Exo-Autoethnography: writing and research on transgenerational transmission of trauma

The Australasian Association Of Writing Programs
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Authorised Theft: Writing, Scholarship, Collaboration Papers – The Refereed Proceedings Of The 21st Conference Of The Australasian Association Of Writing Programs, 2016, Canberra AUS, 2017, 21 pp. 1 - 10 (10)
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Since the late 1970s, autoethnographic research and writing has demonstrated that non-fiction creative writing practice can utilise this alternate-ethnographic method as part of its research and narrative, producing rigorous creative work which is palatable both by the academy and the general audience: bringing social science closer to literature. This paper proposes a new autoethnographic method of research and writing I am calling exo-autoethnography: a distinct ethnographic method of qualitative research within non-fiction creative, and autoethnographic writing, that deals with transgenerational transmission of familial trauma. Exo- autoethnography is an approach to research that seeks to analyse individual and private experience as directed by the other’s experience or history to better understand: 1. A history that impacted the researcher by proxy; and 2. Personal and community experience as related to that history. Exo-autoethnography is the autoethnographic exploration of a history whose events the researcher (author) did not experience directly, but a history that impacted the researcher through familial, or other personal connections. Placing focus on a history that impacted the self (author) by proxy, the method aims to connect the present with a history of the other through transgenerational transmission of trauma and/or experiences of an upbringing influenced by parental trauma.
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