Stretching academic conventions, me-as-an-author and rare rushes
Three fragments from a post by Bev Trayner on Reflexive project of the self :
In our work we are purposefully stretching and crossing academic genre conventions by, among other things, presenting a paper [more here] in conjunction with a Wiki. The Wiki will be an ongoing text about remembering and forgetting in communities and supported by collaborative web2.0 technologies. It's a text that walks the talk as we remember and forget in our own community, supported by collaborative web2.0 technologies. The Wiki is an invitation for readers and reviewers to become collaborators of the text.
Somehow, thinking of similar "stretching and crossing" while writing my own papers I frequently end up doing things old-fasioned way (writing in private, only late drafts/final versions in public - usually after review). Instead of doing things in a way I believe they should be done, I start to thing about problems any public coverage creates for douple-blind reviewing or possible copyright issues arising from having most of the work online before it gets published.
Which reminds me on reflecting on why I don't bend the rules instead of bending the rules during my first days at Microsoft. It seems that you have to be confident in a particular culture to make choices that are likely to cross the boundaries of what is safely acceptable and what is stretching and crossing. In a sense it's about certain degree of maturity. As my mom used to say during my teenage wars for independence - you will know when it's ok to come home late when you don't feel a need to ask permissions.
Inspired by the work of Carolyn Ellis we are using autoethnography as our research method. In the meantime I'm interested to trace my interest in autothnography which began last year when Lilia Efimova recommended a book by Ellis and where I went through the steps of being: curious, inspired, stimulated and resolved. Read Ellis and it's difficult to go back to being the same author you once were.
Strange and funny how our own words start travelling and grow into something totally unexpected :) Aactually, while reading other books of Carolyn Ellis I missed this one. But I agree that "it's difficult to go back to being the same author you once were" - writing-wise I feel so much in between "old" and "unknown" (or "not yet confident enough to jump into"?) me-as-an-author.
As I'm writing I am also cruising (again) through Anthony Giddens "Modernity and Self Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age" His words resonate with our conversations about our process of writing the text:
'In the post-traditional order of modernity, and against the backdrop of new forms of mediated experience, self-identity becomes a reflexively organised endeavour. The reflexive project of the self, which consists in the sustaining of coherent, yet continuously revised, biographical narratives, takes place in the context of multiple choices as filtered through abstract systems.' (p.5)
And my body tingles as I get one of those rare rushes where everything in life all falls into place!
So familiar :) But this time it feels like a lot of work between now and next one of those rare rushes...