1st Edition

Research Methodologies for Auto/biography Studies

Edited By Kate Douglas, Ashley Barnwell Copyright 2019
    276 Pages
    by Routledge

    276 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    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


    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.

    "By far the best feature of Research Methodologies for Auto/biography Studies is the brevity and accessibility of its essays. They promise to make useful teaching tools, particularly as introductory reading that might organize units within a semester or as models for innovative research methods that students might try out themselves. As I read through the volume, I found myself bubbling over with new ideas about how to teach auto/biography, which is one of the strongest endorsements I can offer regarding this book’s contribution to the now established but still dynamic field of auto/biography studies."

    - Desirée Henderson, Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly