Research Methodologies for Auto/biography Studies: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Research Methodologies for Auto/biography Studies

1st Edition

Edited by Kate Douglas, Ashley Barnwell


258 pages

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Hardback: 9780367255688
pub: 2019-06-18
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429288432
pub: 2019-06-03
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This collection of short essays provides a rigorous, rich, collaborative space in which scholars and practitioners debate the value of different methodological approaches to the study of life narratives and explore a diverse range of interdisciplinary methods. Auto/biography studies has been one of the most vibrant sub-disciplines to emerge in the humanities and social sciences in the past decade, providing significant links between disciplines including literary studies, languages, linguistics, digital humanities, medical humanities, creative writing, history, gender studies, education, sociology, and anthropology.

The essays in this collection position auto/biography as a key discipline for modelling interdisciplinary approaches to methodology and ask: what original and important thinking can auto/biography studies bring to discussions of methodology for literary studies and beyond? And how does the diversity of methodological interventions in auto/biography studies build a strong and diverse research discipline? In including some of auto/biography’s leading international scholars alongside emerging scholars, and exploring key subgenres and practices, this collection showcases knowledge about what we do when engaging in auto/biographical research. Research Methodologies for Auto/biography Studies offers a series of case studies that explore the research practices, reflective behaviours, and ethical considerations that inform auto/biographical research.

Table of Contents

Ashley Barnwell and Kate Douglas "What we do when we do life writing: Methodologies for auto/biography now."



Writing Memoir

Claire Lynch

Archival Methods for Auto/biographical Research

Maria Tamboukou


Anna Poletti

Objects and Things

Gillian Whitlock

Social, media, life writing: online lives at scale, up close, and in context

Aimee Morrison

Studying Visual Autobiographies in the Post-Digital Era

Sarah Brophy


W. Craig Howes

Research Methods for Studying Graphic Biography

Candida Rifkind

Working with Family Histories

Ashley Barnwell

Tracing Emotional Bonds in Family Letters/ A Pursuit of an Epistolary Melody

Leena Kurvet-Kaossar

Life Narrative Methods for Working with Diaries

Kylie Cardell

Autoethnographic Life Writing: Reaching Beyond, Crossing Over

Sally Ann Murray

Telling life stories using creative methods in qualitative interviews

Signe Ravn

Performing and broadcasting lives: Auto/biographical testimonies in theatre and radio

Gunn Gudmundsdottir

Big Data and Self-Tracking: Research Trajectories

Julie Rak




Another Story

Jeanine Leane

Reading Digital Lives Generously

Laurie McNeill and John Zuern

Reading the Life Narratives of Children and Youth

Kate Douglas

Negotiated Truths and Iterative Practice in Action: The Women In Conflict Expressive Life Writing Project

Meg Jensen and Siobhan Campbell

Researching Online Biographical Media and Death Narratives After the Digital Turn

Pamela Graham

An Epistemological Approach to Trans* Autobiography

Sarah Ray Rondat

Genetics and Auto/biography

Pramod K. Nayar

Doing Disability Autobiography: Introducing Reading Group Methodology as Feminist Disability Praxis

Ally Day

Sanctioning Subjectivity: Navigating low-risk human ethics approval

Phillip Kavanagh and Kate Douglas

Girls’ Auto/Biographical Media: The Importance of Audience Reception in Studying Undervalued Life Narrative

Emma Maguire

Locating Diasporic Lives: Beyond Textual Boundaries

Ricia A. Chansky

The diary as a life story: Working with documents of family and migration

Anne Heimo

Between Forced Confession and Ethnic Autobiography

Y-Dang Truong

Autobiographical Research with Children

Maria da Conceição Passeggi and Ecleide Cunico Furlanetto

Ecocriticism and Life Narrative

Alfred Hornung



The Box in the Attic: Memoir, Methodology and Family Archives

G. Thomas Couser

About the Editors

Kate Douglas is Professor in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at Flinders University. She is the author of Contesting Childhood: Autobiography, Trauma and Memory (Rutgers, 2010) and the co-author of Life Narratives and Youth Culture: Representation, Agency and Participation (Palgrave, 2016; with Anna Poletti). She is the co-editor (with Laurie McNeill) of Teaching Lives: Contemporary Pedagogies of Life Narratives (Routledge 2017); (with Kylie Cardell) of Trauma Tales: Auto/biographies of Childhood and Youth (Routledge 2014); and (with Gillian Whitlock) Trauma Texts (Routledge, 2009).

Ashley Barnwell is Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. Her research focuses on memory, emotion, and family storytelling. Her work has been published in journals such as Life Writing, a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, Memory Studies, Cultural Sociology, and Emotion, Space & Society. Her co-authored book (with Joseph Cummins), Reckoning with the Past: Family Historiographies in Postcolonial Australian Literature (2019), is published in Routledge’s Memory Studies series.

About the Series

Routledge Auto/Biography Studies

The Routledge Auto/Biography Studies book series publishes outstanding new work from preeminent scholars and emerging voices in autobiography, biography, life writing, life narrative, and identity studies. This series is an interdisciplinary project that maintains interest in all forms of auto/biographical narrative analysis related to understanding varied constructions of the self. While centered in literary studies and the larger field of the humanities, books in this series engage with scholars and theories from such disciplines as anthropology, biology, linguistics, pedagogy, psychology, and sociology, among others. The emphasis on exploring the innovative authors, genres, and methodologies of auto/biographical narratives appeals to scholars, students, and practitioners alike. Emerging from Routledge’s longstanding commitment to auto/biography studies, this series makes a substantial contribution to the burgeoning global study of lives and life stories. 

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