Invoking Mnemosyne

Art, Memory, and the Uncertain Emergence of a Feminist Embodied Methodology


What would it mean to map out the possibilities of a social scientific inquiry that makes the relational, creative, and embodied dimensions of storied knowledge and its production prominent? How might researchers engage memory, affect, and the arts in order to intentionally and meaningfully blend the cognitive acts of discursively conveying and receiving story with the somatic states of both the researcher and participants? Across this volume, readers encounter the author’s qualitative inquiry into the lives of women academics, including herself, who originated from working-class or poverty-class backgrounds. Unconventionally conveyed, these encounters take shape as a self-speculative critique of the author’s feminist research practice, moving readers into the folds of the work to consider what constructivist, poststructural, and material feminist theories and methodologies do to the story she was able to tell at the time that she told it. Art is implicated throughout as a site for provocation, theorization, and encounter, with nine original works of visual art, including the book’s cover image, accompanying the text. Written in a tone that is at once rigorous and accessible, the book expands theoretical perspectives about the role of bodies and creativity during the social scientific process generally and about identity research specifically. Invoking Mnemosyne will be an important text for faculty who teach and/or conduct social research, as well as graduate students and advanced undergraduates taking courses in sociology of science, philosophy of science, ethnography, feminist methodology, women and gender studies, and qualitative research in education and related social science fields.

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Educational Researchers and their students