Finding connectedness, finding belonging, finding our voice: contemplating creative and connected futures through storytelling and narrative.

Black, Ali and Impiccini, Julianne and Crimmins, Gail and Jones, Janice (2016) Finding connectedness, finding belonging, finding our voice: contemplating creative and connected futures through storytelling and narrative. In: 2016 Regional Futures Conference: Working Together to Build Strong Regional Futures, 21-24 June 2016, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia.

Abstract

Connected to the themes ‘Creative Futures’ and ‘Sustainable Futures’, our aims are exploratory and experimental. Using our small group’s experiences, we consider how social and creative connectivity can be established through storytelling and narrative. We speak for a group of seven middle-aged women academics living and working in regional communities and regional universities – an almost silent group whose voices are rarely represented. We consider the positive impact narrative and storytelling can have individually and collectively on wellbeing and energy, and its capacity to give life to shared scholarship.
For over a year we have been overcoming distance, initiating conversations and building relationships, and acquiring ways to communicate, connect, and engage in deep scholarship. These meaningful processes have been sustained and supported by video-conferencing and emails, storytelling and memoir writing, poetry and art-making, and research collaboration. Individually and collectively we have experienced the positive impact of narrative and storytelling, discovering our personal and collective voices as safe spaces for storying and connecting have been created and expanded. Over time, formerly concealed and embodied stories have become public and communal, sometimes as quiet whispers, sometimes as forceful outpourings of emotion, sometimes as everyday meandering in the ordinariness of our middle-aged lives. In this presentation we contemplate our becoming into our stories, and how our collaboration and connection is changing the way we want to work and be in both workplace and community. We consider the relevance of this as women academics working in universities in the Regional Universities Network – universities with commitments to playing a transformative strength and identity building role in their regions. We extend to others an invitation to consider the value of creating nurturing, responsive, reciprocal spaces that support connections and collaborations across distances and regions. And, we invite a shared exploration of the power of aesthetic tools and creative activities for transforming individuals, communities, and the work of academics in regional universities.


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Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Speech)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Abstract only published. Abstract Objectives (100 word limit) To consider the positive impact narrative and storytelling can have individually and collectively on wellbeing and energy, and its capacity to give life to shared scholarship. Engaged in memoir writing for over a year, we now explore the processes which have enabled us to give voice to our lived experience and to build connection within and with others. In sharing story fragments of our lives in Regional Australia, we invite consideration about what connects people to themselves, to one another and to what matters in communities, workplaces and lives. Abstract Results (100 word limit) For our group, sharing our stories has supported the development of self-understanding and empathy. These processes have changed us – we have come to know ourselves and others more deeply. By reflecting on the stories we feel are worth expressing, we come to know the people, places and pulses of life that matter most to us, and by listening deeply to the stories of others we are learning to be fully open the experience of the other. Our stories have lain dormant and heavy in us for many years; we are lighter and more connected releasing and sharing them. Abstract Conclusions (100 word limit) Privileging the stories of women in regional settings, and offering an alternative model to sustainable and scholarly praxis, our work together suggests that storying supports the building of creative and sustainable futures. Not only has storying our lives helped us to explore and nurture creative forms of communication such as poetry, prose and drama, but expressing them has helped us identify our pasts, presents and imagined/hoped-for futures. The media of our communications – teleconference, email, telephone, Dropbox – has afforded opportunities to connect with others living and working in regional areas without the burden of a heavy environmental footprint.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2016 04:27
Last Modified: 25 May 2017 04:52
Uncontrolled Keywords: deep scholarship, stories, collaboration, research, identity building, female academics, reciprocal spaces, memoir, narrative, overcoming distance
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/29571

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