Mind the research gaps: drawing on the self in autoethnographic writing

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Andrew, Martin (2015) Mind the research gaps: drawing on the self in autoethnographic writing. In: Minding the gap: Writing across thresholds and fault lines, 30 November 2014-02 December 2014, Wellington NZ.


When writers and other scholars seek to define a ‘gap’ in knowledge for their writing, creative and/or academic, to fill, they inevitably draw on their experiences and ‘hunches’. The notion that ideas for research begin with a ‘hunch’ is ingrained in literature on methodology (Cormack, 1991). Educated guesses, organised systematically and purposefully, emerge from exploratory and reflective practice. Minding the gap – identifying, claiming and inhabiting an original space for writing – is a requirement for writers in the academy, creative or otherwise, research student or researcher. The epistemological origins of the gap go back to the self and the realm of autoethnography. However, to draw upon the autoethnographic in university discourses, artefacts and texts draws attention to another gap: the ethical gap between writers in the academy bound by a HREC (Human Research Ethics Committee) and those beyond it whose reputation licenses them to draw more freely on the world around them and its ‘others’. This study minds two gaps. It asks what the implications of inevitably drawing on the self to generate a research question might look like. Then it explores the ethical implications for researchers in autoethnographic writing who discover they need to consider the role of others in their narratives more deeply than they might as professional writers.

Item type Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/26588
Official URL http://www.aawp.org.au/publications/minding-the-ga...
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education
Historical > FOR Classification > 1999 Other Studies in Creative Arts and Writing
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Education
Keywords auto ethnography; writing education; ethics; hunch
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