Making Scholarship Matter
Edited By Cynthia Gerstl-Pepin and Cynthia Reyes
Chapter Four: Scholarly Personal Narrative as a Way to Connect the Academy to the World
← 38 | 39 → CHAPTER FOUR
Scholarly Personal Narrative as a Way to Connect the Academy to the World
ROBERT J. NASH
I remember vividly the day I received an email from the editors of this volume. It was an invitation to submit a chapter on the “public intellectual.” They also encouraged me to write in a first-person narrative style. Both of them knew that, in the 1990s, I created a way of doing research that I call Scholarly Personal Narrative writing (or SPN). Since then I have authored four books (Nash, 2004; Nash & Bradley, 2011; Nash & Viray, 2013, 2014) on what I call “Me-Search/Re-Search” writing. Of course I jumped at the opportunity to write about using SPN as a way to bridge the gap between scholars, students, and the general public. I have been trying to make the case for doing this for many years. I am grateful to my editors for the chance to sum up much of my writing about SPN, as well as to be able to enrich my thinking about what it is to be an SPN public intellectual.
For me, Scholarly Personal Narrative (SPN) is a style of public-intellectual writing based in storytelling and self-disclosure, one that draws from a variety of academic and non-academic references and findings. It allows the writer to communicate to a non-academic audience the excitement of the intellectual life in a way that is accessible and...
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