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  5. Autoethnography & The Therapeutic Potential of Academic Writing

Autoethnography & The Therapeutic Potential of Academic Writing

Professional Development Webinar 2023

This webinar was sponsored by the Canadian Sociological Association’s Student Concerns Subcommittee.

Recorded session not available

In collaboration with the University of Calgary’s Sociology Graduate Student Caucus, this workshop features Dr. Jodi Skipper, Associate Professor at the University of Mississippi and author of Behind the Big House.

The workshop will include discussions of Dr. Skipper’s auto-ethnographic writing process for navigating community-based research in racially fractured communities. This praxis values scholar-vulnerability and critical reflection, embodies creativity, eliminates boundaries between academic and activist writing, privileges the subjectivity of the author, and blurs the lines between theory and method. This workshop will suggest exercises that can help researchers and writers collect, evaluate, and organize their data in transformative and accessible ways.

Jodi Skipper is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi. Her research explores how historic preservation projects might play a role in imagining more sustainable and healthy futures for U.S. communities. During her time at the University of Mississippi, she has worked with Behind the Big House, a slave dwelling interpretation program in the states of Mississippi and Arkansas. In 2017, the Whiting Foundation awarded Skipper one of eight Public Humanities fellowships to help expand the program model. With that fellowship, she created behindthebighouse.org, a website designed to help make the program model more accessible to individuals and institutions thinking through how they might incorporate slavery into historic site narratives. Skipper co-edited (with Michele Coffey) the book Navigating Souths: Transdisciplinary Explorations of a US Region (2017) and recently published an auto-ethnography, Behind the Big House: Reconciling, Slavery, Race and Heritage in the U.S. South with the University of Iowa Press’s Humanities and Public Life Series.