Academia can be a hostile environment for Black women. Our research team leveraged Black feminist research praxis to produce new knowledge countering conceptions of Black women students and faculty as people who are unintelligent, produce superfluous work, and worthy of being ignored. In order to locate spaces for healing, mentorship, and validation, we engaged in a collaborative autoethnography to co-narrate our experiences while conducting a study for, by, and about Black women. Re-purposing tools from Black feminist thought, critical autoethnography, and collaborative autoethnography enabled us to write ourselves into existence, countering damaging narratives and subverting the harm inflicted by the institution.
Writing Ourselves into Existence: Black Women Researchers’ Collaborative Autoethnographic Reflections on Addressing Exclusion in Academia
Shardé M. Davis is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Connecticut. Correspondence to: Shardé M. Davis, Department of Communication, University of Connecticut, 337 Mansfield Road, Unit 1259, Storrs, CT 06269, USA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frances Ashun is an alumna of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Communication and Gender Studies. She is currently a Service Coordinator at a harm reduction nonprofit and is training to become a birth doula. Email: Frances.Ashun@uconn.edu.
Kayla Edwards graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BA in Africana Studies and a minor in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She now works in the nonprofit sector with a focus on racial justice and incarceration. Email: Kayla.Edwards@uconn.edu.
Shardé M. Davis, Frances Ashun, Alleyha Dannett, Kayla Edwards, Victoria Nwaohuocha; Writing Ourselves into Existence: Black Women Researchers’ Collaborative Autoethnographic Reflections on Addressing Exclusion in Academia. Departures in Critical Qualitative Research 1 March 2021; 10 (1): 4–27. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/dcqr.2021.10.1.4
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