Downs, Yvonne (2010) Phoenix rising? Minding the gaps? Learning lessons from intimate publics. In: The 7th Biennial International Auto/Biography Association Conference, 28th June-1st July 2010, University of Sussex. (Unpublished)

Phoenix rising? Minding the gaps? Learning lessons from intimate publics

In November 2008 I started a blog. I called myself ‘phoenixrising’ and my blog ‘mindingthegaps’. My first post set out my aims, which were firstly to provide ‘a window on what I am willing to share/make public and what I want to keep private’, secondly a way to ‘trouble the academic habit of presenting a clever front’ and thirdly a test of my willingness to ‘ramble publicly’. These aims arose out of my experience. I felt that being a PhD student had started to involve silencing other aspects of my life which were nevertheless, I believed, part of my PhD student ‘self’. They thus connected with some age old feminist concerns and with debates around reflexivity, voice and self (here, specifically, ‘the academic self’), particularly as they pertain to auto/biographical productions. My blog was intended to be both academic production and cultural artefact (I am also producing a quilt) and a way for me to address limiting beliefs I had about my technical and technological competency.

Seven months later I posted the following

When I started this blog I wanted to explore the borders of public and private. It seemed like quite an adventure. However, what I have learned in the past days is that there is a serious side to this. As is my wont, I set out full of hope and excitement and in joyful expectation of the learning that lay ahead, little imagining the mischief some may make of this. I wish wisdom would join me as a travelling companion. Or even common sense. I was aware that 'putting myself out there' would expose me to critical scrutiny but I did not anticipate it would also expose me to personal scrutiny and attack. This has been salutary.

This paper is an auto/biographical account of the months between these two posts.

DownsPhoenixpdf.pdf - Draft Version

Download (211kB) | Preview
Phoenix_rising_paper_-_1_240510.doc - Draft Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (59kB)


Downloads per month over past year

Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email