Advertisement

Collective Biography as a Feminist Methodology

  • Susanne GannonEmail author
  • Marnina Gonick
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Gender and Education book series (GED)

Abstract

Collective biography has, since its origins, been an intervention into sexist knowledge practices. Groups of women have gathered to generate knowledge of their own lived experience and interrogate the discourses and practices through which they have become (more or less) recognisable as appropriately feminised subjects. Working in a post-structural paradigm, the authors have utilised collective biography to bring theory into productive collision with everyday life, bringing in bodies and memories to flesh out theory. Collectives have deployed deconstructive and creative experiments in order to resist naïve claims to voice or settlements for singular truths. This chapter revisits the Canadian-Australian collective biographies on girlhood sexualities, examining them through a feminist methodological lens, acknowledging where processes faltered, and the complexities and paradoxes of feminist work in academia.

Keywords

Collective biography Feminist Girlhood Writing Memories 

References

  1. Ahmed, S. (2017). Living a feminist life. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bansel, P., Davies, B., Gannon, S., & Linnell, S. (2008). Technologies of audit at work on the writing subject: A discursive analysis. Studies in Higher Education, 33(6), 673–684.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berlant, L. (2008). Thinking about feeling historical. Emotions, Space and Society, 1(1), 4–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bhavnani, K. (1993). Tracing the contours: Feminist research and feminist objectivity. Women’s Studies International Forum, 16, 95–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Charteris, J., Gannon, S., Mayes, E., Nye, A., & Stephenson, L. (2016). The emotional knots of academicity: A collective biography of academic subjectivities and spaces. Higher Education Research and Development, 35(1), 31–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Davies, B., & Gannon, S. (2006). Doing collective biography: Investigating the production of subjectivity. Maidenhead, Berkshire: Open University Press and McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  7. Davies, B., & Gannon, S. (2009). Pedagogical encounters. New York, NY: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  8. Davies, B., Gonick, M., Gottschall, K., & Lampert, J. (2013). Ruptures in the heterosexual matrix through teenage flows and multiplicities. Girlhood Studies, 6(1), 46–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Douglas, K. (2016). Becoming girl: Collective biography and the production of girlhood. Contemporary Women’s Writing, 10(3), 458–460.Google Scholar
  10. Gannon, S. (2019). On being and becoming the monstrous subject of measurement. In S. Riddle, D. Bright, & E. Honan (Eds.), Writing with Deleuze in the academy: Creating monsters. Springer.Google Scholar
  11. Gannon, S., Gottschall, K., & Camden Pratt, C. (2013). ‘A quick sideways look and wild grin’: Joyful assemblages in moments of girlhood. Girlhood Studies, 6(1), 13–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gannon, S., Walsh, S., Byers, M., & Rajiva, M. (2014). Deterritorializing collective biography. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 27(2), 181–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gannon, S., Kligte, G., McLean, J., Perrier, M., Swan, E., & Vanni, I. (2015, December). Uneven relationalities, collective biography and sisterly affect in neoliberal universities. Feminist Formations, 27(3), 189–216.Google Scholar
  14. Gannon, S., Powell, S., & Power, C. (2018). On the thresholds of legitimacy: A collaborative exploration of being and becoming academic. In Y. Taylor & K. Lahad (Eds.), Feeling academic in the neoliberal university: Feminist flights, fights and failures (pp. 261–280). Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gonick, M. (2013). Entanglements: Art-making, becoming girl and collective biography. Girlhood Studies, 6(1), 63–77.Google Scholar
  16. Gonick, M., & Gannon, S. (2013). Collective biography: An introduction. Girlhood Studies, 6(1), 7–12.Google Scholar
  17. Gonick, M., & Gannon, S. (Eds.). (2014). Becoming girl: Collective biography and the production of girlhood. Toronto, ON: The Women’s Press.Google Scholar
  18. Gonick, M., Walsh, S., & Brown, M. (2011). Collective biography and the question of difference. Qualitative Inquiry, 17(8), 741–749.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gottschall, K., Gannon, S., Lampert, J., & McGraw, K. (2013). The Cyndi Lauper affect: Bodies, girlhood and popular culture. Girlhood Studies, 6(1), 30–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Halifax Alliance for Girls’ Studies [HAGS]. (2010). Research protocol. Unpublished document.Google Scholar
  21. Haraway, D. (1988). Situated knowledges: The science question in feminism and the privilege of partial perspective. Feminist Studies, 14(13), 575–599.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Harding, S. (1991). Whose science, whose knowledge? Thinking from women’s lives. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Haug, F. (2008). Memory work. Australian Feminist Studies, 23(58), 537–541.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Haug, F., Andresen, S., Bünz-Elfferding, A., Hauser, C., Lang, U., Laudan, M., et al. (1987). Female sexualization: A collective work of memory (E. Carter, Trans.). New York, NY: Verso.Google Scholar
  25. Hesse-Biber, S. N. (2012). Feminist research: Exploring, interrupting, and transforming the interconnections of epistemology, methodology and method. In S. N. Hesse-Biber (Ed.), The handbook of feminist research (pp. 2–26). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  26. Reinharz, S. (1992). Feminist methods in social research. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Smith, D. (1974). Women’s perspective as a radical critique of sociology. Sociological Inquiry, 44(1), 7–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Taylor, Y., & Lahad, K. (Eds.). (2018). Feeling academic in the neoliberal university: Feminist flights, fights and failures. Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  29. Trinh, T. M. (1991). Framer framed. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  30. Wyatt, J., Davies, B., Gale, K., & Gannon, S. (2018). Creating a space in between: Collaborative research inquiries. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.), Sage handbook of qualitative research (5th ed., pp. 738–765). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Western Sydney UniversityPenrithAustralia
  2. 2.Mount Saint Vincent UniversityHalifaxCanada

Personalised recommendations