects – I’m the program committee chair of the 3rd Annual National Black Women’s Life Balance and Wellness Conference. This week we’re sending out decision notes to women who submitted proposals. There were quite a few excellent ones, so it’s definitely a labor of love to select the presenters.

And since we’re on the topic of wellness, I’ve started back running. I ran this morning (on a treadmill. Ack!), and I’ve almost completed my first running goal of the year.

Keeping busy!

So… enough about me. What are you up to this week? Goals? Milestones? Challenges? Chime in!

Learning about Autoethnography

Personal Narrative

I am a novice narratologist. I’m interested in the stories we live and tell, and how we can ultimately learn from them. In my work as an independent scholar, I keep coming across the term autoethnography. I don’t know exactly what it is, but it seems, at first glance, very much in line with my immediate interest in interrogating my own personal narrative. My next step is to co-inquire with others as they do the same.

In March, I wrote this as I was theorizing about my connection to personal narratives and coming to understand life as text:

We have a say. Writing gives voice to thoughts and makes them visible. In their visibility they become tangible: A memory becomes a guiding light. An amorphous thought becomes a pathway, a next step. It becomes something I can touch and do. Through writing, thoughts can become action.

Today I’m reading an essay on autoethnography by Stacey Holman Jones. She says:

These endeavors {performance ethnography, performative writing, and personal performance narratives} point to how personal stories become a means for interpreting the past, translating and transforming contexts, and envisioning a future.

Now, I still can’t say for sure what autoethnography is, but it certainly seems as if I’m on a good track. Stay tuned.