Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Going Meta: Doing autoethnography on the internet

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So I’ve been invited to write a chapter about doing autoethnography on the internet. And I thought, hey, I can do this. I’ve co-authored 3 collaborative autoethnographies, 2 of them fully online with collaborators talking about online experiences… one of them with a colleague and students in my f2f teaching, but the writing of the autoethnography was all digital. I have also written a couple of semi-fictional autoethnographies, one with Autumm and one with rhizo folks for our ANT paper.

So I thought… I should blog my way through this chapter and then build it into the format needed for the chapter. So here’s what I think I’ll be doing.

A. I blogged a lot about why I do autoethnography in the first place. I should include my journey through this, and why I chose this methodology and how it fits my research philosophy as a social scientist. That stuff is mostly already here on this blog from 2014 onward. I could also include a decolonizing piece which is more recent to my thinking as terminology, but was sort of in there before, just unsaid, I think.

B. I would obviously reflect on autoethnographies I’ve worked on before and how that worked.

C. I would do a new autoethnography that is about my life on the internet and about the evolution of my life with Virtually Connecting. What brought this on is that Kate Bowles mentioned vconnecting in her OER19 keynote in the context of #Flyingless and how it helps people imagine conferences with virtual participation differently, but that flying less was not our intention in the environmental sense… but it was in some other senses…and I also wanna reflect on the evolution of vconnecting in general and how I perceive it – and the beauty of this, more than anything, is that there are *so many* artifacts to support this autoethnography from blogs to tweets to Google docs to videos…of myself and of other people and it feels like it would be a beautiful trip down memory lane, highlighting some parts of some memorable sessions and some turning points.

And here’s the thing. I made a decision to write this chapter alone…because I have loads of co-authored pieces and sometimes getting something done alone is faster. But I would be happy for others to write their own autoethnography about vconnecting (we have been wanting to do it for so long) and then perhaps we can write a collaborative autoethnography about it together later for some other venue.

D. I’d have to wrap it up somehow 🙂 not sure with what… I’ll think of something 🙂

So more of this coming soon… feedback welcome throughout this process which I should finish before mid May if I am lucky and end May if I am realistic!

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