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Heightened Performative Autoethnography

Resisting Oppressive Spaces within Paradigms


William M. Sughrua

This book argues for – and carries out – what the author terms Heightened Performative Autoethnography (HPA). The common theme throughout the volume involves resisting oppressive and hegemonic spaces within paradigms, and hence seeking epistemological liberation. The text methodologically and conceptually situates this newly proposed variant of autoethnography, while contextualizing and justifying its «performed or enacted» theme involving resistance against the oppressiveness of paradigms. The book concludes with an analysis and commentary, demonstrating how this particular theme, and HPA as a research and writing repertoire, are able to meaningfully respond to the eighth moment of contemporary qualitative research, which calls for a critical and social justice agenda directed at empowerment, equity, liberation, and related issues. Heightened Performative Autoethnography could be used in upper-level undergraduate classes and graduate courses within the social sciences, humanities, and education, for courses on critical theory, contemporary research methodology, performative studies, narrative writing, and related subjects.
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Chapter 9: Can I Have a Voice in the Nation’s Classroom?


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· 9 ·


I was with my father in a restaurant in the city of Oaxaca, where I live and work as a teacher and researcher in the public state university. My father was visiting me from suburban Chicago. It was Saturday, his last day here. We were pressed for time. My father had a 9:50 a.m. flight; and I had to make it to my 11:00 a.m. literature class with my students in the weekend module of the English teacher education program, today “The Tyger” by William Blake (1794/1983). “Anything but pork for him,” my father told the waitress.

She put on a noble smile.

“No pork,” my father said.

I asked for the American plate, as had my father, and to my surprise, I paused, pondering over a side of ham or bacon or nothing. Many years ago, as a second-year graduate student home for the summer, I had announced, probably at a Sunday breakfast at a pancake restaurant, that after having read The Autobiography of Malcolm X for the second time, I would give up eating pork. This would be my personal gesture of moral support for the ideals of this Black Muslim leader who had been assassinated when I was in kindergarten. My father and mother had looked at me as if I were the moon-man, but they congratulated me on my decisiveness. I...

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