greetings from aaa in dc

im at the anthro meeting, typing in the dark in my hotel room as my roommate sleeps. i told a story last night during my session that i feel compelled to share here:

a young man i interviewed, as part of an oral history project with young men who attend one of the dept of ed schools on rikers island, followed up our conversation by asking me whether "little kids" were going to be reading the book that we are working on which will contain the participants' stories (which they craft and which evolve from the initial interviews). i said that i thought they would be. he continued by acknowledging his approval at this intent, noting that he wanted his story and the benefit of his hindsight to reach younger kids. he then paused momentarily, and said that what he wanted my help with "mak[ing] sure that people feel [his] story."

i shared this story as part of a session entitled, "new methodologies and modes of representation in literacy research with youth." to be talking about this topic and related issues with others whose approaches are also ethnographic and wrestle with the challenges of researcher participation and roles, is exciting. the papers on the panel were all so diverse and rich in ethnographic detail and, like someone else noted, "had a great synergy" about them.

at the same time, i know that the nrc conference is going on and some of the folks there are asking, engaging with, and struggling to understand many of the same issues and topics related to youth, literacies, technologies, and representation.

amidst all this engaging, challenging, and struggling, are we finding - or even looking for - ways to make sure that people "feel" the stories that we're sharing? and if not, how can we do so with greater impact? and if so, then are we having an impact? are stories being felt as well as heard?

No comments: