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Democratizing Academic Writing: A Revision of an Experience of Writing an Autoethnographic Dissertation in Color
In this paper, I revise my experience of writing an autoethnographic ( Ellis, 2004) dissertation in the field of family therapy as a Colombian mestiza. I discuss how I grappled with my writing, and, in the process, stumbled into matters of democratizing texts. I problematize male - dominant academic standards, telling of the tensions when maneuvering at marking cultural and gender differences in my text. I focus on the storywriting of my storytelling when writing aesthetic, evocative, and emotional stories as a woman of color, at the intersection between autobiography and ethnography (Ellis, 2004). I discern elements of my handicraft as an artisan autoethnographer in training, taking from my local knowledge and family therapy training, in particular narrative therapy (White & Epston, 1990). I include excerpts of my dissertation to illustrate how my narrative therapy practices, intermingled with my cultural storytelling traditions, assisted me in shaping my idiosyncratic autoethnographic stories. I hope to add to the diversification of writing in the academia to make it more democratic and accessible; and to continue conversations about alternative ways to go about it.
Autoethnography, Narrative Therapy, Democratizing Academia, Mestiza Writing
I want to reiterate my heartfelt appreciation for the ongoing mentorship of David Epston and my dissertation committee (in alphabetical order), Ron Chenail, Douglas Flemons, Shelley Green and Jim Hibel, all whom assisted me in the process of opening my eyes to their foreignness. I also want to give special thanks to Latina, Susana Martinez, PhD candidate at Our Lady of the Lake University, for her comments on an earlier draft.
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Recommended APA Citation
Polanco, M. (2013). Democratizing Academic Writing: A Revision of an Experience of Writing an Autoethnographic Dissertation in Color. The Qualitative Report, 18(17), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2013.1527
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