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Published by api-3747804
Patricia's notes on ellis
Patricia's notes on ellis

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Published by: api-3747804 on Oct 16, 2008
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Ellis writes wonderfully about narrative and stories , connecting these to research methods,
primarily to autoethnography as research methode

Ellis touches on NARRATIVE and MEMORY , and RESEARCH METHODS \u2013 I can do a
link to technology thinking about blogs, but I can\u2019t link it in with COMMUNITY yet
(or???...are all those fancy Bev tools like social bookmarking, RSS feeds etc. ways not to
forget single persons stories, do TAGS help to build COMMUNITY MEMORY??

Now that I got caught up into Carolin Ellis \u201eThe ethographic I\u201c: A methodological novel

about authethnography
I suddenly understood Bev\u2019s blog entry:
>picture of Bev\u2019s famous sofa!)

The Internet was down most of today so there was no getting away from it. I got stuck
into the CIRN Prato conference where I'm co-writing a paper with Patricia Arnold
and John Smith about "Memory and Forgetting: a review of narrative and
technologies". The conference theme is: "Constructing and sharing memory:
community informatics, identity and empowerment".

The deadline was today, but although we meet regularly on Skype (PT, DE, US) to
talk about it and take notes, things didn't really start coming together until last night
- and we got our request for an extension. It clicked once we framed memory in terms
of voice and power. Who's voice is being heard? Whose story is being told? And
whose is being left out? So whose memory is it?

My favourite quote from today came from Robin Usher et al (who clearly don't know
my local universe):

\u201cThe quest for a \u2018God\u2019s eye view\u2019, a disembodied and disembedded timeless
perspective that can know the world by transcending it, is no longer readily accepted.
What has taken its place is a loss of certainty in ways of knowing and what is known.
What we are left with is not an alternative and more secure foundation but an
awareness of the complexity, historical contingency and fragility of the practices
through which knowledge is constructed about ourselves and the world.\u201d (p. 210)

And these were some of my reflections on memory with this post-modern lens:

\u2022 Memories are produced through a process of languaging. Language is not a mirror
held up to past experiences, it\u2019s not a transparent vehicle for conveying memory.
Memory can\u2019t be separated from language, discourses and texts at work within
culture. Language, discourses and texts are both the carriers and creators of memory.

\u2022 Memory is always partial and perpectival; it\u2019s always shaped by language and
discourse; it\u2019s always situated within specific cultures which provide meaning and


Not only that what is in her blog she doesn\u2019t forget ( and it meets the \u201ctechnological
correctness\u201d that John and particularly me are lacking, still having boring HTML
pages and using e-mail as the top application on the Internet\u2026..

Bev gives me an example of authoethnographic writing, or research inquiry by writing
, starting fro a very personal context
Brillinat, there I was , sitting in a fast train, crossing Germany once again, but also
crossing different insights:
what I interpreted for weeks as a 1 sudenly tuned out to be an obviuos I in the title of
ellis book

as ellis novel caught me in completely, I found it hard to go analytical about it and try to find the most important pieces on narrative \u2013 I sort of forgot that we are writing a paper and I should be efficient timewise \u2013 but even though again ther eis no draft text I can show things have fallen into place

narrative is so deeply connected with human experience and memory that it seems
hard to separate these issues
and a surprose: stories hrlp to remember but also they can make you forget the actual
world you are in to temporirily be in Eliis\u2019ses world

if then AFTER reading ellis book Bev\u2019s entry made so much more sence to me it the
felt the twor worlds (reading ellis novel on authoethnography and trying to write a
paper with a set deadline, so always feeling hurried..suddenly faded into one another

wild ideas: blogging as a tool to do autoethnography \u2013 can we take Bevs blog \u2013 or
CPSquareblog as a communitie\u201ds memor as exeamples of tehcnologically supported
story-telling and collective remembering?
yOK, this is definitively not an autoethnographic story but perhaps it is approachung

aethnographic field notes

Here is what Ellis(2004, 125ff) writes on narrative and stories & memory refering
to lots of other authors
:how true needs a story to be for being autoethnographic?


if you are trying to hard to be factual or accurate you might be losing the heart
of the story (123) : Zinsser 1987, 25: \u201c[F]idelity to the facts is no free pass to
the readers\u2019s attention\u201d (in a story)


Plummer (2001, 401): what matters is the way in which the story enables the reader to enter the subjective world of the teller \u2013 to see the world from her or his point of view, even if this world does not \u2018match reality\u2019

So if we are not judging onaccu racy what are we judging on then:usefulness?

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