Teaching Autoethnography: Personal Writing in the Classroom
Free

Teaching Autoethnography: Personal Writing in the Classroom

By Melissa Tombro
Free
Book Description

Teaching Autoethnography is dedicated to the practice of immersive ethnographic and autoethnographic writing that encourages authors to participate in the communities about which they write. This book draws not only on critical qualitative inquiry methods such as interview and observation, but also on theories and sensibilities from creative writing and performance studies, which encourage self-reflection and narrative composition. Concepts from qualitative inquiry studies, which examine everyday life, are combined with approaches to the creation of character and scene to help writers develop engaging narratives that examine chosen subcultures and the author’s position in relation to her research subjects. The book brings together a brief history of first-person qualitative research and writing from the past forty years, examining the evolution of nonfiction and qualitative approaches in relation to the personal essay. A selection of recent student writing in the genre as well as reflective student essays on the experience of conducting research in the classroom is presented in the context of exercises for coursework and beyond. Also explored in detail are guidelines for interviewing and identifying subjects and techniques for creating informed sketches and images that engage the reader. This book provides approaches anyone can use to explore their communities and write about them first-hand. The methods presented can be used for a single assignment in a larger course or to guide an entire semester through many levels and varieties of informed personal writing.

Table of Contents
  • Cover
  • Title Page
  • Copyright
  • Table Of Contents
  • About the Book
  • Reviewer’s Notes
  • Teaching Autoethnography
    • Introduction
    • 1. Understanding our Students’ Relationship to “I”
    • 2. Getting Started in the Classroom
    • 3. Writing Essays for Class: The First Steps
    • 4. Workshop and Peer Review Process
    • 5. Memory/Character Essays
    • 6. Writing about Spaces and Events
    • 7. The Autoethnography Project
    • 8. Choosing Topics for the Autoethnography
    • 9. The Interview Process
    • 10. Conducting Observations
    • 11. Putting It All Together
    • 12. Challenges of Personal Writing
    • 13. Concluding Thoughts
    • 14. Sample Class Schedule
    • 15. Additional Readings on Autoethnography
  • Deep Observation Assignment: Eleven Examples
    • Melanie
    • Rattling Thoughts
    • Southern Belle
    • The Battle
    • The Woman with the Purple Mat
    • Steven Bertram
    • The Man
    • Colors, Lines, and Shapes
    • Angelic Atmosphere
    • Sylvia
    • One
  • Self-as-Character Assignment: Eight Examples
    • Sight
    • Fastforward
    • Reflections
    • Unfortunate Truths
    • Hanatomy
    • What I Never Thought
    • Past Midnight
    • Five Feet Mighty
  • Memory Assignment: Six Examples
    • The Curse
    • Memory of the Maine
    • A Memory of Mr. Oko
    • Inhale, Exhale
    • An Honest Living
    • A-Relief
  • Memory/Character Essay: Thirteen Examples
    • How to Survive
    • A Living Contradiction
    • Georgia on My Mind
    • To the Center
    • Growing Through Dirt
    • Playbill
    • I Told You So
    • Genetic Disposition
    • Shomer Nagia
    • Brooklyn, Madness, Lust, Death, and the Apocalypse
    • Mommy
    • The Job That You Want
    • Self-Destruct
  • The Space or Event Essay: Thirteen Examples
    • In-Patient
    • Daringly Different
    • Two Places, One Home
    • See the World
    • Manhattan
    • November First
    • Get a Grip
    • Room in the Back
    • Aging Not so Gracefully
    • There and Back Again: A Comic-Con Tale
    • Sundays
    • Family Ties
    • Focus
  • The Autoethnography: Ten Examples
    • On Anarchism in New York
    • Allies, Advocates, Activists
    • Unicorny, the Only Way a Coder Will Define Rails
    • Friendship Is Magic
    • Gin and Tonic: A Look into the Subculture of Taxidermists
    • Don't Judge the Bible by Its Cover: An Honest Story with a Cliché Title
    • Autoethnography on Manhattan Drag
    • NaNoWriMo
    • Steel Paradise: The Hardcore Metal Aesthetic
    • YouTube: Science Isn’t Just for Geeks Anymore
  • Works Cited
  • About the Author
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