MAIS 638: What I Tell You May Not Be True: Autobiography, Discourse Analysis, and Post-Colonialism Report a Broken Link

MAIS 638: What I Tell You May Not Be True: Autobiography, Discourse Analysis, and Post-Colonialism is an online reading course is designed as a foundational course for research with human subjects or for research of discourse and narratives in humanities and social sciences disciplines—for example English and literary criticism, linguistics, sociology, history, anthropology, cultural studies, First-Nations studies, Canadian studies, and women’s studies. The course provides an overview of recent discoveries in autobiography, discourse analysis, and post-colonialism. Here, these three topics of study are explored together because they share a concern for the nuances of language. The introduction to each of these three disciplines will give students the tools for effective interpretation and analysis of life writings, conversations, and interviews.

The course explores the many ways in which deception occurs through language. Hence, it is useful to researchers concerned with experiences described in any written or oral form, from autobiographies and letters to interviews and informal conversations. It is also useful to students exploring these genres and forms across different cultures. For example, students from First Nations backgrounds may describe their life experiences, or students from the dominant culture may study First-Nations or Asian experiences. Thus the course focuses in part on post-colonialism. An optional section on “Interviewing and Qualitative Analysis of Interviews” offers practical advice for students engaged in collecting new data through interviews, perhaps as the basis for their MAIS final project.

Part 1


Autobiography

Required Readings

Biography 26.1 (2003). Special Issue: Online Lives
Page down the the bottom of the abstract page and click on Proceed to view the article.
Kitzmann, A. “That Different Place: Documenting the Self with Online Environments.” (2003) Biography 26.1: 48-65.
McNeill, Laurie. “Teaching an Old Genre New Tricks: The Diary on the Internet.” (2003) Biography 26.1: 24.
This is a special issue devoted to autobiography.
Michielsens, Magda. “Memory Frames: The Role of Concepts and Cognition in Telling Life-Stories."

In Cosslett, Tess, Celia Lury, and Penny Summerfield, eds. Feminism and Autobiography: Texts, Theories, Methods. London: Routledge, 2000.

Myers, Greg. Discourse of Blogs and Wikis. (2010) London: Continuum.
Sorapure, Madeline. “Screening Moments Scrolling Lives: Diary writing on the Web.” (2003) Biography 26.1: 1-23.
Spender, Dale. Nattering on the Net: Women, Power and Cyberspace. Toronto: Garamond Press, 1995.
Supplementary Readings
This is a special issue devoted to autobiography, particularly in relation to Canadian writing.
Please see pages 1–10 and 43–47.
This is a special issue devoted to autobiography, particularly in relation to Canadian writing.
Alabi, Adetayo. Chapter 1: “The Autobiographical Genre in Black Societies.” Telling Our Stories: Continuities and Divergences in Black Autobiographies. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. 1–14.
This book is not currently available from AU Library. To find the closest library that holds a copy, click here, and type in your location information.
Gilmore, Leigh. “Introduction: A Map for Getting Lost.” Autobiographics: A Feminist Theory of Women’s Self-Representation. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994. 1–15.
This book is not currently available from AU Library. To find the closest library that holds a copy, click here, and type in your location information.
Kadar, Marlene. “Coming to Terms: Life-Writing—from Genre to Critical Practice.” Essays on Life-Writing: From Genre to Critical Practice. Ed. Marlene Kadar. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992. 3–16.
This book is not currently available from AU Library. To find the closest library that holds a copy, click here, and type in your location information.
Lionnet, Françoise. Autobiographical Voices: Race, Gender, Self-Portraiture. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1989.
This book is not currently available from AU Library. To find the closest library that holds a copy, click here, and type in your location information.
Both this book of Olney’s and the next are seminal texts.
As his title suggests, Olney contends that the autobiography provides only a metaphor for the self. Please see, in particular, pages 28 to 39.
Pascal, Roy. Design and Truth in Autobiography. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1960.
Please see pages 61–73 and 78–83.

This book is not currently available from AU Library. To find the closest library that holds a copy, click here, and type in your location information.
Smith, Sidonie, and Julia Watson, eds. Women, Autobiography, Theory: A Reader. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1998.
For students doing a feminist study of autobiography or an analysis of women’s autobiographies, the essays in this collection are essential reading. In fact, the entire collection is indispensable for anyone engaged in issues at the intersection of gender and critical theories of autobiography. Smith and Watson’s “Introduction: Situating Subjectivity in Women’s Autobiographical Practice” (pp. 3–21) is particularly relevant. See review by Marjanne Gooze.

This book is not currently available from AU Library. To find the closest library that holds a copy, click here, and type in your location information.
Stanton, Domna C. “Autogynography: Is the Subject Different?” The Female Autograph: Theory and Practice of Autobiography from the Tenth to the Twentieth Century. Ed. Donna C. Stanton. New York: New York Literary Forum, 1984. 3–15.
This book is not currently available from AU Library. To find the closest library that holds a copy, click here, and type in your location information.

Part 2


Discourse Analysis


Required Readings
Barker provides an introduction to discourse analysis.
Bucholtz, Mary and Kira Hall.
“Identity and interaction: a sociocultural linguistic approach.”
(2005) Discourse Studies, 7:4-5, 585-614.
Cameron, Deborah.
“Gender, Language and the New Biologism”.
(2010) Constellations, 17(4).526-539.
Crowe, M.
Discourse analysis: Towards an understanding of its place in nursing.
(2005). Journal of Advanced Nursing, 51.1, 55-63.
Discourse Studies
Special issue on Discourse Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education.
(2012). 33.2.
This article provides an overview of a project involving patients suffering from anorexia nervosa. It includes many comments on factors influencing interviews and autobiographies. The project also used an online questionnaire. The article’s concluding summary provides useful information on various pitfalls in the project’s methodology.
This chapter explores dialects and ladders of status in language. Hymes’s study should be of interest to anyone studying language patterns and the inherent power of different dialects.
The authors of this article address the qualitative versus quantitative analysis conflict, while other articles in this issue of the journal refute or qualify King’s comments. (For further information, see Chapter 1 of Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research).
Lazar, Michelle M.
“Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis: Articulating a Feminist Discourse Praxis.”
(2007) Critical Discourse Studies 4:2, 141-164.
Mautner, Gerlinde.
“Time to Get Wired: Using Web‐Based Corpora in Critical Discourse Analysis.”
(2005). Discourse and Society 16(6): 809-828.

Please see, especially, Part 4: “Feminist Theory and Discourse Theory” (pp. 77–104).

This collection includes an essay by James P. Gee, “Discourse Analysis: What Makes It Critical?” that outlines this important theorist’s main concerns with techniques for discourse analysis.
Seibold, Carmel.
"Discourse analysis: integrating theoretical and methodological approaches."
(2006) Nurse Researcher 14.1, 18-33.
Smith, J.
“Critical discourse analysis for nursing research.”
(2007). Nursing Inquiry, 14.1, 60-70.
Speer, Susan A.
Gender talk: feminism, discourse and conversation analysis.
(2005). East Sussex: Routledge.
See, especially, Teun A. van Dijk’s “Multidisciplinary CDA: A Plea for Diversity” (pp. 95–120), but other articles in this collection are useful for understanding CDA, as well.
Supplementary Readings
Potter, Jonathan, and Margaret Wetherall. “Analyzing discourse.” Analyzing Qualitative Data. Eds. Alan Bryman and Robert G. Burgess. London: Routledge, 1994. 47–66.
This book is not currently available from AU Library. To find the closest library that holds a copy, click here, and type in your location information.
Please see in particular pages 144 and 164–180.

Part 3


Post-Colonial Criticism

Required Readings
Anderson, Leon.
“Analytic Autoethnography.”
Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 35:4 (2006): 373-395.
See, in particular, Ashcroft’s extensive overview of Edward Said’s concept of Orientalism in Chapter 3, “Orientalism” (pp. 49–83).

Ellis, C., Adams, T.E. and Bochner, A.P.
Autoethnography: An Overview.
(2011) Forum: Qualitative Social Research. 12:1
Jefferess, David.
Postcolonial Resistance: Culture, Liberation, and Transformation.

(2008) Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

(http://aupac.lib.athabascau.ca/record=b1545897)

Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 35.4
Special issue on autoethnography.
(2006).
Journal of Research Practice 6.1
Special issue on autoethnography as research practice.
(2010).
This essay might have been given as a reading for the autobiography part of our course, but it is concerned as much with post-colonialism as it is with autobiography.
Loomba, Ania.
Colonialism-Postcolonialism.
(1998) London: Routledge.
Muncey, Tessa.
"Doing Autoethnography.”
(2005) International Journal of Qualitative Methods 4.1: 59-86.
Sil, Narasingha P. "Postcolonialism and Postcoloniality: A Premortem Prognosis."

(2008) Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations 7.4: 20-33.

Supplementary Readings
Bahri, Deepika, and Mary Vasudeva. “Coming to Terms with the ‘Postcolonial.’” Between the Lines: South Asians and Postcoloniality. Eds. Deepika Bahri and Mary Vasudeva. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1996. 137–164.
This book is not currently available from AU Library. To find the closest library that holds a copy, click here, and type in your location information.
Minh-ha’s remarks on nativism highlight issues that arise in cross-cultural investigations of anthropological studies.
Many of the essays other than those listed as required reading are relevant.
This is a special issue devoted to post-colonialism.

Part 4


Interviewing and Qualitative Analysis of Interviews


Required Readings
Please note: A search of AU Library databases using the search words qualitative interviews will lead to more online sources.
Adams, Eike.
“The joys and challenges of semi-structured interviewing.”
Community Practitioner 83.7 (2010): 18-21.

Byrne, Bridget. “Qualitative Interviewing.” Researching Society and Culture. Ed. Clive Seale. London: Sage Publications, 2004. 179–192.

Cruikshank, Julie. “Telling about Culture: Changing Traditions in Subarctic Anthropology.”

Northern Review 1 (Summer 1988): 27–39.

In this chapter, de Laine sets the boundaries for ethical interviewing, noting pitfalls and potential scenarios for conflict of interest.
James, N. and H. Busher.
Credibility, authenticity and voice: dilemmas in online interviewing.
Qualitative Research 6(3)(2006): 403-420.
Meho, L.
“E-mail interviewing in qualitative research: a methodological discussion.”
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 57(10) (2006): 1284-1295.
This book is listed here because it provides an example of critical discourse analysis (CDA) used for research in education, a complement to Hardin’s study in nursing, which is listed in both this section of the course, and in the part on autobiography.
Sands, R.G., Bourjolly, J. & Roer-Strier, D.
Crossing cultural barriers in research interviewing.
Qualitative Social Work 6(3)(2007): 353-372.
Please read pages 9-21 and pages 79-89.
Supplementary Readings
Kvale, Steinar. Interviews: an introduction to qualitative research interviewing.
(1996) Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.