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18 minutes | 17 days ago
Episode 24: Episode 23: QR SIG Conference Overview
In this episode, Jessica Van Cleave (SIG Chair) discusses with Cassie Quigley (Program co-chair) and Alexandra Panos (Program co-chair) what the Qualitative Research SIG has planned for the 2021 AERA conference. Below is the transcript of the conversations. VanCleave, Jessica: Hello everyone, welcome to qualitative conversations a podcast series hosted by the qualitative research special interest group of the American educational research association. I'm Jessic vancleave the current chair of the qualitative research special interest group. And i'm happy today to be joined by our program co chairs cassie quickly and Alex panelists and will be providing an overview of the 2021 annual meeting, which will be virtual for the first time this year and will take place from April 8 to April 12. Doctor cassie quickly as an associate professor of science, education and associate chair and the Department of teaching learning and leading at the school of education at the University of Pittsburgh.She received her doctorate and curriculum and instruction at indiana University in 2010. Dr quigley's expertise and qualitative research is focused on methodologies that Center the participants, such as Community based methodologies and using data collection methods like photo methods. In the past 11 years she has published over 50 articles and book chapters focused on those methods, including in journals, such as the International Journal of qualitative studies and education. Qualitative inquiry and the journal of mixed methods for search she also co authored a book on steam education entitled and educators guide to steam education, which is published by teachers college press. She has presented her qualitative work at numerous conferences, both nationally and internationally, she teaches qualitative research methodology courses on topics such as participatory action research, validity and reliability for qualitative work and ethics around educational research. VanCleave, Jessica: Alexandra panels as an assistant professor of literacy studies and affiliate faculty and measurement and research in the college of education at the University of South Florida. She earned her doctorate in literacy language and culture, education, with a minor in inquiry methodology at indiana university bloomington in 2018. Dr panels takes an interdisciplinary stance in her work as a critical qualitative methodology. And grounds her theoretical methodological and empirical work in her substantive field of literacy studies. She has published numerous articles and book chapters that focus on the critical environmental and spatial dimensions of qualitative methodologies and literacy studies. Most recently, she has served as senior guest editor on a special issue, focusing on the spatial dimensions of taken for granted qualitative research practices related to masking. And anonymous ation to be published in the international Journal of qualitative studies and education, this year.And, as a co author for a book project under contract with teachers college press titled confronting denial literacy social studies and climate change, thank you both for joining me today to talk about this year's Program. Alexandra Panos: happy to be here. Quigley, Cassie (she/her/hers): Thank you JESSICA. VanCleave, Jessica: So, to get started on can you just offer an overview of the program how many sessions are included, and what is the range of topics we're going to see. Quigley, Cassie (she/her/hers): sure. So this year we are really excited to have 14 different sessions 15 if you include the mentoring session and 16 with the business. Meeting, as well as the sessions include a variety of sessions around well being and care as well, we have a session around advocacy and justice. there's a wide variety of critical work that ranges from critical race practices post-human position ality feminist approaches and critical participatory inquiry. We are especially looking forward to learning from scholars in one session called disruption interruption change it's not enough what we need is sabotage critical participatory inquiry as sabotage in and out of the Academy this work draws from black and Asian feminist and D colonial stances. VanCleave, Jessica: Wonderful that sounds really exciting and thought provoking so, can you tell us a little bit about how many submissions the singer seen this year and how many slots were allotted to the same by eight yeah. Quigley, Cassie (she/her/hers): yeah absolutely so this year we had 46 submitted proposals and symposia 37 of those for paper or poster Roundtable sessions we had, A really a ton of symposium submitted, which were we had 10 symposium submitted this included a mentor session which we'll talk about a little bit later. And so, our process for reviewing and accepting these submissions really takes a lot to ever viewers like you all, and so we were really fortunate that. All of our reviewers accepted that the numbers of submissions that they proposed. That they could handle and really turned those sessions those reviews around in it in a short amount of time, so we just wanted to extend that thanks to our reviewers for that. Each of the proposals reviewed by three different people and including at least one graduate student reviewer. At that time, then it's turned over to Alex and me, and we spent almost about a month going over the process of looking across the reviews we do utilize the scores as you'll remember if you're a viewer you're often you're asked to score on a numerical basis, but that is not used to accept or reject our sessions instead we look holistically across the reviews, which really just helps to ensure that there's a bias towards one type of research over another, and so that kind of gives you a description of the process for the AERA sessions for the qualitative Research SIG. VanCleave, Jessica: It is a lot of work to put this program together both by you and Alex and all of the Members who service reviewers and we are so so grateful for all of that service. It really is a big job and seeing what we can expect at this year's annual meeting I'm very, very appreciative of the range of opportunities and the thoughtfulness that was put into that process. VanCleave, Jessica: So uhm one of the sessions that Members will have the opportunity to attend is the business meeting, can you tell us about the business meeting and what Members can expect if they attend that session. Quigley, Cassie (she/her/hers): Yes, absolutely we're really hoping that everyone is able to attend the business meeting.Because it really is our one time to gather together as a group, and of course we are wishing that we could be you know in community with one another, together face to face. But we still would love to see everybody join us online for this session, the session is about an hour long and we were able to pack quite a bit into this session, including a program report awards, and we will have a speaker which i'll talk to you about in just a minute, so our program report moves us through the various committees that are on that qualitative research day, including the Program mentor session for the mentor Committee, among others, the award session, which is quite a heavy lift for that committee includes outstanding book award outstanding dissertation award, which will be presented by the committee chairs, then we will have the Egon Guba speaker this year and we are so fortunate to have Mirka Koro accept that award and she is going to be speaking on speculative experimentation and methodological … . Our discussant will be Aaron Kuntz. And then we will be JESSICA will be introducing that session will end the business meeting with some closing remarks and some an opportunity to give input from our sig membership, so please join us for that one hour session if you're a. VanCleave, Jessica: Are we so grateful, when many of our Members attend that business meeting it's a nice opportunity to have a little bit of Community and connect with one another, even if we're doing so virtually this year, so, in addition to our business meeting one of the things that the sig supports each year or mentoring opportunities so, can you talk a bit about the mentoring session that's going to be offered and the other mentoring opportunities that are on the Program. Alexandra Panos: Sure, I can take that one JESSICA. Um the mentoring session we're really excited about i'm Kelly and the committee have worked really hard to create a space where. Members of the SIG can get guidance and feedback and discuss their work as either graduate students early career scholars. And I know we opened it this year to associate level faculty for mentorship into the next stage of their career as well, but that's sessions, going to be Sunday at 230 and it's a closed session so if you haven't signed up this year, that means it's not open but. This summer, and next fall calls will be going back out for applications to join the mentoring session as a mentee and then. I know that Kelly, and her committee work to invite and solicit members of the sig to lead in their mentorship capacity and this year, as well as past years, I know they focused on the concept of sickness, so if you're feeling stuck if there's something that's. Challenging in your work right now, this is the session for you to consider for next year. VanCleave, Jessica: um well, as you mentioned Kelly on the committee have lots of opportunities they not only support on our Members at a era, but they also provide opportunities for mentorship in the proposal process so keep an eye out for announcements on the list about those opportunities. There's also informal office hours with members of the same that are available during the annual meeting again that process as Alex mentioned is already concluded for this year but, but if you are interested in connecting with more senior members in the segue for mentoring opportunities at any stage of your career be on the lookout for opportunities as they come through the listserv. VanCleave, Jessica: On, so this is a lot this program has a lot to offer and a wide range of things across every day that the annual meeting is active, so what suggestions, do you have for Members, maybe, especially first time attendees to navigate the eight year a program and take advantage of the exciting QR saying sessions. Alexandra Panos: yeah thanks JESSICA, I agree, it can be a lot it's one of the reasons that orienting to the conference via the QR sig can be so helpful because it directs you to the kinds of sessions that as a qualitative researcher. And you would be especially interested in, so if you're already a member of the sig JESSICA has sent out A Google Doc that gives a really sort of straightforward overview calendar overview of each day. So you can see what's coming up and then at the bottom of that document there's a description of each of the sessions, with the abstract and the speakers and their titles of their papers and Roundtable session presentations and the symposia etc. But once the the system itself gets underway, and we have access to our virtual conference program if you're registered as an attendee or a presenter discussing or chair you'll be able to access that virtual conference platform through the AERA website and You can search for us via the sig so that you can find those sessions, you can search by presenter you can search by paper title. So it's it's pretty helpful, especially if you've already sort of done some of that homework of what is the QR sig doing and what are the, what are we up to in this space. I think it's also important to remember that if you're assigned to a session as a presenter co presenter a chair or discuss it or have some active role in a session. One of the cool things that they've shared with us about the virtual platform is that the system will just sort of plop you into this space that you need to be at that time, like there's no clicking or searching for you as a presenter or someone with a role in a session. If you'd like to attend a session within the platform, we believe, what i've come to understand, about the platform is that you'll be able to design your own schedule and joining session simply by clicking within the platform itself And we also strongly recommend that, given the nature of these new spaces, we know now, after a year For many of us of attending other virtual conferences that each virtual platform is unique and we should have access to it honor around April 2 and we want to recommend that you And, especially if you're presenting you and your co presenters spend some time getting used to the conference space use it to develop your own schedule and Just sort of stick in there and and get your get your hands on it era has made a number of videos available that describe the conflict conference platform and answer some questions about that, but we expect that getting in there ourselves will be the most instructive and we're waiting waiting with great with bated breath to get in there ourselves so we hope that's helpful and if you have any questions about the conference platform, the annual meeting website is a place where help will be found, and we are also always available to send you information that we might be able to share. VanCleave, Jessica: there's some really great tips, thank you for helping us think about how we might orient ourselves and and navigate both the platform and the content of this year's annual meeting so. VanCleave, Jessica: you're interested in the qualitative research say you've got you've been checking out our Program. VanCleave, Jessica: On but you're not yet a member, so can you talk to us a little bit about how you become a member of the qualitative research special interest group and what some of the benefits of membership might be. Alexandra Panos: Of course. Well, we think that you should be a member. Of the QR SIG definitely, especially if you're listening to this podcast which is produced by the QR SIG, so this is one of the Member benefits that extends beyond membership, but that you'd be supporting But when you become a member of AERA one of the things that you have the opportunity to to do is to select a division and sig. For free so most of the time you have to pay a small fee that helps support the sake, but you can when you register get one of those those free memberships and if you select the call say you're a member. Benefits include receiving emails specifically for the membership, which includes many opportunities for connecting with other members of the same with mentorship with workshops calls for special issues sort of a first pass at important content related to qualitative research and our personal favorite with membership to the sig includes opportunities to review for the Conference, which is so beneficial to our field to. The sig itself and to your fellow call researchers, so if you have any questions about membership, you can reach out to any of us and we're happy to answer them and we really hope that if you aren't yet you will join us. VanCleave, Jessica: Absolutely, we are very lucky to participate in such a vibrant Community that is continuously growing, and we hope that as many folks as are interested well will join us and continue to diversify and broaden our Community. So thank you so much cassie and Alex for joining me today and providing an overview of what Members can expect from the qualitative research same program this year. I hope to see all of you who are listening at our business meeting and I hope you'll consider joining the sake and contributing to our Community thanks again for being with us today on qualitative conversations. Alexandra Panos: Thanks JESSICA. Quigley, Cassie (she/her/hers): Thank you.
30 minutes | 25 days ago
Episode 23: Episode 22: Decolonial Feminist Research
In this episode Dr. Kakali Bhattacharya (University of Florida) interviews Dr. Jeong-eun Rhee (Long Island University) about her scholarship in the field of qualitative research and her notion of 'transnational intergenerational decolonial feminist knowledge' and her recent book, Decolonial Feminist Research: Haunting Rememory and Mothers. The following presents a transcription of the conversation. Dr. Bhattacharya 0:24 Welcome everyone listening in it is my honor to be your guest podcast host today. My name is Dr. Kakali Bhattacharya. I'm a qualitative research professor at the University of Florida. With me is Dr. Jeong-eun Rhee, professor of education at Long Island University. This podcast, Qualitative Conversations, is produced by the qualitative research SIG at AERA. Professor Jeongeun Rhee recently authored a text the Decolonial Feminist Research: Haunting Rememory and Mothers, which is part of my Futures of Data Analysis and Qualitative Research series hosted with Routledge. The book has already created a lot of buzz, and challenged people's understanding of home memories relationality transnational existence, and multiple forces of oppression that cross borders without being categorized as a specific kind of qualitative research. It is my distinct pleasure to welcome Dr. Jeong-eun Rhee, welcome. Dr. Rhee 1:27 Thank you for that wonderful introduction. Kakali, I feel so honored to be here. Dr. Bhattacharya 1:34 So to begin our conversation, give us an overview of your academic journey and how you came to write the book. Dr. Rhee 1:43 There are so many different ways which I think I can answer that question. But at the same time, I'm not sure if I can clearly they up out of past I have, walked. that let me write this book. At least what I can share, though, is that my academic journey has been never separable from my personal, cultural, geopolitical and even spiritual journey. And I think this recognition is in fact how I was able to write this book. But, of course, it was not simply my journey, either. Right? So my journey has intersected or integrated with my family's journey in the context of larger historical relations. As well, as having said that, I also think if we assume that we can now and explain how we've come to where we are, in certainty, I think it can be our arrogant assumption. And I think that's also point I make I made in my book. I mean, the question that I pursued in the book was, what do we do with What do we can never explain? Right? So I think there are certain aspects that I do not know how to explain in terms of how, you know, my last four years of academic life, including my graduate school experiences, etc, has led me to write this book. But, But I know is that I could write this book, because I have learned or remembered how to connect with my mother's not just singular but plural, right, my mother's and ancestors of this land, and then their lands who have prepared a space for me to do my work. And this book is in fact a testimony or or even a question about my journey, both academic and spiritual, that reveals these connections. Dr. Bhattacharya 4:48 Thank you. Thank you for sharing that. It is really interesting. Like, it's not like something that you can like, fully map, but it could be another book and in and of itself, if you just write it. The the journey to writing this book like it's a prequel to the book, perhaps you know, I know that I introduced your book as something that doesn't really fit a certain category or certain type of qualitative research very distinctively, it would be really lovely to hear how you see this book in the larger context of the terrain of qualitative research. Dr. Rhee 5:25 So let me first express my gratitude to you Kakali as a series editor on feature of data analysis and qualitative research, who really encouraged me to think of your series as an outlet of my book. And as I actually talked about, in my book, I had worked on this book almost five years. And during those years, I actually didn't plan out to slate, my work as a qualitative research role, per se. I mean, in fact, I didn't know how to characterize the book until I completed the manuscript. I mean, what I knew was that this work was an inquiry, my inquiry, but but I was unsure if the qualitative research field itself was big enough to include my work as a qualitative research. And so I'm Kakali your gesture of welcoming however, you know, slight that move was like in the context and the large context of the whole field, still made a such a big impact on how I saw potentials of both my work and the field of qualitative research. So I just want to thank you for your vision for your field. And also, you're using our editorial position to open up and expand the boundary of the field. Dr. Rhee 7:12 From my perspective, as a qualitative researcher, what I hope that my will contribute to is to offer more possibilities. So producing, sharing, and then remembering killing knowledge. I think it's interesting that, you know, technically, as I also shared in the book, I didn't have a proposal, research proposal for this book, I didn't have a human subject, nor methodology. You know, my field work included both physical and metaphysical interactions. In my theoretical perspectives came from Toni Morrison's fiction, beloved, and ... experimental autobiographical poetry ... In my research question was like, What do you do when you're haunted by your mother's rememory? But in this writing, as the inquiry process would, I was able to notice and learn was that, in fact, there have been so much work done that I could build on to pursue my question. Also, my question was not simply my question. There have been so many other women, particularly of color, who have asked similar questions. This was how I realized that my work was a part of a larger knowledge project, which I named, eventually, in the book, transnational intergenerational decolonial feminist knowledge process. I hope that my work shows how our deeply personal question is, in fact, a way to connect with a larger collective question that many interconnected diverse communities have pursued. And when we build those connections between our personal and collective we can produce different knowledge different. I think here what mattered was not about following particular techniques or mythology is in terms of technicality, utility, productivity, and also rules and regulations, but about being able to ask and work with and live with our questions. Yeah, so Dr. Bhattacharya 10:00 You know, your question? I mean, your response to my question makes me think about how qualitative research broadly is moving away from being like this technocratic social science, to a more humanistic oriented inquiry, versus, you know, certain steps and procedures we do. To think in very technocratic social science way we do these steps, we collect this data, we analyze it, we doing four or five different strategies or steps or approaches, then we triangulate everything to make everything check and confirm with everything else and have verifiability. And then we know we got something, whereas you are doing this work. And you're saying that the unknown is this, this fertile ground of inquiry, and it can still remain unknown as a result of the inquiry to, or it can create many types of knowings, without any certainty or any members check or any triangulation, or any peer debriefing, it can still remain a very open ended inquiry as a result of an inquiry. Dr. Rhee 11:10 Right. So at the level of, you know, I think methodology like, absolutely, I think that's kind of what I tried to, I guess, a share, not purposefully, but because that's what happened, but then at the level of epistemology, and then even episteme, I think what I tried to show is that actually, by really paying attention to this intergenerational transnational, decolonial feminist knowledge that have existed across the globe, right, that I was able to actually connect with it in the name of science, and how that opened up a new way, or different way, or, you know, relational kind of way of actually noticing the part of reality that I actually forgot. Dr. Bhattacharya 12:18 Yeah, yeah. And that's, that's a Western training and colonizing training that teaches us to forget our own knowledge is and that's so that's always a question that I keep asking myself, what knowledge am I forgetting? What knowledge am I forgetting? There are two anchoring ideas in your book that are re-memory and haunting, which is appropriate for forgetting knowledge or haunted by the met the notion of losing our connectivity? Could you talk a bit about how you came across this ideas, and why they become such critical anchoring for you. Dr. Rhee 12:57 So, read memory and hunting are affective concepts, meaning that to now what they are, you have to feel them. That's how you learn what rememory and haunting are no amount of reading will allow you to know what they are, how they work, and how they change you. And so I want to kind of put this out first, and, you know, conceptually, remember, it was first coined and introduced by Toni Morrison in our book beloved. And according to Morrison rememory is worth remembering and forgetting at the same time, that stays both in person and place that can be encountered by others. This notion, or even existence of remembering completely ruptures how empirical modern science functions. And then think about it. What does this mean that we memories, both remembering and forgetting, at the same time? How is it possible for one's rememory stay both in and outside a person's mind? If remember his base in place, as well, who's remembering? I mean, I can go on with all these questions, right that come from our scientific intelligibility. And to me, rememory of place has become like the source of a haunting as it is someone else's rumery that changes us. And so hunting becomes a demand from those who refuse to be forgotten. And I highlighted effective aspects of remembering and hunting, because I have read beloved so many times. But I really didn't get it. I mean, I cognitively understood what they were when the after my mother's death, and after my mother left to her remote memory for for me to encounter, I became able to see what rememory and hunting were. And so I think like this is the the point that I wanted to put out in terms of like, what I meant by affective concepts. And I think, you know, the famous instruction of Audrey Lorde, who said that masters tool cannot dismantle the masters house, it is very relevant here. I don't think I could figure out how to ask my questions with my academic training only. But with this absolutely non scientific concepts of remembering and haunting, which doesn't mean that they're not true, right. But with those, I started my super personal inquiry through my mother's death, and her remote remember is haunting. And and, in fact of her life was deeply implicated in US Imperial War in Korea. And through my work, now I'm carrying her memor, in this territory of the United States, where my mother's rememory interact with other mothers of colors from memories. And without this kind of embodied the spiritual relationships that have been that have become the source of knowledge. I don't think I could have made this and so my experience and wrote this work. QR SIG Add 17:26 The qualitative research special interest group was established in 1987. To create a space within the American Educational Research Association. For the discussion of ethical, philosophical and methodological issues in qualitative research. We invite you to consider joining the qualitative research SIG today, for members of a era the annual fee for joining qualitative research special interest group for regular non graduate student members is $10. And the annual fee for graduate students is $5. As members of the QR SIG, you will gain access to a network of fellow qualitative scholars, as well as are many activities ranging from mentoring opportunities to our podcast series to update to news related to recent qualitative publications and jobs, please visit the American educational research associations website at www dot era dotnet to join the qualitative research sake today. Dr. Bhattacharya 18:20 You know, this is such a good reminder of the value of other ways of knowing and being then just using the the way that is, and that disconnects you from your body and from your emotionality is, this is like deeply embodied very, very emotion based but not just that, but there is a, there is a sort of like a beautiful spiritual understanding as well, you know, and those sorts of culturally grounded Ways of Knowing that can't all be translated and, you know, like, repurposed in research language and put it out for the world to consume, either you sort of know how to be in those ways of knowing and being and in those connections, or you don't, and that's okay, either way, but those are the connections that spoke to you, which is interesting, because as I was reading your work, I found myself crying, cheering, laughing, cussing, and just going on this journey with you, which was ultimately very healing, you know, from bearing witness, and also from my own embodied experience as well. So could you talk about the role of healing in your work and how it might have shaped your thinking? Dr. Rhee 19:42 So I think I want to reiterate that it took me five years to complete this book. The whole process of writing this book was a process of intentional process of bringing in justice to my mother's life. I mean, as I mentioned briefly already, I want to emphasize that, you know, this wasn't only about my biological mother, but also other mothers of color, who had prepared place for me to come and encounter, there were memories in this territory. So while that was my intention, the process has also become also the process of healing and re storytelling for me. And in fact, those five years became the time I needed to be healed. Through my loss, while I was fighting for justice, to my mother's of color, through my writing as inquiry. I think before I actually talk other things, I must acknowledge that, you know, this time luxury, my taking five years, partly came from my positional privilege is a full professor where I didn't have to worry about, you know, creating, getting tenured or, or getting promoted, etc. But at the same time, I want out other quality researchers to consider or have some time, we need this long staying in a certain kind of work, especially if the work is healing us. In fact, through this work, I have reaffirmed how important it is for us to produce work that heals us as researchers in the process of working on it, working through it, because the work that heals us, as researchers will help others as well, whether they are our participants, readers or communities we work for. So perhaps now we can even ask what is a mean that we as researchers work toward the healing knowledge? What different methodologies reveal bearable for us to do such? Dr. Bhattacharya 22:40 That's, that's a lot, you know, I think, like I have always taught about the work of justice, you know, is it has to be complemented with the work of healing, you know, so the work of justice, or the work of equity, or the work of creating space and visibility from previous unjust things, you know, requires a healing, it doesn't require it's almost foolish to require the dominant group to be responsible for creating anything because the privilege are not incentivized to do anything for those that they oppress. Right. So then how do we do this work without always being in relationship with the colonizer, the privilege, the masterclass all of that. And so I always felt that the work of any kind of equity based work, you know, where you're, you know, demonstrating the oppression demonstrating the wounds require a complimentary healing piece attached to it, you know, justice work and healing work should go hand in hand. So, I know that we don't have a lot of time to discuss all the great things about your work, because there is so much to discuss. So to the listeners, please go and buy her book, decolonial feminist research: haunting rememory and mothers. And I want to sort of wrap up this conversation with advice that you might have for someone whose approach to qualitative research is non traditional, and maybe culturally situated, but doesn't have a concrete path for doing that work and might be feeling unsure. And, you know, what might they think about? Or how might they think about doing this work? there? There are no steps, but what might be some guiding points of consideration Dr. Rhee 24:38 I must say that a colonial Western modern episteme really screwed us. I think our value on universality is a colonial desire. Meaning that, you know, cultural outsiders like me are trained to think that our particular Somehow too particular, meaning that, you know, not valuable not useful. But uh, but our particular existence constitute our interdependent ecology. So I think we have to remember that particularly particularity, and universality are not opposite concepts, but rather they constitute each other. So the challenge is how we can research and remember those interdependence and connectivity, our particularity has with other particularities, and also a larger historical and cultural context. And so actually, you know, as a way to do that, I encourage researchers to be real, like authentic in their questions. I think sometimes it's scary to put out our real, authentic question. I mean, I must admit that I felt that when I wrote this book, but to me, authenticity is our response ability to our particularity. And we doubt our particularity, there is no way for us to respond to what's around us. And then we must remember, there's always a rich tradition and history of knowledge productions, in any community or culture. And so I think we need to remember that we're not alone or interdependent. And what we need is the work of remembering our connectivity from our location. Dr. Bhattacharya 26:59 Yeah, I appreciate that so much, I you know, I get the authentic bit, I feel scared to use the word now. Because every time I use authentic, I hear like all these critiques in my head, how people would say this, and what is co opted and nod and essentially a nod. And then sometimes I like, some things are just what it is, you know, you can say authentic or change it to genuine if you want, change it to sincere if you want, but there are certain ways in which we show up that is unguarded, that is a free flowing version of ourselves in that moment, you know, in which we are allowing things to rise to the surface, including these questions, and and allowing us the freedom to choose to be curious about those questions have a beginner's mind with these questions? So I think that is a really strong advice that people should pursue that and know that knowledge exists beyond what has been presented to them. It exists pretty much in the world in various forms, relationships, things that are within academia, but things that are even outside of academia, outside of our fields, and all of that, Dr. Rhee 28:08 If I add one more, what do we represent, as a knowledge always betrays an actual reality we try to share made. So here I'm not simply talking about how our not least a partial and limited, but when we try to represent there's always violence involved, right. And so when we take this betrayal of representation seriously, I think we as researchers can approach ethics of doing research at another level, especially when we do our work in the name of decolonial, justice and equity. Dr. Bhattacharya 28:53 Yeah, thank you so much for your time and your generosity and opening yourself up to share your thoughts and how you came about writing the book and your thoughts about qualitative inquiry. There is much to unpack here. Unfortunately, we don't have the time to unpack all of it, but I want to thank you and I want to thank the qualitative research SIG for allowing me the honor to interview you. Dr. Rhee 29:19 Thank you so much.
43 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 22: Disability, Activism, and Qualitative Research
In this podcast, Emily Nusbaum interviews Alice Wong, disability rights activist and founder of the Disability Visibility project. Their conversation Alice describes the relationship of research to her activism, her experience in the academy, and key questions that scholars should consider when embarking on research with marginalized communities. Below is a transcript of this talk. Alice 0:25 All right, Emily 0:27 my name is Emily Nussbaum, and I'm here with Alice Wong talking with her this evening for the Qualitative Research SIG of AERA. And I am super thrilled to be interviewing Alice for this episode. Alice is the director of the Disability Visibility Project, a thought leader known everywhere in Disability Justice and access issues and author of the recently published acclaimed book Disability Visibility. So Alice, thank you so much for talking with me. Alice 1:11 Thank you for having me, Emily. You know, I also want to say that we have been friends for a long time, and I just don't want it to be a conversation with you. Emily 1:24 Yeah, me too. So, since this is for a group focused on qualitative inquiry, I reached out to you thinking about your work through various forms of social media and the Disability Visibility Project and ways that the qualitative research community can start to think more expansively about what counts as qualitative research, and that kind of thing. But I think if I'm correct, and clarify, of course, that you began a more academic career in sociology. So I wondered if you could just give us kind of that background of how you started thinking about research and what that background was, and then we can talk more about the shift you made to the super important and impactful work that you're doing now? Well, Alice 2:31 Just a long story short...I really...my initial career goals, my vision was to be an academia, I love to Sociology, every semester, I stroke fast, and, you know, I feel like sociology gave me the lens to really see the world and analyze the world. Especially, you know, toward the event of disability, you know, beyond, you know, to create a better model. So, you know, I went to undergrad I majored in sociology, you know, I keep in touch with a bunch of professors. It is a sociology department at Indiana University, in Indianapolis. I can't remember who it was who gave me my first experience as you know a research assistant at, you know, to tell you the truth, I am so grateful for their support and their belief or in me to be their student really activated it, you know, I saw a lot of gaps in the literature. You know, just gaps in research, just, you know, where are the disabled people? You know, there's you know, Emily 4:10 like, in terms of only talks about talk about gaps and disabled people in terms of voice and in terms of like representation outside kind of more deficit based perspectives. Yeah. Alice 4:28 Health care very simple. You know, there's a lot of work guys out there equalities it's so such a structure of medicine but you know, also maybe I've been thinking about like, well what about you know, disability and there's a, you know a lot of work on devious and stigma, you know, Eving Goffman, it was it was earlist people. Goffman and Foucault as well, just really If you think about what are the disabled perspectives, disable scholarship, advance these kinds of ideas, extend these ideas. It wasn't until, you know, that's really where I started studying about disability studies, work of Erving K. Yes, his work. People of the UK, so despite all of her Emily 5:37 social model, Alice 5:41 those were trying to like, wow, like, there are these, you know, there are people doing this work. And, you know, I thought this to be my contribution, I think, to a person particular, that's really was kind of a model of what I wanted to do. To date, Barbara Waxman. Emily 6:04 Yeah, I just need to share if you can share a little bit about who she is, I only just learned about her and her work recently, in the last few months, helping a longtime activist sort of organize some of their materials for an archive for the San Francisco Public Library. And Amazing, amazing. So do you want to just mentioned who Barbara Waxman is? Alice 6:33 Yeah. So Barbara Fay Waxman is a disabled woman, she was both a scholar and an activist. She is no longer with us, you know, rest in power Barbara, and, you know, she was one of these. So, like, unapologetic badass disabled women just totally grounded in the love of her body, the love of her sexuality. She did a lot of work on reproductive sexual health, of disabled women. And that was traditionally one of the areas that I really wanted to focus on. You know, as I did, various, undergrad, you know, just searching, you know, just so, lucky for a bit of people that are out there, that I could kind of connect with or at least identify with. though, you know, I think Barbara was one of those people. And, you know, she had a really long career of being both a scholar and an activist. And she both. She did. She did both. they were hand in hand. Emily 8:06 Yeah, I'm interested in that. And I want to get back to, to more of your work or how you're thinking about it, but this nexus of being a scholar and an activist, and what more traditional kind of thinkers or people who are in more traditional academic spaces, what we what we could take away from that, or what any of those people could take away from that. Because I think that, that that Nexus is very, very important when we think about advancing that critical games of qualitative research. Alice 8:41 Yeah, I would say that, you know, people like Barbara [inaudible] and Paul or his story here. Also they are really both activist, that says a lot about the academy and, you know, marginalized people who are entering the academy they can't separate the lived experiences from the way they teach from the way they relate to students, faculty, staff, I think, you know, what academia does, it sectors normative perspectives, normative body-minds. clearly, you know, white perspective white norms. And you know, this is this place is a lot of pressure to force people to like, separate parts of themselves. It does not encourage people to be who they are or every state that they are. If you think about the way scholars of color are really just not welcome, you know, somebody marginalized students at university scholars enter academic spaces, but they often don't at that staying. this says a lot about structural racism, ableism, and classism, that is pretty much permiated. Yeah. So you know, I think sometimes people ask when I became an activist, you know it is a very simplistic answer, but, you know, being disabled in a in a non-disabled world did not give you a choice. This is not a privilege. [inaudible] You know a lot of what I admired in both Paul and Barbara is that they used their positions, they used their research, they used all of their expertise and skills to serve us as the disability community. I mean, it shouldn't be a radical notion. But I think it still is. Because it goes against every sort of conventional wisdom about getting tenure or being professional. and this is wha I did. So there's different motives. Oh, why they are stroller? Did I beat myself? You know, initially, I wanted to contribute to the field I, you know, thought my perspective my I would like to be somebody that does research as a disabled person, with disabled people versus about or at disabled people. Yeah. Thanks. And I want to just just pause for one second and reinforce that to people that are listening like that, that kind of distinction is really the crux of, say, the academic field of disability studies. And then also the way community scholars are working around and within in disability, right, which is research isn't about or on, or to fix or anything like that for abled people, right. But it's about centering disabled people and non normative body minds and thinking of disabled people as research partners, as well, in the process, so come kind of turning Inside Out of the framework. Yes. I did. Also, I want to share that, you know, lived experience in addition to other skills, they are not mutually exclusive. The big idea misconception or binary that's I want to smash. Because I think people presume that I just have to have the research skills that's it and a theory and all that stuff. And disabled people are the ones who are the ideas or the ones to give feedback versus active partners in the development of theory. Emily 14:33 That's super powerful Alice Alice 14:35 It should be obvious, but it's not. You know, there's still a lot of power dynamics. You know, disabled people are treated in a very tokenistic, exploitative and extractive ways, Emily 15:03 And especially when we think of multiple marginalized disabled people. Absolutely. So Advertisement 15:18 the qualitative research special interest group was established in 1987. To create a space within the American Educational Research Association. For the discussion of ethical, philosophical and methodological issues in qualitative research, we invite you to consider joining the qualitative research SIG today. for members of era, the annual fee for joining the qualitative research special interest group for regular non graduate student members is $10. And the annual fee for graduate students is $5. As members of the QR SIG, you will gain access to a network of fellow qualitative scholars, as well as our many activities, ranging from mentoring opportunities to our podcast series to updates and news related to recent qualitative publications and jobs. Please visit the American educational research associations website at www dot era dotnet to join the qualitative research sake today. Emily 16:15 So I'm curious, because I think this is this notion. I mean, I wrote it down. And I'll just say it again, that is so powerful, this notion of lived experience versus academic skills are not mutually exclusive. Right? And it's like this question of who? Who gets to make knowledge, right? Like, it's a question of epistemology, really, and who, who gets to, to create knowledge. And so it makes me think about why I wanted to reach out to you to do this interview, thinking about your work in the public domain, right. And that you have a very strong social media presence, of course, and can speak about different different, like on Twitter with crypto vote, but also thinking about the Disability Visibility Project. And the way you're kind of work in those areas can help academics. You know, people who are, are in the, in, you know, academic spaces, really think more expansively about this idea of knowledge production. So do you mind sharing with us a little bit about the Disability Visibility Project, sort of how it emerged, what it is? And we can go from there? Alice 17:47 Yeah, sure. Before I get to that response, I want to also say, you know, think who gets to ask and form research questions is really central in terms of just really everything. Not just for creating knowledge.But who gets to ask the question, because even Emily 18:21 a step before that, right. Unknown Speaker 18:22 I think that asking the question is really about identifying that something is a phenomenon? I feel like, you know, what people did before in all disciplines that academia is more people with, you know, a variety of perspectives, but also located different places, different different contexts. You know we don't ever use the term research questions. Disabled people ask a lot of amazing questions all the time. But this is actually such a rich, you know, rich kind of intellectual work. But the think is that it doesn't take place within certain structures, so it's not recognized as intellectual work. So, you know, we need to also kind of unpack all of that stuff about, you know, really research. Yeah, asking question to produce in new knowledge, because, again, it's often Those who do have the means of production are the ones driving the qeustions. You know should it really be in the hand of those who are the focus of inquiry. Emily 20:16 I know, like I asked a previous question, I brought this up, but this thing even brings up this notion of like, I mean, I think a lot about this and some of the partnerships I have with community scholars about like, what do we then do with like, those questions and what comes out of them? Right, and how do we not use it? How do we use it for the purposes of the individuals that have framed the questions? Right, versus the purposes that people in the academy often use use them for? That? Alice 21:02 All of these kind of feelings and thoughts about who has control, you know creative control, just the ability to essentialize and articulate ideas, you know, that doesn't take place in a vacuum. These things happen, you know, in collaboration with others, did offer, you know, building on, you know, past work or past ideas. I think that leaves a lot of people out. Right now, I'm kind of not limiting myself to do stuff inside or outside the academy. I feel like I can be wherever I want to be, you know. I might just like have a day pass. [inaudible] that's fine by me. Because, you know, I like to kind of, kind of get by. You know, [inaudible] at a bit of [inaudible] but also, they will be engaged, to be what's really exciting that I don't think of these days as separate. I believe that disabled people belong everywhere. Emily 22:48 Yes. Alice 22:49 And you know while I have clearly, just to be honest, I do think that I have been driven out of academia. For a lot of reasons, But I don't regret it. You know, I just I think it was probably the smartest decision I ever made. To be honest. Emily 23:26 Can I offer before you start, like, I want to say that this project and thinking about this project as research, is, to me so transformative and powerful. And when we think about wanting to win, we're a part of an upcoming book project that I have with another colleague and our purposes in this edited volume to I think we called it quote, radical possibilities, maybe I can't quite remember but thinking about how something like the Disability Visibility Project can allow us to think so much more expansively. Right about this question of what counts, right. So I just wanted to give that intro of why of the super important connection, I think, between the DVP and qualitative research and the qualitative research community. Alice 24:32 I did yeah, we could use the terms content, media, culture and research of us interchangeably. whatever you want to call it. It's, it's useful. it's valid its a certificate. So the reason why I started it was out of my own frustration at the history about disabled people by disabled people. Yeah, I started in 2014. it was stories by disabled people here at artist history, nonprofit or storyboard, it leads up to the 25th anniversary. Yeah, what is it? 2015. I did that as a way to generate and document our stories, not to kind of wait around for historians. You know, I feel like that today was one of the most exciting days. Yeah. Because people say like, your story matters. You don't have to be an icon. You don't have to be a leader or famous. You know, your story is part of this growing collective of like, what is the disability experience like in the 21st century? Why can't we participate in the creation and documentation of our history? And the fact that story core has a relationship with our library of congress, that allows participants to have their story archived there. You know, this isn't just for academics for historians. It's for the public. And that's, that feels powerful. Yeah, feels really good. It feels like a something that we're putting out to the world that is for the future. Yeah. Which is precisely I think, so much of the intention of research. That's, it leads to Emily 27:34 orientation. Alice 27:37 Yeah, so I think that's where the idea started and You know, I'm just one person. So, you know, I just, I didn't know, like, I really didn't know, Emily 27:53 your impact is so huge, you know, that. I hope you know, that. Alice 27:57 You know, I guess but, to be honest, I just used the tools that I had in front of me, which is a website, which was social media advantage, you know these are the things I had available to me. You know, this snowballed. I thought it would just be to the detriment of what you're doing. And I think it's part of your interest to interview hundreds that's you know, people don't want always to tell their story. Emily 28:49 You don't need a history to create a history and knowledge base that has not existed before. Alice 28:56 Yeah. You know, clearly I didn't want to give of myself to only histories which could be you know, form a lot of perspectives and oddest form just a ball too. You know, people who are deaf and hard of hearing so, you know, I branched out and started publishing just essays about website. I started a podcast in 2017 which is really amazing because here I am talking to you in December 2020. I just published my 92nd episode. Emily 29:44 Oh my gosh. Alice 29:47 That's wild to me. Yeah. It's been a real adventure and a real labor of love to be able to jump around, try different methods, use different formats, for community to be involved in multiple ways. And I think thats for researchers and academics to have so much work. You're a qualitative researcher and you just do a page or a study or projects. There's so many jumps in your work. It really needs to reach people. You know, I would hope that academics think beyond their journal articles beyond their presentations you know, just like, you know these days our jobs are not rewarded in the system and that was a part of the problem. No incentive to create. Emily 31:38 like you're talking about like that sort of embedded forms of like, ableism, and racism and classism that exists within the Academy, and what, you know, traditional researchers are expected to produce. Alice 31:51 Yeah, I don't get the kind of pressures that people are under, especially here or junior faculty, or, you know, adjunct or graduate students, you know, because you do have to perform at, perform up to a certain point, right, this is the reality that I experienced as well. Emily 32:23 Ready to reality? And most places still? Alice 32:27 Yeah, and I think anybody who claims that otherwise is not really being honest. You know, to be real. Yeah, yeah, I think, you know, this is a real reflection point where, you know, for political and cultural climate, where people and institutions are being held accountable. Yeah. This is your time, if not now. to really think about what are your intensions? How do you practice your values? Yeah. Not just in your work life. But in your everyday life. Sure. You say, oh, you're an ally, or that you're in solidarity with others? Where does that show up? Like, what are the ways that you're actually doing this. And I think that You know in one of the ways. You know I could never to be more charitable. you know, yeah, put your work out there. And to really receive the critique, to receive, you know, real questions, by the people that are the most impacted. You know I think not receive that in a defensive way. Emily 34:22 And going beyond like, you know, in in a qualitative research class, or in most textbooks, there's something called a member check where you run your analysis by the people that participated. But I think what you're talking about speaks so much more deeply about the relational ways that researchers and participants are co researchers are engaging and allowing those who have more privilege and power to be asked really difficult questions. Yeah, thinking far beyond what gets talked about, I think in the typical typical qualitative research course or text? Alice 35:04 It's not a checklist. It would be more thoughtful, yeah, more intentional, Also just as scholars like, was your own with this is or areas that you're just thoughts as well first there I think, You know, there's also this very weird you know, job expectation of researchers and like, you know scholars often you don't know at all and i don't i think the offer is a art fair of expectation and I think you'd use a walkway when I see scholars who are just really open it just say what they know and what they don't know Yeah. Like with that frustration research make great art never ever neutral. if we can we can all start from that place. Yeah. I feel like that's where you really start out it really effective relationships with people from the outside. Yeah. Oh, sorry. Do you know there's all those times visible labor thats never going to be compensated. Yes by the academy and I think one other activity that's really undervalued is relationship building. Emily 37:13 Absolutely, absolutely. Alice 37:15 And I feel like that. For those of you, you know, this is it doesn't happen overnight. Today you have a study, you're gonna be you're getting IRB approval right now. You're like, Oh, shit, like, I better, you know, do outreach. You can't rush this stuff. And people will sit here doing this with the right intention. You have to lay the groundwork. You have to be of service to others. Yeah. And be really transparent. To be able to build relationships with people, whether they're going to be participants in your study, or as you know, true creators. Absolutely. There's just a lot of kind of foundational work that requires a lot of your own labor. But I will say that this is something that is absolutely valuable. It is really it rich. It is. Emily 38:50 I mean, it's essentially about the kind of the kind of research that you're that you're promoting. Alice 38:58 Yeah. They deserve you as well. Get along. Nice to serve everyone. That's, you know, that's just their place. Yeah. Emily 39:15 Oh, gosh, Alice, thank you so much for sharing. I feel like if I didn't, if I didn't try to wrap this up, I could stay on here with you chatting about different things for a really long time. But I want to I want to be respectful of your time and I know that everyone who's listening is so appreciative to hearing your perspective. So thank you so much for sharing your work and your thinking and your your prompts for sort of the academic community of qualitative researchers is super important. Alice 39:59 Also, before we end, I have some more questions. So this is from a book chapter for a book that you are [inauditble], I'm going to, people might not ever read this or come across this book chapter that I wrote for Emily and Dr. Lester. So here are just some of my thoughts and questions for qualitative researchers. Number 1, how are you uplifting to amplify the scholarship of people outside of the academy? Second, are you speaking in your classes and in panels that you're presenting and coauthoring in ways that emphasize your research partners? Here is another questions, how many non-academic scholars do you cite in your work and if it is not many, why is that? Emily Oh gosh, that is so important. Huge questions. Alice And two more questions. If you are conducting research about a marginalized community, how will you solicit feedback and critique from people with that experience? And a final question, which I think is probably, the thornest question, and could actually be an entire separate podcast episode, before starting did you research about a marginalized community ask yourself if you are the best person to do this? And whether it is appropriate to defer to other scholars who have been doing the work? Emily That is a good one. Alice: And Hopefully that leaves our listeners with some food for thought. Emily Thank you so much Alice Wong.
47 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 21: Qualitative Research in a Digital World
In this episode, Alexandra Panos interviews Jessica Nina Lester and Trena Paulus about doing qualitative research in digital words. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for digital methods and strategies has never been stronger. This conversation addresses important practice and theoretic questions for approaching digital inquiry. Digital Tools for Qualitative Research - Trena M. Paulus, Jessica N. Lester, Paul Dempster Doing Qualitative Research in a Digital World - Trena M. Paulus, Jessica N. Lester The following includes the transcript of the talk. (please excuse minor transcription errors) Alexandra Hello there and welcome to qualitative conversations a podcast hosted by the qualitative research special interest group of the American Educational Research Association. I'm Alexandra Panos an assistant professor of literacy studies and an affiliate faculty member in research and measurement at the University of South Florida. I also have the pleasure to serve as program coach with Cassie Quigley for the call SIG. And I'm delighted to be here with doctors Trina Paulus and Jessica Nina Lester to talk about the role digital tools play in qualitative research. Dr. Paulus is a professor in the Research Division of Family Medicine and director of undergraduate research and creative activities, as well as an affiliate faculty member with the Applied Social Research Laboratory at East Tennessee State University. Dr. Paulus's scholarship is primarily in the area of methodological innovation, especially as it intersects with new technologies. Dr. Lester is an associate professor of inquiry methodology in the School of Education at Indiana University Bloomington. Her scholarship focuses primarily on discourse and conversation analysis, disability studies, and more general concerns related to crop qualitative research. Dr. Paulus and Dr. Lester have co authored with sage, the 2014 book digital tools for qualitative research, and an exciting new and in press volume, titled doing qualitative research in a digital world. Thank you both so much for joining it today and sharing your time and energies. Thanks for inviting us. Yes, thank you so much. I'm truly excited to learn from you both and really just want to dive right into our conversation if that's okay. And I wanted to start with Alexandra a question that situates us in the here and now, given the shifts that have happened worldwide over the last 10 months with the covid 19 pandemic? Can you share a bit about what from your perspective, this really means for qualitative researchers? And how digital tools might play into this? Trina Yeah, so it's kind of this been this weird experience of being in the right place at the right time, or being in the right place at the wrong time? I don't know. But you know, COVID-19 is impacted all researchers in significant ways, for sure. And, you know, we had started writing this new edition of the book, Trina fully revamped book that's coming out shortly, a couple of years ago, actually. And then when COVID-19 hits sage really asked us to try to wrap it up, because researchers really needed some guidance for how to basically do their research in a new way. Trina And so how do we make sense of those spaces? How do we look at online interaction as a source of data as qualitative researchers, you know, we are interested in the human experience and understanding it as qualitative researchers, and that is now completely emeshed with, you know, doing business, doing education doing everything online. So, you know, there's new opportunities here, even though you know, most people have been, you know, there there are researchers have been doing this for a while, we all kind of have to consider how online spaces might be treated as a source of data, how our experiences are different. Trina And so while I think kind of one of the first things people want to know is how do we do interviews in zoom? It's, it's more than that. It's that we're all now spending lots and lots of time in zoom. So how can we understand what's happening there? So we've got digital tools, digital spaces, and also the digital space as a phenomenon in and of itself. Those are just a few of my initial thoughts. Jessica, what do you think? Jessica Yeah, I mean, I think that one of the things that's really helpful to keep in mind and in this moment, even though there's this you know, it feels like such a significant and even forced shift for qualitative research, I do think it's helpful to remind ourselves that this move to doing qualitative work and online spaces is not particularly new. And there's really a vast body of literature that we can draw upon to support us and offer some guidance to the questions that we're facing. And even really provoke us to think more about what it means to do qualitative research and be a qualitative researcher in a, you know, a historical moment where we're not just using technologies, but we're living through them even as researchers, and we're making meaning with them. So I think that's something for us to kind of use as a way to frame this particular moment. And that there's resources that we can turn back to, but that also, these are important questions that we should be asking ourselves about our work, and about what it means to make sense of meaning making in a space where technologies are really intersecting with everyday life. Alexandra Thanks, yeah, it's, it's, um, it's a lot to process. And I appreciate your point about that. Sometimes it does feel for Steven F, for we're all going through it. And it makes me think a little bit about design, designing scholarship right now designing qualitative scholarship right now. So I wonder if you can speak a little bit about how you work through as a qualitative researcher having to adjust your expectations about a research project, when what you'd hope to do isn't currently feasible. Given realities? Yeah, I Jessica can speak to that a little bit. You know, one thing that I often talk with about this question in relationship to students coming to me and saying, I can't do what I hope to do, particularly in this, this given moment, what are my options, and I think it is helpful to think about that, you certainly can return back to your original design and think about if there are ways that you can transform some of those methodologies and methods in engaging with digital tools, that you could digitize some of them, for instance. And then also, it is possible that you actually have to go back to the drawing board. And one of the things that you could potentially engage with is really thinking about designing a study, from the get go, that really engages in with digital spaces. And what that might mean is that you expand definitions of data. And this can be really exciting. And you can engage with new kinds of data that you hadn't even envisioned engaging with before. And so I think, you know, there are those two pathways to think about turning back to that original design and potentially, in some way, digitizing that original design or really rethinking it. And I think that this is an okay thing. I think that, you know, part of part of methodology writ large, is that it's always in the making. And so right now, our methodologies are in a really real way intersecting with technologies. And so what that means is that methodology is being remade. And that's, there's something also really both challenging, and also, potentially really exciting about kind of that moment. So at the same time, I think what that also means is, as we think about re envisioning a study, that we also have to keep in mind that the technologies that we engage with are, of course, not neutral. And they are, of course, you know, always fraught with consequences, including, you know, political consequences and equitable access. And so this is certainly something that we also want to set with as we think about our design, and particularly as we think about redesigning a study. Alexandra It's so helpful. I wonder if there are theoretical perspectives that have you found particularly helpful for conducting this kind of Digital Research and turning to to the stat sitting with process that you spoke of? Jessica Yeah, I can speak Jessica to this, this idea of theories that have informed our work, and I think I'll just share a little bit of a story of how we're coming to think with theory now. So. So first off, so just in general, if you were to engage with the literature around technology and qualitative research over the last, you know, about decade, you would probably conclude that qualitative researchers have historically kind of held on to this view of what's often referred to as technological determinism. So that's this orientation that humans are essentially passing And therefore, they must adapt to changes that technology forces upon them. So this particular view is one that often assumes that it's intrinsically best and most efficient technology will be adopted regardless of the context. And so this particular view is one that when Trina and I wrote the our first book, around digital tools and qualitative research, we really explicitly wanted to counter this perspective that was in the methodological literature. And in some ways, we did this implicitly, but what we really argued for was thinking about the ways in which we as qualitative researchers could really use technology to do things that we wanted it to do. So we didn't position ourselves that's passive. And so within this viewpoint, then qualitative researchers could be thought of as kind of retaining control of qualitative data analysis software, for instance, and not assuming that the software would control the study. So technology, and from this perspective, would be theorized and viewed as not just instrumental, but really positioned as what a human qualitative researcher can use it to do. But after we were wrote our first book on this topic I ran across a book that Katherine Adams and Terri Lynn Thompson had written, which was titled, researching a post human world interviews with digital objects. And in their book, they engaged with new materialistic post qualitative perspectives, and really offers some interesting ideas about how we as qualitative researchers are really intermingled intertwined with digital technologies. And as a read, I saw some references to our book. And so I immediately texted Trina and Katrina, someone has something to say about our book. And, and ultimately, it was a critique, it was a critique of our view of technology that we crafted in the first book was really not engaging and a full way with the ways in which technology really can be conceptualized and theorize as being co researchers with us that there's a dialectic. And so in our newest book, we really take up this critique and have begun to think more with you've been realistic ideas of technology, as well as some of the critical theories related to technological use. And we have found that to be really helpful, and generative, and pushing our thinking about how technologies are co researchers with us and are entangled with us in the process that is then something that we have to really think carefully about, and think about the implications of the tools that we use, and the ways that we're engaging in meaning making. Alexandra That I love hearing the story of how these texts evolve over time one, it also makes me wonder, the about the ethical and privacy considerations is something that's important when you do that kind of Digital Research when you are intermingled. So I wonder if you could share a little about that. Trina Yeah, I can talk a little bit about that. Because it does these issues come up a lot. In the work that I do. And the researchers that I work with these, I'm primarily looking at Digital spaces, online communities and online groups as a source of data. So I think the first thing to think about is that, you know, we always are dealing with ethical issues and privacy considerations when we're doing qualitative research as qualitative researchers, you know, we're often looking very deeply and intensely at people's lives. And so it's always different than if you're giving a survey or doing you know, lab based research is different kinds of ethics. The good thing is that there's actually been a lot of scholarship around ethics and Digital Research for many years. In fact, when we were writing this book, I couldn't believe the proliferation of entire texts on digital ethics that appeared since we wrote the first book in 2014. So there's a lot of guidance out there for sure. A couple of the things that issues that come up frequently for me in in when I'm giving talks and talking with people about it, is the issue of digital traces. And the fact that so much of us are so much of our lives now even before the pandemic world lived on the internet and in the cloud and with mobile devices. And as we go through the world, we're live leaving digital traces everywhere. And whether or not those should be treated as a source of data is the is one of the big issues, right? Who owns those traces? And whose permission Do you need to get to look at those as a data source? institutional review boards often are getting better about having policies around this, but they don't always know how to guide researchers. And sometimes, even though technically, the IRB approves the study, because they don't consider looking at online discussion posts as human subjects research because they're publicly visible, just because they say it's not human subjects research may not automatically mean that it's ethical to look at online discussion posts as a source of data without telling anyone. So I think that thinking about who owns these spaces, who's interacting on these spaces, who has access to them? I think, you know, there, there are no hard and fast rules, because the landscape is changing all the time, right? Like we have Tick Tock now, and we didn't even have that before. So how do we think about Tick Tock as a source of research data. But a few things to think about is, you know, I'm working in a medical school context now. So I hear a lot more about you know, the do no harm, first, do no harm mandate. And so you want to first be sure you're not harming or putting anybody at risk, whether that's an entire online community that no one would have known about until you wrote a paper about it, or if it's about an individual who was posting under their real identity, about a very sensitive illness online, and you bring attention to them inadvertently, or, or on purpose. really thinking about that is, of course, the basis and the fundamental issue around ethics. I've been also thinking about privacy. Do they expect that that this community is private? You know, is it really just for insiders? How can you respect people's privacy? At what point do you need to get informed consent, which may be very difficult when people are in online communities not as themselves, but under an assumed identity assumed identity? How do you navigate that? And so keeping identities private, protecting the data? If you do store? If you do treat it as data, then how can you make it as hard to track down the original sources possible? And then if you do do that, is it changing the essence of the data, or the essence of those online interactions, so that it actually might impact how you interpret it? So those are things that we have to struggle with? how sensitive are the topics that people are talking about? And again, you know, just trying not to put people at risk. So I think the good news, like I said, is that there are lots of case studies. The one of the best sources for guidance around this is the Association of internet researchers, they're actually on their third version of their ethics guidelines that came out, I think the most recent one came out this year. Trina And they really, you know, cover, it's all on a continuum. And they give a lot of holistic advice in terms of things to think through. And what I will always say on this topic, really is that if you can do research with people instead of on them, these issues are going to be much easier to navigate. If you want to look at an online community, get in touch with whoever's in that community and see what kinds of topics they would like you to study, and what would they like to know more information about, so that you're actually working in collaboration with the people that you want to understand better? Alexandra Thank you for that for the wonderful resource. And then just the plugs, work with folks to Trina think about their community. Yeah. Alexandra So important, simple, and, and really effective, I Alexandra think. Alexandra So I want to turn a little bit towards method here. And I'm wondering what tips you have for that data collection process online? Or how to think about additional sources of data to look for once you move research into those online spaces. Trina Yeah, and I can talk a little bit about that, too. I think, you know, one of the first things to ask is, okay, where are people talking about the issues that I'm interested in? So your research question like and just to give you an example of one of the earliest cities I did that was outside of an educational context. I'd collaborated with Dr. Mary Alice, Varga who's at the University of West Georgia now, and she's one of her areas is grief counseling. And she was really interested in why people choose to go to grief support groups or not, when you've suffered a loss, you know, you know, you're you're advised to kind of get support, but sometimes it's hard for people to go to grief counseling either individual or in a group. But we discovered or she discovered that there Actually a lot of online grief support groups out there. And she was really curious about why are people going online to get support when we have all of this in person counseling. And so we were able to analyze an online grief support group to kind of understand how people constructed their grief in those spaces. And those findings then could speak back to how people were doing grief counseling offline, you know, so in a pandemic, you may only have access to these online spaces, because so much of our in person services are no longer operating. If you think about any kind of social human experience, phenomenon, social science topic that you're interested in, think about where people talking about it, and just do some investigating. And we make the distinction in the book between naturally occurring or pre existing sources of data, which are things that are already out in the world, Reddit forums, tick tock, lots of online support groups for people who have specific illnesses. And they're just grassroots efforts or they're supported by a certain professional organization, travel blogs, and forums, Google Groups I hear is a huge source for parents trying to school their kids in the pandemic, there's all these neighborhoods and friend groups, setting up Google Groups, test text message threads. There's lots of places where people are talking electronically, and they have been for years, but now especially there's electronic conversations going on, that might give you insight into how people are talking about things without people talking to a researcher directly. research agenda generated data is when I decide to go interview someone, they're talking to me as a researcher, so they'll give me you know, their thoughts on things up to a point up to what they're willing to disclose to a researcher that they may not know that well. So that's important data. But what's really interesting is to see how people are going about their lives in these spaces without researcher intervention. And that can give us some really interesting insights that we wouldn't get otherwise. Alexandra That's, that's really interesting to think about all of those spaces that we're all contributing to right now. Trina Exactly. QR SIG AD Right. So that's really interesting. The qualitative research special interest group was established in 1987. To create a space within the American Educational Research Association. For the discussion of ethical, philosophical and methodological issues in qualitative research. We invite you to consider joining the qualitative research thing today. for members of a era the annual fee for joining qualitative research special interest group for regular non graduate student members is $10. And the annual fee for graduate students is $5. As members of the QR SIG, you will gain access to a network of fellow qualitative scholars, as well as our many activities ranging from mentoring opportunities to our podcast series to updates and news related to recent qualitative publications and jobs. Please visit the American educational research associations website at www dot att era dotnet to join the qualitative research SIG today. Alexandra I guess something else I'm thinking about is that this idea that much might be lost when doing online interviews, interviewing is such a staple. For us as qualitative researchers, I think, do you have any thoughts or tips for enriching interview data beyond the recorded audio when we're working with digital tools? Jessica Yeah, I can, I can speak to this. And I think a useful place to start in response to this is actually to flip the script a bit on this. So rather than assuming that, you know, much is lost, I really prefer to think about it as just being different. I think it's really important to keep in mind that, you know, historically, face to face interviews, in qualitative research have really rested on some pretty notable assumptions about what it means to do qualitative research and about what participants should be doing and how they should be doing it. I have a favorite paper that was written by two critical disability studies scholars, Stephanie Kershaw and Margaret price in I think, was 2017. And their paper was was focused on thinking about how we can center disability and qualitative interviewing. And one of the things that they noted was that interviews writ large, and they were speaking both to those conducted in face to face contacts and as well as online, but that they really rely upon normative conceptions of body mind. So people, you know, ask a verbal question. And participants are expected to respond in a particular way. And we assume that language given in a particular way, and shared in a particular way is how it will occur. So it's a very normative assumption about even meaning making. So I say that because I think it's really important that we're reflective and careful about orienting to interviewing, as it has always been done as the only or even best way to capture making sense of people's lives and experiences. You know, we do know from some groups of people that this really has not been their experience of this method and crush on price speak to that a little bit from their own experience. Um, so then, if you are conducting interviews in a virtual space, I do suggest that you, you know, really orient to it as different. And certainly, there are important considerations, some of which are similar to face to face interviews, and others that are really unique to the particular technologies that you're using. You know, so like, an example of this might be, you know, if you want to consider whether videos will be turned on or off, and what does this mean for things like rapport building, or even how participants might experience a researcher viewing their private spaces. So, you know, corresponding price. They also argued that, even though you know, there has been this writing, and kind of argument from some researchers that we need to consider the significance of digital interviewing methods, because they do create access. And some people, some participants prefer that kind of interviewing space. They even pointed out in their work that even in these digital spaces, there can be this over reliance on kind of a normative body mind way of thinking about interaction. So I think in general, the real key is just to be critical, regardless of kind of the the modality that the interview is taking place in. And so as a starting point, I always encourage folks to, to your number one turn to your participants, to invite them to share with you ways that they can share their experience and their lives. In these digital spaces. They might have ideas, first, you know, ways that they want to do screen sharing, or even apps that are really useful in their own lives for sharing how they're going about living their lives. And also, you know, there is, again, a really nice body of literature that you can turn to, to get some guidance. You know, beyond Kershaw on prices article, Janet salmons has written a lot about online interviewing. And I also think it's useful to turn to some of the critical methods writing in the disability studies community that has really problematized interviewing, and both face to face and online spaces, and also highlighted how, you know, we never want to rest easy with being armed with a bunch of methods, literature, but the real importance of turning back to our participants to really help us understand better how we can collect data that allows us then to make sense of meaning making Alexandra you for, for talking through that and flipping that script, I think it's so important, and I just learned so much. And I want to turn now to your point about what the data is how we how we cope, how we collected or generated. So to think about technology, I guess I'm wondering if there are any, you know, specific particular platforms, technologies, devices that you have found particularly beneficial, and that you use when you're doing digital research? Yeah, I Jessica mean, you know, one of the challenges is that there are so many. And so of course, it depends on the the study and the nature of the project that you're working on itself. In our in our new book, one of the things that we have throughout is, is more than 40 vignettes, so on the ground researchers that describe their work and the specific tools that supported their work and that they engaged in. And so I think one of the ways to learn about what's out there is is really to engage with the writing of on the ground researchers who are are working across a range of disciplines and therefore asking really different kinds of questions that lead them to engage with different technologies. But again, you know, it really does depend on on the study and the nature of the project project. So if, for instance, I'm working with Instagram data, there are particular applications that I would use As I would download and format my image base data, versus when I'm working with interview data collected via zoom or another video conferencing platform. So it really does depend on the design of the study. And this is something that we've described in our writing as being part of you're generating your own Digital Research workflow. So in my own work, regardless of the project, I typically use qualitative data analysis software, specifically, I'm an atlas ti user, and recently have begun to delve into learning and using max q da. I mean, I use qualitative data analysis software really to manage and organize the entirety of my research study, including things like my literature review, and also using various features within a package to write up some of my my early findings within the package itself. So in this way, I, I personally orient to qualitative data analysis software, as kind of being like the the One Stop Shop that supports many of the aspects of my digital workflow. And I think what's important is that we we all individually spend time really not just designing our study, but thinking about where it intersects with our own Digital Research workflow, and identify ways that that can support the the work that we're interested in pursuing. Alexandra It's really helpful. I love the idea of a digital workflow and just having that be part of a study design and thinking through it that way. And I guess another sort of staple for us as qualitative researchers is transcribing data. I wonder about your preferred methods for that process? I know there's there's a lot of literature around transcription. But what what are you guys seeing right now? Trina Yeah, so that is, a whole chapter of the book is about innovations in transcription, because this is one of the areas that has really changed a lot since we wrote the 2014 book, in part because of just the leaps and bounds that auto transcription, artificial intelligence supported transcription tools, what they're able to do now such as Trent temi, otter AI, there's a lot of them out there, and they are getting better and better all of the time. And and just as an example of that, for the for people using zoom, you may have noticed that if your institution subscribes to it, you will actually get an automatically generated zoom transcript, which is phenomenal, if you're doing your interviews in zoom. And I would say this is actually where online interviews are hugely advantageous over face to face because there's an automatically generated transcript at the end. Now, granted, we all know that you have to make edits. But compared to what this used to look like the edits, if it's good sound quality, standard English or standard version of whatever language you're speaking in. If the conditions are right, the transcript can really be amazing. So for, you know, video conference type interviews, you know, if there's an automatically generated transcript, that's definitely a great place to start. This summer, I actually used Trent for the first time as a first pass to transcribe some patient, patient interviews, the health care providers, students in the health professions, were interviewing standardized patients. And I had a bunch of video data. So I ran it through Trent as a first pass it automatically it timestamps that automatically you can edit the transcript within Trent. It's a great data storage, it's all cloud based. So you do have to get IRB approval, and we didn't have any HIPAA data, HIPAA protected data, so it worked for us. But I do think that looking into some of these AI based services is definitely worth it as a first pass, if you're not actually conducting the interviews in zoom, another really good tool is ink scribe i en que se RIBE. It also lets you timestamp because what that means is if you can synchronize your recording with the transcript that is just so beneficial as a qualitative researcher so that you're not just relying on the words, you can actually click anywhere in the transcript and listen to that interaction again. And so Jessica and I both do conversation analysis and discourse analysis and other language based analytic methods were how people speak is as important as what they say. And so the technology, the ability to not just rely on the written transcript, but to be able to go back and listen again to how something said that's just been invaluable. And so I think we do need to really think about transcription as part of that overall Digital Research workflow. And there are cases in which some of the qualitative data analysis platforms We'll support that as well. So if you're using the Mac version of Atlas ti, I think that you can actually transcribe within that software. And the same with in vivo and Max q da, they provide the ability to do synchronize transcripts. So it's definitely worth thinking about how that's going to be integrated into the whole process. And, Jessica, I'm not sure if you wanted to add something on this one, too. Jessica Yeah, I was just gonna also say that is the one of the things that I think is really interesting about new technologies as they relate to transcription is, I think it's a really vivid example of how you can see innovations and technologies shaping how we think about method and methodology. And so what I mean by that is, you know, many of the qualitative analysis software packages now allow us to do import in a fairly fluid way. sizable video based data sets, though I work with a lot of video based data in my own scholarship, and they're relatively large data sets. So working with, you know, upwards of 100 plus hours of interactional data. And one of the things that these new innovations have really pushed to the fore is questions around do we even need to be transcribing our entire data set? And why are we transcribing our entire data set? What might it mean to leverage things like directly, Trina directly Jessica analyzing with the tools that are embedded within qualitative analysis, software packages, or video, and then we're selectively transcribing our data. And these questions, of course, become really pertinent when you're working with large datasets and just thinking about transcribing, which has been the norm and conversation, analytic work and much of discourse analysis as well. You transcribe everything and you transcribe everything, using transcription systems that are really, really intense, and take an extensive amount of time. So there's this time issue, but then there's also what's I think, arising is questions around why are we doing what we're doing. And I think if we trace across time, we'll see that there is a lot of methodological shift that happens in relationship to technological innovation. I mean, even if we just think about interviewing, how we collected interview data has radically shift as the development of recording technologies came to be, and then a refinement of those. And so I think right now, a really compelling and provocative and important question that I do hope that we, as a community, spend time really wrestling with is what is the place of transcription? And what might it mean to think about transcription differently at the intersection of technology and our methodological practice. Alexandra But I'm really thinking a lot about what you just said, I'm gonna send you a message after. Um, so I guess another question that I'm wondering about is the tools what tools are you using for storing all this massive amounts of data and these big files, etc, in both an accessible yet also secure way? Trina Yeah, you know, my biggest recommendation there is to use whatever your university is supporting, because you don't want to get in so like, at my institution, it's OneDrive, right Microsoft product, and, yeah, it may not be like the easiest, most accessible in terms of, you know, efficient way because the I don't necessarily like the way that the navigation is set up. But my institution has it, it's secure, it's supported IRB, are okay with it. Everybody that I'm working with in my institution can access it. Theoretically, people at other institutions should be able to access it as well. And so, you know, I think that really sticking with what your institution supports is a good first way to think about that. I do want to say that if you are thinking about long term storage of data, you need to consider a qualitative data repository, especially if you are willing for other researchers to have access to your data for reuse. to Oregon, that's another good reason to use qualitative data analysis software, because actually, all of your data is stored in that platform. That's how it's organized. And so you've got the software package, organizing your data, then you've got the original files, you know, also maybe in OneDrive, or what other whatever other system that you're using, that can keep it all very manageable. That's, you know, and then you know, that there's, there's the There's the password protected things with, you know, sharing files in certain ways that I do think you have to think about. But one nice thing about being in a secure cloud based service, like one drive supported by the institution is you don't have to think about it as much as you used to have to when everything was stored on individual computers, or hard drives, or zip drives and jump drives, and then you had to think about how you were going to password protect each file, and then how you were going to send it in secure emails to your collaborators. So you know, just look into what your your university supports. And I do realize that's a privileged position. If you're not working at an institution that provides something like that, then you do have to kind of think through all of those steps that that we did before we had these services... [End of the transcript]
46 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 20: Episode 19: Dr. Maureen Flint
In this episode, Maureen Flint, recipient of the QR SIG Outstanding Dissertation Award, discusses her work with the QR SIG Dissertation Award Committee Chair Jennifer Wolgemuth. You can follow more of Dr. Flint's work on her website: www.maureenflint.com. Below is the transcript of this interview. Jennifer Hello, everyone, and welcome to qualitative conversations, a podcast series hosted by the qualitative research special interest group of the American Educational Research Association. I'm Jennifer wolgemuth, the current chair of the qualitative research special interest group outstanding dissertation award committee. I am excited to be joined today by Dr. Maureen Flint, who is the recipient of the 2020 outstanding dissertation Award for her dissertation titled, methodological orientations, college student navigations of race and place in higher education. Dr. Flint is an assistant professor of qualitative research at the University of Georgia, where she teaches courses on qualitative research design, analysis and theory in the College of Education. The research agenda focuses on the theory, practice and pedagogy of qualitative inquiry. In particular, she's interested in artful methodologies, as well as questions of social justice, ethics and equity in higher education. Her research has been published in qualitative inquiry, cultural studies, critical methodologies, the review of higher education, Journal of college student development, and art slash research international and many other outlets. Her current work is interested in audio, visual and multimodal approaches to inquiry and representation. And some of her explorations in this area can be found on her website at www.maureen.flint.com. That's www.maureenflint.com Thank you for joining me today. Dr. Flynn. Maureen I'm really thrilled to learn more about you and your work. Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here. Jennifer I think it would be helpful for our audience just to learn a little bit more about your dissertation work. So can you talk about your dissertation? What was the scope? What was its methodological focus? Maureen 2:27 Yeah, absolutely. Um, so my dissertation explored the socio historical context of race on campus, and particularly through new materialist and critical spatial, I'm going to critical spatial lens. So maybe we'll back up a little bit, I have a background in student affairs. And then I also have a background in the arts. And so both of those things really came kind of to the fore when I started my dissertation, as I've worked as an administrator, and it kind of started from this question, this gap between what I saw between what we was doing as an administrator, and then the things that we said that we valued and things that actually happened. And so I was really interested in kind of getting at that gap, particularly around the question of belongingness. and ended up finding theory is kind of this entry point to really work that tension. So a question of focus on place, and the way that place and the histories of place mattered, and students belongingness. And so this kind of starting there, I started with kind of traditional methods of interviews and focus groups. And then kind of found they necessarily getting at getting at the complexity of place that I kind of felt on the day to day or that my, my students kind of were alluding to in their interviews and so I started thinking about what kind of throughout my dissertation there's this question of faithfulness to theory is the way that I talked about it and how, how am I continually orienting to theory and the ways in which I'm designing and writing and representing engaging with my participants and thinking, thinking about kind of engaging with the space of campus and my research questions as a whole so throughout my dissertation, I can move in and out of these various methods and analytic approaches things like walking interviews and student I had students make maps that visually represented the police of Canvas and and kind of walk them through them. And then when I moved in de analytics started, I started to think with sound as a way to kind of explore the this layered pneus of place and and then that also, that kind of question. fullness also came out. And the ways in which I wrote through my dissertation is I can continually pausing and stopping and thinking about, you know, how is theory guiding you in this moment? Or have I fallen away from theory. And so I think, you know, that that really became the guiding threads throughout at all. And it closes and closes with this kind of question of ethics and theory, and faithfulness in the way that all those things in our twine, particularly in relationships with participants and kind of questions of futurity, and who are we as methodologists, in the future to come? So, yeah. Jennifer Wow, thank you. It sounds like what one of the things that I really heard you say, and I think would be really of interest to the listeners is, you you started out with what we might call traditional or conventional qualitative inquiry. And then it was a combination of engaging theory, new materialist theory and other sorts of theories that opened up different kinds of methodological possibilities for you. So can you give some advice to doctoral students who might be on that particular path right now as we speak? Maureen 6:23 Yeah, absolutely. Um, I think, well, I now I think about it, I teach because I teach one of the classes that I teach is our design course. And one of the things that I have the students in that class do, we have an of this traditional three interview project, that's traditionally the outcome of that course. And one of the things that I do in that class is have students have do one of those interviews as a non traditional scare quotes, non traditional interview, and it opened the door for them to do something different with it, with their their dislike of their interview, the research questions, this idea of interview itself. And I think that I see that for them really opening the door to think about how other things matter beyond just like an interview script, and sitting across from someone and asking them a series of questions help.You know, things like objects, or changing the place of the interview, or even going beyond, I've had students really challenged what an interview is, and like engage interview documents or going to go into different types of analysis, but always guided by the theories and their literature and the research questions that are guiding them. So I think maybe, I think that that is an entry point. They're thinking about advice to other students. And, yeah, I think in my own work, it was also reading interdisciplinarily. So I was reading a lot in critical geography studies. I was reading in like, literary fiction, poetic authors like Claudia Rankin, and Saidya Hartman, who write in a very, like literary poetic style, speculative fiction, like nk jemisin. And so those little really inspired mythological choices that I made in terms of like, thinking differently, or thinking otherwise about representation or methodology. Jennifer Um, so, you mentioned new materialism and new materialist theory and philosophy. So in addition to all this interdisciplinary reading that you're doing, and this sort of practicing with innovative methodologies, what recommendations might you have for new materialist readings for students? Maureen 9:02 Who, um, yeah, I think, Rosie Brady's My, my, my girl, um, so she was really what guided my dissertation. Um, she has a new book out on post-human knowledges that I think really speaks to this present moment that we're in a precarity and exhaustion and capitalism and white supremacy and the ways that all those things are colliding all at once. And I've also, Sara Ahmed has been although she's not necessarily a new materialist writer, she's really informed my work, particularly around thinking around feminism. And who else in a thing. work has been really important and I think she just had she has a new website out that's beautiful. That's thinking in these really layered ways about the Anthropocene. And I guess maybe more broadly, the thing that I would say about reading is that I've really been inspired by reading with other people who are working in other spaces and places. And so I end up reading things that I never would have coming out of my discipline, in educational research, but also with this background in higher education, we become, especially in higher ed become really siloed. And so thinking with people who are in math, education, or English, or geography or other spaces has been really an expansive,expanded my reading in productive ways. Jennifer This is some really great sources and great suggestions, and I appreciate the injunction right to to read widely and read across disciplines. It's It's impressive what opened up for you, your dissertation? Maureen 10:58 Well, I guess maybe what I think I found reading, really, I have always enjoyed reading a lot. And I think reading with people has been something that has been incredible. It's one of my favorite things about being an academic or getting to be an academic of thinking with people. And so me, I think finding people who you enjoy, who bring joy to your reading, is perhaps another thing. So that's great advice, finding anyone who brings joy to anything, it's probably important.So, in addition to everything that you've said, there are lots of graduate students right now who are writing dissertations. There are lots of faculty members who are writing books. Jennifer Can you talk about your process of writing your dissertation? What was it like what helped? What got in the way? Maureen 12:00 You know,I guess where to start. Susan, can I actually just wrote a chapter for an edited book that you and Kelly guy have put together. And we we actually were writing converting our distributions together, we met era, through the QR SIG, which, which actually to back up a little has been huge was hugely helpful for me in a variety of ways. my academic career trajectory as a grad student from doing putting together proposals for a year a,like suddenly getting descended to a senior scholar in the field and getting feedback I think I sent you in this could be like a 40 page manuscript, and she was like, Oh, you might need to cut this little bit. Um, but I just had no idea right of what to do. And so the cure was really helpful in mentoring me along in how to become a member of qual community. And so Susan, and I had met at the mentoring session at a year and ended up reconnecting and icti. And then reading together over the summer. And then both were kind of separately told their advisors to stop reading, insert writing, because we want it both on to graduate, but spring. And so I think, you know, that was hugely helpful having someone in a similar place to talk through not just and share writing, not just around like the literal parts of the dissertation, but all of that other stuff that goes along with it, like the excesses of like the hoops in the job market, and the worry and the anxiety.And so we read about in that chapter is like the swarming of like, coming together of texts, and others, other folks that were writing within our advisors and our writing is this kind of collaborative move, even as we were writing separately, we were writing together. So finding that type of community. And I also had a group of people. It was kind of a mix of faculty and other graduate students, who we would write together really early in the mornings. We had kind of this set schedule of Tuesdays and Thursdays, we're needed Starbucks or McDonald's at like seven in the morning or 630 in the morning. For me, that was really helpful because it was a time when like, there were no other distractions, or someone else who is expecting me to be somewhere there is some accountability. So that that helped a lot. And then I think starting at both the season and with the people ever with starting to think about your dissertation is like chipping away at small pieces of it, rather than thinking about it as a huge month long endeavor. I remember staring at a set, actually, my committee let me put a picture of it in my dissertation. But I stared at a stack of printed out transcripts, I think for like three weeks just staring at them not knowing what to do. So finding ways to chip away at it was helpful. And one of those things that I did, but that's how I like turned to sound, because I couldn't deal with the stack three inch stack of paper. So I started taking audio clips and layering them together to think about it differently. Jennifer That's, that's so interesting. Because you you notice something that wasn't working for you, right? Um, and it sounds like your dissertation emerged through that process you you had collected interviews to answer a question and you found them wanting in one way, shape, or form. And then you went to analyze that when you found that process that you were meant to do wanting. And so you chose something new. And that's something that comes out really loud and clear in your dissertation and in the rest of your work is that you're not just a scholar, you're not just an analyst, you are a creator, you're an artist. So can you talk about what being an artist and producing art? Maureen 16:26 I know, I didn't send you this question in advance. Apologies for putting you on the spot. But it's so fascinating. How,yeah, how that how that plays into your work and your identity as a scholar? Yeah, Mmm hmm. Well, I when I was growing up, I always wanted to be an artist, my mom was an art teacher. And I went to school to be trained as a pattern maker. So what that means is like the construction of garments, so like a designer drugs, a sketch, and the pattern maker looks at it and tries to figure out how to make that real or possible. And that often means like, being very creative, or inventive, and the fabrics that you use, or like the ways in which it gets seams or cut or the ways in which is put together. And so when I took my first qualitative research class, there's this kind of click that I was like, oh, like design is really, there's this there's this a parallel ness between, you know, creation, art creation, through this pattern, making lens and then design, it's like this puzzle that you're figuring out how stuff fits together. And there might be multiple ways for things to go together. Or maybe along the way, as you're trying to put stuff together, something else becomes possible. That's way more exciting than your initial idea. And so I think that's always like an under that's always been an undercurrent of my work. And then there's other places or spaces where I've thought more explicitly with art making practices as I mean, I think this having this happens in research design, but I also think it happens in art making where there's this ethic of experimentation or process. Actually, I was in a talk with Anna Sing last week or the week before, and she was talking about, like this idea of the detour or of contingencies and following this thing.And I'm always found in art making that those are things like those are things you should follow that you should see what what they make possible. And I also find that true. QRSIG ADD 18:49 The qualitative research special interest group was established in 1987. To create a space within the American Educational Research Association. For the discussion of ethical, philosophical and methodological issues in qualitative research. We invite you to consider joining the qualitative research they today are members of a era. The annual fee for joining qualitative research special interest group for regular non graduate student members is $10. And the annual fee for graduate students is $5. As members of the QR SIG, you will gain access to a network of fellow qualitative scholars, as well as our many activities ranging from mentoring opportunities to our podcast series to update to news related to recent qualitative publications and jobs, please visit the American educational research associations website at www dot att era dotnet to join the qualitative research thing today. Jennifer So can you talk about so some scholars build off their dissertation work? And sometimes like myself, they move in different directions for a period of time. So what are you engaging with and what are you thinking now? Maureen 19:58 Yeah, um,I? Well, one of the things that's been really exciting post graduate graduation or post dissertation has, has been getting to explore, particularly in my dissertation, like some of the lines of thought or ideas that I get to like fully fleshed out there. And so my writing right now is been doing some of that. So,for example, I, there's a footnote in my dissertation about a leaf blower, and like the way that it kept coming up in the audio of my dissertation, because I was doing these walking interviews, right, where it was asking students to take me on a tour of campus Sigmund on alternative tour of campus. And throughout it, there was like this buzz of the leaf blower and in my dissertation, I have this little footnote that was like, this is really interesting, the way it keeps coming up, like listening to this as a more than human sound like how what might this do to think about the productions of place and how it matters. And so I wrote this paper, that's an I guess, it's, it's accepted with minor revision. So it's not complete day, it's still hanging out. But anyway, I'd like it to follow this leaf blower around and like unfold these practices of like lawn maintenance and the history of leaf blowers in the way that that's entangled with low paid or unpaid or historically, enslaved labor and how like listening to them, and following that thread begins, like unravel this neutrality of place, and the ways that, you know, waste supremacy and capitalism are baked into the ongoing productions of higher education. So and that's been really fun to follow some of those threads. Um,and so I guess I'm still writing with my dissertation in some ways, like that. And I've also really enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with people. That's been I mean, the that's been really inspiring and joyful, I guess, to return to joy. Um, so as soon as like Susan cannon, I can and I kept writing together, reading together and then we've been really thinking about feminist materialists theories and in conjunction with like counting practices, and metrics and how that produces academic subjects and how you might methodologically intervene and practices of counting. And then I've been writing a little bit with my friend, Carlson, Kugler at Alabama, and we've been thinking, choose a beautiful art practice around embroidery. And she's been thinking about artful ways to engage with and respond to theory.So those are a few of the collaborations, but I think that's been super cool to get to really, like lean into collaborative work and thinking postgraduation. Jennifer 23:10 Yeah. And the the viewers can't see it, but you have this big smile on your face. That clearly shows. Yeah, the joy that that collaborative work. Like, like thinking with other people is such a creative process. Because you end up in these like unexpected spaces and places because of, like, the publicity of your ideas. That's just so cool. And, yeah,yeah, you can. Yeah. Um, can you talk about speaking of joy, the ethical aims, or ethical tensions in your work? Sort of from an axiological perspective? What do you hope that your work accomplishes or moves or shifts within the field of qualitative researcher or the other fields that you work in? Maureen 24:07 Yeah.You know, um, interestingly, I will not ever up. It's interesting. It's interesting to me.I think that in a lot of ways, my work started off really interested in speaking to the field of higher education. great ideas, has this quote about seeking modes of representation and forms of accountability that are adequate to the complexities of the world we're living in may have mangled that a little bit but and I think that was really like an ethical move that I wanted. As a person who came out of higher education, I have a master's degree in higher ed administration that I really wanted. I saw You know, this intersection of theory and methodology, particularly new materialist and feminist new materialist theories as this ethical move in higher education to think more complicatedly about the space of college campuses and the way that they produce in are produced by students, and faculty, etc, etc. Um, and, you know, I've been talking with when I've read with my friends, Laura Smithers and Apple Ian, and we've been reading together over the summer following, you know, we're in the middle of a pandemic, and the always kind of this resurgence of racial justice movements and this anger around the ongoing violence towards black people. And all of it in this moment in the election, that's in a week. Like, I think about writing and methodology is, like a response to that, that is, like I think about it is. So we talked about, like, I feel, in some ways, like I'm writing, like, writing my way out of this moment, in some ways or way through. And I think that's actually misquoting Hamilton. But, um, but like, I like I think about methodology is this ethical responsiveness to the moment that we're in? And particularly like, as a white woman in this moment? Like, what how do I respond? And what's my place? And how do I do this in an ethical way? Like, I think about my researches, picking needing to pick up and engage with all of that, be responsive to it. And I never quite know what that's going to look like. In the moment, I guess, um, yeah, I actually, I think about a paper that a graduate student. And I wrote over the summer, that ended up in a totally different place than we expected. He proposed it last fall thinking with john lewis's good trouble. And then. And then we started reading in May, and you know, reading about good trouble, john lewis, in May of 2020, is totally different than writing with it in September of 2019. And so we really struggled through that paper with how to how to respond to this moment, in a complicated way is, and I think that's still ongoing. So, yeah. Jennifer So shifting gears a little bit back to advice given for graduate students. A lot of doctoral students that I work with, and I know others in our community work with, are very interested in doing critical and post informed and artistic sorts of work on and the come up against expectations for formats for what proposals like and, and so I'm just curious, from, from your experience and your perspective as the assistant professor Now, what does a proposal look like? And how did you communicate what you wanted to do to your committee? And what were their sort of questions and concerns? Maureen 29:13 Yeah, that's a great, that's actually a question that I've had any particularly in my I'm teaching in our analysis class right now that I'm, I've gotten from a lot of my students, there's I'm sharing articles from qualitative inquiry and stuff that moves beyond traditional formats. And they always ask like, oh, like, How did this get published? How are these people taken seriously? And one of the things is, well, this isn't necessarily responding to your question. One of the things that we do in that is, look at like, we take all those like traditional things that are in paper, and then I asked them to, like, think through this non traditional paper and think about one what's the purpose of it? What's it doing? And then, you know, sometimes they'll find that Oh, like all of these pieces are here, they're just presented in a way. That's different because and then we talk about, like, why that is like how presenting this non traditional format is actually pushing you to think differently about, you know, what research could be your purpose of it all. But going back to my dissertation, I was really lucky in that. I, Kelly guyot, who was my advisor, we talked about really early on the fact that I was probably going to do something that moves beyond traditional, the traditional five chapter format.And she actually really pushed me to do that. So I remember sitting down with her after my proposal, which actually looked fairly traditional, in that it had an introduction, a statement, like statement of the problem. This is what I, this is what this is, what the literature is, this is what I plan to do the slide. Here's my theory.And she really pushed me to move beyond that and think, otherwise, if she pushed me to think about what my represents, like, how is the way that you're representing your district dissertation aligned with your theory, like you keep talking about this in your methodological section, so how like your representation should also think about that so. And as I finished my dissertation, we have continually talked about like a more than representation like art, for instance, installation or something. And so that was something I ended, I did a pop up our installation for my dissertation defense itself, where I invited my participants and one student affairs and community members. And the room where my dissertation where I defended, had, I had created these, like fabric panels with quotes from participants.There was like sheer fabric, with their quotes on it, and some, like big pieces of theory, weaving them all together. And then the sound is compilations that I've made, we're playing in different parts of the room. So as you walked around, you heard different voices and different stories being told about place. And so that was really neat. I mean, so I think I was fortunate that she really pushed me to, like, push me to do that push me to think that so I think,and I, also, um, you know, I had, I think, 26 chapters and my final dissertation. And the graduate school didn't blink an eye about that, like they, I it's like it's interwoven with images and pictures, I have, like these layered maps that show up in between chapters. And so long as it had one inch margins, and like, APA was, right, they were pretty cool with it. So I think that really taught me and that's been my experience submitting to journals, too, is that one minute, so long as you're fitting in, do follow some of these rules. There's some space there and like creating like hypertext spaces where your work can be otherwise, like that hump of installation, or I had links throughout that link to my website. So I created a website. So yeah, I think so I think and talking with your advisor about what you plan to do, along the way, in fact, finding folks, I mean, I had a five person committee that was really, really supportive of me. And we talked about that all along the way of our stuff was, might look different than they were used to. So that was, yeah. And all of that. It's hard advice to give, because, you know, I also didn't know I did, so some of the stuff that ended up in my dissertation was actually stuff that I've experimented with, in classes or experimented with. I guess it was my prospectus that was fairly nor traditional. And my proposal started to move beyond that. And I started to play with that. So I almost like showed them like these are some things that this might look like, but here's ways that I'm thinking About experimentation. And so we got to have these really cool conversations about theory. And what that could mean for a referee, or how that might inform representation or inform, or, I mean, we also talked about, like, should I be representing anything anyway? Because I was using non representational theories.But, you know, we got to have these really cool questions about a theory, and the way that that might inform my work in multiple ways. So yeah. Jennifer So I'm hearing if I were to summarize your main point. I'm hearing that having mentors and committee members who are supportive is really important. I hear that having examples of other people who have done this kind of work, whether it's in journals, or your dissertation for, for example, is important. I hear that even though we think journals and grad schools are very rigid in their requirements, they actually may be a lot less rigid than we think they are.And I hear that being open to thinking about alternative ways to engage your dissertation, like the hyperlinks that you were talking about.are all ways in which we can open up the idea of what a good proposal and a good dissertation looks like. Maureen 36:32 Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for summarizing all that. I tend to ramble.Oh, no, no, no, I'm the I was the last thing. One of the things you said reminded me some of the best advice I got, especially when I was in my perspective, sir proposal stage was Kelly guyot told me to go and look at ICQI, experimental dissertations, who had won over several years. And that works, who won and the arts based research thing. And that was really helpful for me, I remember reading a David Bright's dissertation where he really plays with footnotes. And like, it was just, you It's beautiful. And like this, like kind of happening in my brain where it just was like, oh, like, you can really play with the format of this and neat ways. So that's some more concrete place, perhaps you're the best. Because you're so good at giving concrete advice. Jennifer And because you're in a fabulous position at the University of Georgia. So you're now an assistant professor at the University of Georgia, just in case fabulous didn't communicate. Um, so can you talk about your experience being on the academic job market? And do you have any tips for those who were starting to get that right now? Or soon? Maureen 38:06 Yes, I was trying to think I think, um, you know, the the way, as someone who is now working in the field as a new professor, I've been asked to be on like, all these panels of like, how do you get an academic job? And I never, even though I can, like, I think there are multiple levels of tips like there's like, the logistical, like, when should you like having conversations with having lots of people look at your CV and give you advice on it was really helpful to me talking really early in your academic career with your advisor about like, what you want to do, like I remember my first or second year talking with Kelly, about like that I wanted to actually have the time I was on the fence between the illustrator and going the academic route. But that chief after,after I had a middle manager job as an administrator and realize that no world I wanted to live in. Um, but anyway, we sat down and like, recognized that one area, like one gap area that I had was I didn't have a lot of experience teaching. And so she and I co taught a class with her and then also ended up reaching out to a faculty member in the higher ed program to co teach a class and Student Affairs because when I went on the market, I was actually doing a double search of methodology positions and higher ed position. So having experienced teaching in both of those was helpful. Maureen 39:46 So, I mean, there's like that logistical advice. And I think, I mean, some of the best advice that I got was about not not taking it personally. That the job mark is like this weird... Transcript over.
35 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 18. Dr. Aaron Kuntz
In this episode, Aaron Kuntz, recipient of the QR SIG Outstanding Book Award, discusses his work with the QR SIG Book Award Committee Chair Travis Marn. Travis Speaker 0:24 Hello everyone and welcome to qualitative conversations a podcast hosted by the qualitative research special interest group of the American Educational Research Association. I'm Travis Marn the current chair of the qualitative research special interest groups outstanding Book Award committee. I'm excited to be joined here today by Dr. Aaron Kuntz, who is the recipient of the 2020 outstanding Book Award for his book, qualitative inquiry, cartography and the promise of material change published by Rutledge in 2019. Dr. Aaron Kuntz is professor of research methodology and department chair of counseling, recreation and School Psychology at Florida International University, where he currently holds the frost professorship of Education and Human Development. Dr. Kuntz. His research focuses on developing materialist methodologies, ways of producing knowledge that takes seriously the theoretical deliberations of critical theory, relational materialism, and post structuralism that have emerged in social theory over the past 50 years. He grounds his work in empirical questions about the production of inquiry in the K through 16 Arena, faculty work and activism and post secondary institutions and the impact of the built environment on learning. Dr. Kuntz, his publications appear in a diverse array of research and methodological journals. His co authored book projects include qualitative inquiry for equity in higher education, methodological implications and negotiations and responsibilities, leading dynamic schools implementing ethical educational education policy, and citizenship education, global perspectives, local practices. In 2015, Dr. Kuntz published his first solo authored book, the responsible methodologist inquiry, truth telling and social justice also with ratledge, which was selected as honorable mention for the 2017 ar, a call SIG Book Award, and a book that all the members of the Book Award committee just love. Thank you for joining me today. Dr. Kuntz. Aaron Speaker 2:18 Great, thanks. Thanks for having me. And thanks for the nice introduction, it's brought back a lot of memories. Travis Speaker 2:25 huge body of work that you just should be so incredibly pleased with. So in a highly competitive field, your book really stood out to the members of the Book Award committee, the timeliness of your topic really cannot be overstated. Any events that have occurred in the United States subsequent to the publication of the book, really have completely underscored its value. With COVID, the renewed vigor of Black Lives Matter, and the threats to democracy, we currently face it all that in mind, I'd like to read two very present lines from your introduction that have really stuck with me. In some ways, we perhaps need to lose faith in our present moment in order to maintain the hope of a different future. That is, we need to believe that our contemporary times can become something different altogether. So why don't you start off with telling our listeners a bit about your book? So what are the central questions and dilemmas that you really face in this book? Aaron Speaker 3:17 Sure. Yeah, thanks. So I, you know, I started thinking through the book, because materialism had become such a force in qualitative inquiry. A lot of people I saw just the notion of materialism was popping up, but no ice, CQ AI and the AI era called StG presentations. And people were really sort of starting to work through this idea of new materialism. Which, of course, in the book, I kind of play with that term a little bit, because there's, you know, as they are, you know, there's nothing new about new materials, and we have to recognize, you know, indigenous philosophies and the like, that have been doing this for centuries. So then I started thinking, Okay, so what's the problem that materialism is trying to address? Like, why is it happening right now that this is this this term, and this way of thinking is really come to the surface. And so that kind of shifted my my perspective and instead of trying to explain materialism, or you know, what I term relational materialism, I tried to understand, what are the things that you know, what are the issues problems, that the materialist perspective can really try to try to take on and I will say I was, it came out of a bit of, I don't know that annoyance is the right word, but I take materialism very seriously. And I felt like there is the tendency, or the potential for folks to play a little fast and loose with the term. So I thought, well, I want to go back and really try to understand the sort of the historical trajectory of materialism as well as how it's articulating now. So that's the kind of like that early the early part of the book is kind of working through the notion of materialism. In relation to inquiry and philosophy, and then I always try to be hopeful, which speaks to the quote that you you nicely read in the beginning. Because I don't like the feeling. I don't like feeling stuck. And so I thought, well, what happens if change this notion of difference, right? People bring in de luces notion of difference and losing lotteries. If we want to make a difference, or if we want to produce difference, what what does that ask of us. And in that way, I guess I'm, I was influenced by Rosie Brady's work, that kind of idea of sort of, okay, you really have to lose faith, you have to just let go. And if we're gonna lose faith in our convention, the conventional times that it really adds a lot of us but I it also can be exhilarating, because you're not penned in by normalization, you're not penned in by the norm. So you're able to sort of move beyond or move through. That's the other thing like I don't want to go around, I want to move through these pesky questions. So you do something, something new, and that is central, actually to this book is a very small kind of someone see it maybe as a linguistic shift from questions of possibility to questions of potential. Because possibility really want you to imagine what is possible. Like when I think about working with kids, they work and even you know, as a parent, I work with my kids. Now you can, you know, imagine what's possible, but actually the possible is determined by the contemporary moment of now. And actually, what we need to work for then is a type of impossibility, which links us to potential potential is about something that's yet to be realized or actualized. And so that, I think is the work of inquiry, in many ways is to sort of point towards a different feature, or a feature of difference. And, and then that's sort of linked this to, to my mind, anyways, this, this is ethical work, that we have an ethical determination to make difference to make a difference. And so that kind of links together the main tenants of the things that I was speaking to, I think, within the field, one being materialism, the question of materialism, and that and the issues that it can address, another being the sort of notion that we have to lose faith in our in our contemporary moment in order to create something new. And another, yet again, to try and imagine that we can move forward, out of possibility and into potential driven by a force of motivation that is ethical. And that, you know, I think I think inquiry has a place for all of that. Yeah. Travis Speaker 7:48 Yeah, it's really interesting that you talk about kind of moving just beyond the thought experiments and moving beyond just this endless notion of Oh, what, what else? What else might even be out there? And to talk about potential? And I really wanted, I'm really interested, how do you see your work differently? Or as an extension, considering everything that's gone on in 2020? Aaron Speaker 8:11 Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's 2020 has been, you know, everyone's making this joke, but it feels like a decade and a year, right? And exhausting in so many ways. And as a new resident of Florida, I have to say, like, I feel this and very material waves. So, I think, you know, I've been writing lately about fascism. This is my latest. My other thing, because I also see this is you can apparently make a life's work out of recognizing terms that pop up and then wanting to interrogate them, because people are talking a lot about fascism right now. Someone great in really good and articulate and smart ways. And then some, I think, in a little simplistic, but you know, I think that the the issues that are present right now, around fascism around fatality, right ism around what does it mean to engage to be an engaged democratic citizen? What does it mean to be a participant in the public? Like, these are issues that I was I was trying to work through and grapple with, in my book, certainly not envisioning that it would come to this but you know, writing it during the time of an administration that many people are labeling and working through as sort of fascism in order and and art and certainly embracing a particular type of convention. That one wants to move beyond and, you know, the first few lines of the text, I'm like, okay, we're living and operating within a white supremacist society. What does that mean? And how do we sort of operate within it in an ethical way? If this is the given, and I think it is, you know, I think certainly 2020 has shown it to be that way. So in many ways, you know, No, it's it's not comforting, but it is a an additional recognition of some of the issues that I was trying to address. And I also will say like, what I'm really interested in, in many ways, and I try to work through in this text are the more subtle micro instances of these things. So, you know, one of the things I'm thinking through right now, in terms of fascism, and this is none of these are new ideas. I also want to say that, but I think I'm trying to address them in our in the ways they articulate in our present moment. But, you know, the Foucault is talking about the fascism in our heads, right. I mean, Deleuze is dealing with this, a lot of folks have been, you know, on a rant, like there's a long tradition here, of folks who are dealing with these types of issues in to address something like fascism, and it's sort of micro inactions. And I think that's really important. I think I've learned quite a bit from the sort of like the Black Black Lives movement, and the like to sort of recognize like, okay, yeah, it's one the privilege of opting out. I don't feel like we can ethically embrace anymore like to step away and say, like, you know, it's not me, I can't, I can't address these type of issues we, we shouldn't feel comfortable with anymore. I speak of it as the as the sort of all white middle class, man, like, I don't get to do that. Because you take a breath, pause and take a breath is a very privileged thing. And some folks don't get to do that. So you know, that brings that right to the forefront, I think of some of these issues that I'm trying to address for sure. Travis Speaker 11:39 And I so relate to the idea that we can't just, you know, we're all professors, we're in academia, we can't just hide away and pretend like what's happening is not what's happening. And that has struck me as a qualitative researcher as an early career qualitative researcher. I'm wondering what's my ethical obligation to not not just my intellectual community, but to the world around me? And so I'm just wondering, could you just say a little bit more? I mean, what, what should qualitative researchers? How should they refocus their research or kind of re envision how they see their research fitting into a world that faces problems that they they need to respond to? Aaron Speaker 12:20 Yeah. Well, I think that is a great question. I think you have to begin with the premise that qualitative inquiry can't be everything, right? Like, and if I'm a if I'm an inquiry, if I'm qualitative inquiry, that's not my entire subjectivity. So if we're just, if we're just good at qualitative inquiry, my guess is we have to do more. With this notion that quality it, it can't be everything. So you know, we need to move away from that totalizing sense that like, okay, it needs to be everything. However, I will say that we've moved, or at least I've moved to think of it more as as as a way of being or a way of becoming right to use this sort of language at the time, that it's no longer about technique or procedure, or it's no longer just about technique or procedure. But for me, it's about an ethical orientation within the world. And that that orientation matters. Now, sometimes that orientation will articulate in practices that are aligned with like my position, which, as you noted, as the, you know, the faculty role teaching and working in thinking through research methodology and inquiry and that like, and an extension of that, and it is also this notion of me as a citizen, right, engaged citizen who wants to work with as a participant in democracy. So I think that that, you know, I often when I talk with folks, I'm like, okay, it's hard to counter the Yabba response, which is like, Yeah, but you should do this. And yeah, but that, right, yeah. But comes from this notion that it has to be everything for everyone. No, it's going to articulate in different ways. So, you know, that's why I have a section in there, right. I, you know, I work through this notion of philosophy as a type of inquiry, because the type of philosophy that I'm interested in, really addresses the sort of ontological notion of living, right, and is infused with an ethical notion that we need to be sort of more than we currently are. And I point out, I'm very interested in the book and sort of working through the notion of virtue. And because what virtue does is it points to what we might be if we come from an ethical orientation, and so it's pointing towards this type of access that I think is, is really important. So, you know, the question of sort of what Who are we now in this time and how do we operate? I, you know, I hope I hope that we're more more than we can even imagine. And I hope that we can work towards disrupting these patterns of like, Oh, I'm only a faculty member. No, I We should all be something more than that, right? We're living and operating in these circumstances that we can't fully understand. So when I shift back to the notion of inquiry, I think, Well, part of the work of an inquiry is cartographic that is, we need to map before we can actually find an entry point for resistance, or an entry point to sort of produce change, we need to be able to map our contemporary moment was really hard to do, right. So if a code talks about the history of the present, we have all these different examples. But to map to create a cartography of the present moment, you can do it by looking at the effects of select practices. So now Okay, now we're getting down with like, okay, where's your work? Well, what Where's your entry point? Where do you invested in studying and examining, where you look at practices, and you look at the effects of those practices? And then you might say to yourself, Am I comfortable with those effects? Right, ethically? And if and then there, you are now situated, as opposed to whereas before this, the critique of being distanced, right, we're not you know, that that idea of near and far, I think, has been usefully complicated. So then once you start doing that, you say, Okay, my, am I comfortable with these types of effects? ethically, then, how else can we operate? What other questions can we ask? And indeed, that's that. So that's why I think this notion of philosophy is inquiry is really important, because philosophical engagement allows you to do that, and, and requires you to do more. There's a section in the book where I look at the, you know, I call it the postmodern Marxists that I was kind of interested in sort of, like, how did they, you know, how did they start to work through these types of issues. So I look at, you know, the use of out through there, by this, you know, dynamic Travis Speaker 16:52 co authorship, JK Gibson Graham, where they're looking at the sort of community ethics on the ground in a very materialist way. And so I keep sort of, it's a little bit of a zigzag, right, where I try to understand the micro out to the larger macro sort of issues, and then back to the sort of micro practices and then the effects that extend. So those within that, I think, is something that can force, that there's a force that would propel us to different actions, I would hope that I operate differently, because of the way I read and because of, you know, the scholars, I'm reading the people I'm interacting with, but you know, it should, you know, it should affect me on an ontological level, such that I'm different. And that's an important thing that sometimes I think it's lost in our type of work.Unknown Speaker 17:40 The qualitative research special interest group was established in 1987. To create a space within the American Educational Research Association. For the discussion of ethical, philosophical and methodological issues in qualitative research. We invite you to consider joining the qualitative research SIG today, who are members of a era, the annual fee for joining qualitative research special interest group for regular non graduate student members is $10. And the annual fee for graduate students is $5. As members of the QR SIG, you will gain access to a network of fellow qualitative scholars, as well as our many activities, ranging from mentoring opportunities to our podcast series, to update to news related to recent qualitative publications and jobs, please visit the American Educational Research Association email@example.com era dotnet to join the qualitative research SIG today. Travis Speaker 18:31 It was such a pleasure to reread your book kind of preparing for this, and two concepts that really stood out to me. And I mean, they're central to your book, relational materialism, and affirmative ethics. And I'm hoping you can share a bit more about these concepts and especially how they relate to qualitative research.Aaron Speaker 18:48 Yeah, absolutely. So relational materialism is the the, I guess, the perspective or the wording that I choose to deal with and articulate the type of materialism that I'm invested in. As I mentioned earlier, new materialism or new empiricism, I think, is to be frank, a challenging sense of wording as again, there's nothing new and a new implies that it hasn't been done before and it and it has is just maybe articulated differently, and being charitable to the people who consider themselves new materials. I think that's what they're saying, right? I get that I'm not being critical of that perspective. But I do want to honor the different you know, orientations and philosophies that have already engaged with these types of questions and these issues, but just don't have the privilege of sort of sensuality to have folks you know, and in, in, in higher education, perhaps and elsewhere to sort of read them and other visibility. So the reason I chose relational materialism is it comes from this notion that to be materialist is to understand things in relation that meaning is made, generated and live in relation. There's no isolationism here. There's no particular ism, that is the thing. There's no priority before and after. And that does really extend from some of my training. And in reading Marx To be frank, and again, it's that postmodern Marxist that I was Marxism that it was trained in early on, where you understand things like movement, right? Something basic, like capital happens because of movement, it happens within movement doesn't come before, right as to shift the move. And there's this idea that, you know, capitalism itself, has to move in order to thrive, if it's static, it dies, right? So the principles of capitalistic accumulation, all these things that we pull from Marx, right? point towards this idea of movement, but then also points to, and this notion that we do, quote, braidotti, who I do, you know, she's been very impactful me. So you have to forgive me, because I quote her a lot. And, you know, she keeps saying we're all in this together. Right? So that's a relational claim, we are all in this together, and it's not like sort of like Buck up and we're in this together. No, it's like, we need to understand who the we are of that sentence, we need to understand who the what the this is this contemporary moment, what is it that we're in, and that's that cartographic move that I was talking about before. So for me relational materialism is a is a very poignant way to consider our contemporary moment as well as moving beyond because material relational materialism deals with this idea of the limit the threshold, right and, and and exceeding the limit, right, and you exceed it not by going around it by working through it. So transformation or revolution happens by working through whatever the limit happens to be because the limit contains within it a transgressive possibility. So so it's a long winded way of saying change is possible, and change not in terms of repeating going back or reproduce what we already know, but change towards something that we can't yet figure out, we don't have the answers to there's no prescription here. When I first got into this, I thought, like, oh, boy, this is rough, because I, you know, I kind of like knowing what's coming. But if we've learned anything from 2020, we didn't, we can't anticipate everything that's going to come out, we can't and couldn't have anticipated all the effects that continue to sort of slinky over each other right, gain momentum and then spread off in different ways. There is no way. And we know that it won't, it's not ending, right. So we have to there's an openness, then to that. It's only there's a means or a mechanism of standing vigil, right you're going to to stand vigil is to be right on the precipice of where you are to look for something that is to come, right? So need to relational materialism points out that okay, there's a limit. And that limit can there is an excess to that limit. And those excesses tying in sometimes sort of get retrofitted back into our contemporary moment and sort of move on capitalism is quite strong at this. But there's also a possibility because nothing is fully complete. And in that incompleteness potential exists. And that's what we need to point towards, as long as we can move ethically in that. So that's sort of the notion of relational materialism. The other one is affirmative ethics. Is that you? Yeah, I do. Yeah, I start talking and you know, who knows where I end up? But you know, affirmative ethics, it comes out of practices of fermentation that Aaron Speaker 23:45 refuse negative critique. So negative critique is this idea that critique takes something away, right? When you critique something or sort of like, either cut off at the knees are you liking it creates a type of absence, we're actually know that critique builds create critique creates possibility, or potential in really important ways. So it's the yes and yes, and we're going to do this. Yes. And we're going to do that. And that's I mean, that, again, this is the sort of bright idea and way of approaching these these types of things that ethics themselves are not containers that sort of, actually are our experiences in prescribed ways, ethics points beyond the self ethics point beyond the immediate relation ethics are orienting. And that's why for works with the cartographic mount metaphor, right? You were ethics orient us, within our contemporary moment, towards a potential potential future. And an affirmative ethical perspective says yes, and there's more and you just start to see ethical engagements and ethical practices, create potential so it's a very creative type of ontological perspective. And that's what this notion of becoming, that's where I situate this notion of becoming, which is that we're no longer, you know, to say that I am, is to make a claim as though I am complete, I am like to say that I've become means that I'm not finished. And that's really important. I think it's I also want to make note, it's really hard, because humanism and sort of neoliberalism depend on, I think, in many ways, a negative critique perspective depends on a sort of Cartesian duality between self and other and mind and body depends on closure and enclosures. So if that's the norm, or that's convention, it's really easy to fall back to that. And that's where we have to keep checking ourselves. So we can say becoming all we want till we're blue in the face. But so often, we're operating on a very new liberal model in our daily lives. Okay, so that's because we're sort of we have these in compatibles incompatibilities. Yes. So how do we operate within these structures? Well, we need to create, we need to be creative. And out of that comes an element of experimentation and experimentation, if you take the real notion of being experimental, which is to create something new. And that's that's my long segue towards inquiry, what qualitative inquiry could do, you know, there's the potential to really sketch out our contemporary moment in that calligraphic way and then experiment with a contemporary moment so that we get different effects. Right, try things out to be very creative, I think braidotti talks about is needing to have conceptual courage, and creativity. And I think those are really sort of important elements for us to keep in mind, as we're trying to move forward deal with the moment and understand that we're not barred or contained or enclosed within the moment.Travis Speaker 26:53 It's really, really fascinating to hear to hear you speak about ethics and critique in that way that critique builds. And critique is creative. And it doesn't need like Foucault talked about annihilate and critique where one side must claim total victory in order to do legitimize itself. I think that kind of attitude has been very toxic, and not just qualitative inquiry, but elsewhere as well. Yeah, that ethics should build something that critique should build a something, I think it's just fantastic. So I know many of our listeners will be really interested in how you go about creating such outstanding books. So can you just describe that your process of writing and publishing this book? Aaron Speaker 27:32 Sure, sure. Yeah. So I admit freely that I write best when I'm annoyed, it's an it's like motivating energy for me. And Lord knows, we've got a lot to be. It appears that in this present moment, so most of the time, you know that what happens is we'll start thinking about something like materialism, like, Oh, this term is coming up, or like, people are talking about this a lot. And I'll start to try and just sort of sketch out, okay, what are the assumptions we have to make? Like, if you take no materials, right, what are the assumptions? We have to just assume, right, as you're determined to define it, but what are the things that we need to take on in order to sort of articulate this position? And are again, are we comfortable with such assumptions? So I'll start right sketching that out. I am a big proponent of presenting work that is kind of like thought and raw form, that is, it's not finished. And if anyone's ever seen me present, and I guess, you know, I'm saying this for an era SIG, and era sort of their their overarching mentality is that you're presenting a product, right? I don't buy into that, it's, when I give a presentation, you're maybe getting three quarters of what I've got, because I need the feedback. I need the feedback from a discussing or I need the feedback from a roundtable or I need the feedback from a q&a in order to help me get through. And I think that's the positive element of conferencing that sometimes gets lost. It's really challenging, you know, I have to sort of put myself aside in the sense of like, I also don't think that I am, I am my ideas, I am only my ideas, right? So if someone is for a medic conference, and someone's critiquing me, like, I hope that I invite that, I guess I'll say that. Of course, here's, as an aside, oftentimes, in panels, we run out of time. So there's not enough time for the q&a. And that's probably my fault, because I tend to talk a lot, but I'm not known for my brevity. So I will often present things that are like, here's, here's where I am, in this thought, here's how I'm operating this through. And here are some tentative conclusions. And then I'll take that feedback. And I'll sort of take it into alarm or longer paper and sort of see see where I am. And that ends up being a chapter right now. The challenge for me is how can I link these different presentations or these different sort of what are the become articles or chapters together into a somewhat consistent narrative that is a book and that can be has its own challenges. But I always write the introductions to things at the end, because I don't know what I'm introducing yet. So the introduction to the to the book, and then the introductions and each of the chapters, I always wrote at the end, because I just had to start writing I had to go and there's all you all know, there's nothing more intimidating at times than a blank screen. And you're like, I've got something to say, but I don't know what to say, I've got something to say, but I can't I mean, if I could just get started, it would be good, but I can't get started. So I'm going to go fold laundry or eat chips or do whatever I need to do to get myself going. So you know, I that to me has been really helpful is the sort of save the intro for a little bit. And then I try to think of mundane examples. And in this book, I think I use the example of that app waves in one element, if anyone's used that on their phones to get around, Lord knows now that I've relocated to Miami, I'm like, sort of dependent on ways to tell me where to go or not, I guess Google Maps would be another one and that type of thing. But I think that's that was a really interesting kind of example, because it says technology, it's driven, and it drives as a technology, right? It's not neutral. So I'm interested in those little moments to see how it impacts how we move through the through the world. When I think about faculty work, you know, I start to think about, okay, how are we being assessed, and what they that look like, and you know, suddenly I'm reading the paper about the Michelin stars, right that you that restaurants give, and that becomes an example because I'm like, Oh, it's not that far removed. Or I hear a podcast that kind of annoys me because it treats Birmingham, Alabama, where I used to live in, I think, unnecessarily simplistic ways. And so I think, okay, I wanted to sort of take on these types of assumptions. So I'm always on the lookout for these examples to help try and ground my conceptualization. And if you if I have any strategies, you'll probably find that in every chapter, there's one of those. And that's as much for me as it is for the reader, because it really helps me work through the philosophical issues that I'm trying to address. Travis Speaker 32:05 It's those kinds of really concrete examples that are just kind of easy to see that they're so valuable to just try to try to turn what can be very, very complex theoretical thoughts into something that is more mundane. And I think so much more relatable. So I always value reading those in your work. And I get very angry when people talk very simplistically about Birmingham as well. That's where my part of my family lives. Yes. So where can people go to keep up with your ongoing work? Aaron Speaker 32:35 Yeah. So I had, as you'll see me in qualitative inquiry, you know, I had a few pieces come out there, where I worked with Betty St. Pierre, and especially issue about new approaches, kind of new and scare quotes, new approaches to inquiry, which gets at this idea that some of these ideas and approaches have been around for a while. So I think that's in that sort of online first right now. So the issue hasn't come out. But there's those that's there. And so I also tried to sort of find different, you know, philosophy, journals that I might be interested in sort of publishing. And there's this new one called access, which is a comes out of philosophy bed society in Australia, New Zealand. That I, you know, I think the challenge, I appreciate writing in venues where people will take seriously ideas, and not default to procedural ism. And sometimes to be frank, when you get dealing with inquiry or methodology that can be challenging. So those have been good places, for me. So I think that, you know, you'll, I think you've got something else coming out in qualitative inquiry. And I've got a book chapter that's coming out. That's what the books that are associated with ice cubes. So you know, I'm, I'm definitely around, I've got them. My latest thing is, I think I, maybe my next book will deal with critical geography, which I was interested in a long time ago. And it's kind of circling back around. And I find myself thinking about it a lot. And I find myself jotting notes down a lot. And then also, I'm like, maybe this is going to be something I want to look more directly at, that we get at notions of critical geography, inquiry, and an education. So that's kind of where I am right now. Travis Speaker 34:28 It's a quite a, quite a healthy publication list here. I guess. You're not kidding. When you say if you're annoyed, and you're producing work and 20. I assume you must have a book coming out every month. So congratulations again on your award. And thank you so much for joining us.Aaron Speaker 34:45 Oh, thank you so much, and thanks to you and the committee for taking it so seriously. I really appreciate it. It's really a great honor. Thank you. Unknown Speaker 34:54 The qualitative research special interest group of the American Educational Research Association, invites nominees For the 2021 outstanding Book Award, this award is for significant contributions to methodology of qualitative educational research. Nominations must be received by Friday, November 20 2020. If you have questions, please feel feel free to reach out to the chair of the committee, Dr. Travis Marn at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Episode 17: Dr. Travis Marn
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In this episode, Drs. Candace Kuby & Jennifer Wolgemuth, QR SIG Program Co-Chairs, offer a preview and discussion of the Qualitative Research SIG Program at the 2018 AERA Annual Meeting, held April 13-17 in New York City.
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