Writing to Resist: Storying the Self and Audit Culture in Higher Education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter


This chapter builds on earlier work where the author wrote an autoethnodrama based on their autobiographical and researched experiences with academic life, specifically completing an autoethnographic doctorate whilst pregnant. The author identifies autoethnography as an empirical methodology that synthesizes autobiography and social critique in order to resist, and also change, dominant academic discourse, which she identifies as being male, hierarchical and non-democratic. By storying her experiences of the pressures of academic and personal life via a screenplay, the author argues that they have been able to adopt a more objective stance from which to critique the possible and real effects of neo-liberalism on academic culture. Evidence from the author's lived experiences has been used to inform the production of a full length script but the characters and plot are not imbued with autobiographical evidence in the same way as traditional autoethnography. This process has enabled the author to better understand themselves and their lived experiences of academia and to use this understanding as a strategy for surviving sexism. This triangulation of research-autobiography-script seeks to legitimize and value the experiences of the academic involved and maintain the balance between rigorous academic research and experiential autobiographical reflection. The author identifies this process as offering the potential for a more democratic and inclusive way of working in qualitative research where a woman may explore a more expansive and empowered self in a way that promotes civil and spiritual freedom and resists dominant oppressive structures that are synonymous with traditional academic life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSurviving Sexism in Academia: Strategies for Feminist Leadership
EditorsK. Cole, H. Hassel
Place of PublicationOxford
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781138696846
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

This is an
Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Surviving Sexism in Academia: Strategies for Feminist Leadership on 01/04/2017, available online: https://www.routledge.com/Surviving-Sexism-in-Academia-Strategies-for-Feminist-Leadership/Cole-Hassel/p/book/9781138696846


  • autoethnography
  • screenplay
  • higher education
  • writing
  • audit culture


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