Wayward lives, beautiful experiments

One of the challenges for researchers working with archival records is how to report research findings while acknowledging that records are always incomplete and fragmentary. Even today, when we have access to digitized documents, born-digital records and warehouses all over the world providing cloud storage space, only a small fraction of materials are preserved for … Continue reading Wayward lives, beautiful experiments

The lost education of Horace Tate

Educational historian Vanessa Siddle Walker's (2018) book The lost education of Horace Tate: Uncovering the hidden heroes who fought for justice in schools, details Horace Tate's contribution to the fight for educational opportunities for black children in the Southern United States. Horace Tate (1922-2002) served for 16 years in the Georgia State Senate, and his … Continue reading The lost education of Horace Tate

Work-based learning in the National Health Service

Peggy Warren's (2019) book, Black women's narratives of NHS work-based learning: An ethnodrama, centers the voices of Black British and Black Caribbean women who engaged in educational and professional development in the National Health Service (NHS) in Britain. The sub-title, "The difference between rhetoric and lived experience" provides the key to understanding the book's message … Continue reading Work-based learning in the National Health Service

Examining the transition from “womb to world”

In his book, Phenomenology of the new born: Life from womb to world, Michael van Manen (2019) guides readers through an exploration of the experiences of newborn infants in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). As a specialist in neonatal-perinatal medicine in Canada, van Manen brings together in this book the skills and knowledge of … Continue reading Examining the transition from “womb to world”

Decolonizing Psychology

What connections might a white, middle-aged, middle-class woman in the United States have with urban youth living in Western India? At first thought, little, if any. Yet, a book by Sunil Bhatia (2018), a professor of human development at Connecticut College in the U.S. unsettles any hasty judgments. Decolonizing psychology: Globalization, social justice, and Indian … Continue reading Decolonizing Psychology

Great reads… Robert Caro’s “Working”

Now in his 80s, author Robert A. Caro provides a wonderful example to other writers of not only how to keep going in spite of challenges, but how to conduct exemplary research. Caro has been awarded numerous prizes for his work – which includes biographies of urban planner Robert Moses, and a four-volume biography of … Continue reading Great reads… Robert Caro’s “Working”

Celebrating Zora Neale Hurston’s birthday

Since January 7 marked Zora Neale Hurston’s (1891-1960) birthday, this blog looks at one of her books. Hurston’s book, Barracoon: The story of the last "Black Cargo", tells the oral history of Cudjo Lewis as she recorded it in 1927. Zora Neale Hurston was a talented anthropologist, ethnographer, folklorist, filmmaker and novelist. Her first interview … Continue reading Celebrating Zora Neale Hurston’s birthday

Guidance for doing archival research

Archival collections are typically considered the preserve of historians. Yet, qualitative researchers can make use of archival collections to supplement ongoing research, explore methodological issues, or conduct a secondary analysis of archived data sets. But how might one go about entering the archives?  This question is addressed by the book: The Archive Project: Archival Research … Continue reading Guidance for doing archival research

Examining the criminal justice system using qualitative methods

Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve’s book, Crook County: Racism and injustice in America’s largest criminal court, examines the work of the justice system as carried out in the largest criminal court in the US, Chicago-Cook County. In five devastating chapters, the author provides story after story as evidence supporting the key idea in the book: the justice … Continue reading Examining the criminal justice system using qualitative methods

Translating academic writing into trade books

Academic writers typically orient their writing to readers like themselves: other academics used to the jargon associated with any particular discipline. Yet some scholars manage to traverse the divide between the ivory tower and the general public and produce readable, enjoyable, and educational explanations of their topics of interest in the form of trade books. … Continue reading Translating academic writing into trade books