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Storying the Self

Time: Oct. 13, 2022, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Location: I-3 Center (434 Newhouse 3)

Part of the Syracuse Symposium

Part of the Syracuse Symposium series.

side by side headshots of Aisha Durham and Claudine Taaffe

Aisha Durham, Claudine Taaffe


Claudine Taaffe (Vanderbilt University)
Aisha Durham (University of South Florida)

In this digital storytelling workshop, hosted by CODE^SHIFT at Newhouse School and facilitated by Durham and Taaffe, participants will craft life stories using interpretive methods in a two-part session. Participants will employ evocative, emotive language to flesh experience in autoethnography and utilize documentary photography to create a photo essay. Both approaches center on the situated self to explore the body in/as culture. Conversations and activities focus on identity, narratives, personal stories, and expressing oneself. The workshop will connect local immigrant youth artists working on a photopoetry project as part of the Narratio Fellowship with humanities faculty and students at Syracuse University.

Part 1: Durham defines autoethnography as an interpretive, embodied method and writing practice, describe its critical, interpretive, and performative interventions, and provide ways to story the self/identity. Participants will revise previously written brief personal narratives. Durham will help fellows describe different approaches to identity, offering tips on “showing” using evocative, emotive language. This section culminates with Durham sharing a collaborative autoethnography.

Part 2: Taaffe defines photovoice/photo essay as methodology, to include a facilitated discussion about cameras, power, and ethics. Following this discussion, participants engage in a short series of activities including fishbowl conversations about identity, taking photos in response to prompts, sharing observations with fellow participants, and finishing with a group photo elicitation exercise.

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About the presenters:

Dr. Aisha Durham is a Professor of Communication and former Fulbright-Hays Faculty Fellow at the University of South Florida, where she explores the relationship between media representations and everyday life in the “post” era using auto/ethnography, performance writing, and Black feminist intersectional approaches.

Dr. Claudine Taaffe is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University. Taaffe is an ethnographer who engages qualitative methods in her work with Black girls. Her research examines the ways in which Black girls negotiate spaces of identity using the creative arts, specifically photography.

Additional supporters:

  • SU Art Museum
  • Women's and Gender Studies
  • Sociology
  • Newhouse Communications
  • Democratizing Knowledge (DK) Collective
  • African American Studies
  • Narratio Fellowship
  • Syracuse University Humanities Center