The Center for Writing Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Graduate Resources

Writing Studies Graduate Student Symposium

April 30, 2010

9:55 – 11:10: Session 2: Reassembling Research Methodologies

Vanessa Rouillon, “Writing Rhetorical Education through Archival Records and Oral Histories: Bethel AME Church and its Lyceum”

Reflective piece on the 14 months of archival work and oral histories collection that I have spent attempting to recover the history of a black lyceum in Champaign-Urbana, and the history of rhetorical education (competence and performance) in a black community in Champaign, IL--Bethel AME Church.

Samantha Looker, “Rethinking Researcher/Participant Relationships with Undergraduate Students”

In this talk, I will discuss the many roles I play in doing ethnographic research with former students--not just researcher but teacher, friend, ally, mentor--and the ways in which the students and I blur the lines between researcher and participant, teacher and learner. I argue that embracing multiple roles in the process of ethnographic research, being our full selves rather than striving for an impossible objectivity, gives researchers infinitely richer data than we might otherwise have and enables us to make a greater impact on our participants’ lives, the field, and society.

Hannah Bellwoar, “Challenging Theoretical Assumptions with Situated Studies of Medical Discourse”

Using feminist qualitative research methodologies (Fine, Olesen), I reflect on making space for participant voices both in the structure of my research study on everyday literate practices of health and in my writing about the data. I argue that through an examination of the situated practices of literacy, such as the use and production of texts outside of the boundaries of institutional medicine (i.e., outside the doctor's office), feminist researchers can retell the stories of academic theory.

Jenica Roberts, “Reassembling The September Issue: Accounting for Anna Wintour through the Lens of Latour”

Applying Latour's Reassembling the Social to a reading of R.J. Cutler's 2009 documentary chronicling the making of Vogue's famed 2007 September issue, I hope to expose the complexities and "uncertainties" inherent in performing qualitative research through "found" documentary ethnographies. The multiplicities and layered lenses inherent in both the documentary form and this particular piece are prime for exploring Latour's theories on social research and for beginning to unpack the discipline's methodological presuppositions.

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