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Theatre of the self: autobiography as performance

Holmes, Rachel (2009) Theatre of the self: autobiography as performance. International journal of qualitative studies in education, 22 (4). pp. 399-416. ISSN 1366-5898


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This paper grapples with the notion of 'autobiography as performance', specifically 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 paper interrogates the shifting landscape of higher education (HE), fraught with tensions as discourses of economic rationality circulate around the sector's 'widening participation' agenda and 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 my 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'.

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