Theatre of the Self: Autobiography as Performance

Jul. 29, 2009

Source: International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Volume 22, Issue 4 July 2009, pages 399 – 416.

This article grapples with the notion of 'autobiography as performance'. It specifically deals with the notion in relation to classroom narratives around Lather's 'ontological stammering' and Cavarero's 'the necessary other' played out under the practitioner-researcher's gaze.
The article examines the shifting landscape of higher education (HE), fraught with tensions as discourses of economic rationality circulate around the sector's 'widening participation' agenda. Furthermore, these discourses seem uncomplicatedly laced with expectations of teachers to be able to embrace all the possibilities that lie within diverse classroom 'realities'.
Using and writing through autobiographical stories as an integral component of reflexivity, attempts are made to interrupt some of the author's growing uncomfortable-ness as a teacher within this HE landscape by re-conceptualizing the subject as always becoming and as 'relative to the constructed relations in which it is determined'.

Lather, P. 2001. “Ethnography after Postmodernism”, in Atkinson, P. et al. 2007 edition. Handbook of Ethnography. London: Sage.

Updated: Aug. 31, 2009