Brandt, Deborah, et al. “The Politics of the Personal: Storying Our Lives against the Grain. Symposium Collective.” College English 64 1 (2001): 41-62. Print.

  • The article hopes to push into discussions of the “personal” in the context of professional life.  For the authors, “we are interested in exploring the extent to which and the reasons for why diverse members of the profession have responded differently to current professional pressures/invitations to live and narrate the personal within the norms of personal narrative” (3).
  • Kirsch and Lu are interested in the ways that the personal isn’t criticized.
  • What we consider “personal” is not self-evident.  What is personal is “at once socially, culturally and personally defined” (47).
  • The author wonders whether we need to “include a personal inventory or positioning for all we write?”  In other words, are we responsible for including self-details (autoethnography in reflection) to understand how our past influences our research practices?
  • The author notes that if we are going to be investigating others lives, we need to be “public about how we understand we are implicated in the telling” (48).
  • When we use narrative/storying in our research we are: 1) making choices as to how we will fashion and refashion aspects of our experience and identities; and 2) those choices are shaped not only by our reading of a particular situation and ourselves, but also by narratives that dominate our minds and world at the same time” (ibid).
  • The author hopes that we can all bring the personal into our thinking in conscious and critical ways. .. then we can decide if we want to bring it into public writing, regardless of genre.

Source Work:

  • Welsh, Susan. “Writing: In and With the World.” College Composition and Communication 46 (1995): 103-07. – Done
  • Lather, Patti. “Research as Praxis.” Harvard Education Review 56 (1986): 257-77. – Acquired
  • Cushman, Ellen, and Terese Guinsatao Monberg.” Building Bridges: Reflexivitya nd Composition Re-search.” Under Construction: Working at the Intersections of Composition Research, Theory, and Practice. Eds. Chris Anson and Christine Farris. Logan : Utah State UP, 1998. 166-80. – Book at library – Done

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