Episode 28: Episode 29. Collaboration and Black Feminist Theory in Qualitative Research

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In this episode Stephanie Shelton talks with Kiara Summerville, Erica Campbell, Krystal Flantroy, and Ashley Prowell about their experiences collaborating and co-authoring an article on Black Feminist thought in the field of Qualitative Inquiry. The episode raises important questions about representation, experience, and process in the doing and teaching of qualitative research. A transcript of the conversation follows.
Stephanie Shelton 00:10

Right. Hello everyone and welcome to qualitative conversations Podcast Series hosted by the qualitative research special interest group, the American Educational Research Association. I'm Stephanie Shelton, a guest host for this episode on collaboration and co-authorship. And I'm excited to be joined today by my brilliant co-authors of a wonderful article. Krystal Flantroy, Kiara Summerville, Erica Campbell and Ashley Nicole Prowell. And so Kiara, if we could just introduce yourselves maybe an author order. So Kiara, then Erica, then Krystal, then Ashley, and then we'll get started.

Kiara Summerville 00:47

Hi, everyone. I'm Kiara Summervile. Dr. Kiara Somerville, a recent graduate of the higher education administration program at the University of Alabama. I currently work in the Division of Student Life at the University of Alabama. And so certainly, a scholar practitioner in every sense of the word, and I am excited to be here with you all.

Erica Campbell 01:08

Hello, everybody. My name is Erica Campbell, and I am a PhD candidate in the higher education administration program at the University of Alabama. And I'm excited because I will be graduating in May, and I will be defending my dissertation this January. So I'm excited to be on the job market looking for faculty positions. And I here I am a scholar practitioners affairs professional, but I want to take that to the faculty route. So I'm excited to be here with you all today.

Krystal Flantroy 01:38

My name is Krystal Flantroy and I'm currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that I graduate in July. I too, am a scholar practitioner who has found her way back to a classroom teaching position. And so I'm back to teaching high school science, which is something I love and love to do. But we'll see how it all works out in the end.

Ashley Prowell 02:02

My name is Ashley Prowell, or Dr. Ashley Prowell. And I am also a recent graduate of the social work department, PhD program. I'm also on the job market hoping to enter the professoriate and continue to do research and teaching. So yeah, I'm glad we didn't have to, like run down our research topic, because I'm so tired of writing about it, talking about it with everybody. So

Stephanie Shelton 02:37

We're here today to talk about your article that was published in the qualitative research journal. And it is titled, Finding ourselves as Black Women in Euro-centric theory: Collaborative biography on learning qualitative inquiry. And so I wanted to start by asking if you could share how this project got started, what, what initiated the ideas that ultimately led to this article.

Krystal Flantroy 02:59

And as it turns out, this project got started in, it feels like a group chat, right? We were, we would have class and then we would all leave class and talk in the parking lot before we all went to our cars, that led to a group chat of where we got to talk about things that we didn't understand things that we just didn't relate to things that were confusing in the readings of the theory that we were reading in qual three, and it kind of flourished from there.

Kiara Summerville 03:28

Right? We, as Krystal mentioned, were, you know, talking about frustrations and confusion that went along with it, this qualitative course that we were taking. And, and we thought about it one day, I think we were actually in the classroom after class one day, and had this thought like, well, maybe we should write about this, right? We all have a lot of thoughts about this. And, um, you know about our experience in that classroom and understanding the material and working together to make the make the material make sense to each other, we leaned on each other heavily for that. So we told ourselves, Well, how about we just write about this? Right. And I know, we'll probably get to this in a little bit, but we thought, you know, Dr. Shelton, would be a wonderful person to talk to about these thoughts, and to see if we can get something going.

Stephanie Shelton 04:19

So that's a perfect transition. Um, so could you talk through how you started the process of co authoring this paper? What did that process look like?

Ashley Prowell 04:27

I mean, I want to say, I want to say it was just, you know, just it just happened pretty naturally. I mean, like Krystaltal said, it started out in a group chat. And we all had these same, you know, same thoughts about what was going on in the classroom. So, I mean, I don't know if you're talking about like the ordering of authorship and how that happened. But I think just in terms of us all, you know, being engaged in this topic and wanting to instead of just kind of, I guess, complaining about it or griping about it wanting to be productive and, and turn it into something creative and productive for academia. And I feel like, since we've written this paper, like, if you just scroll through academic Twitter, you'll see like, you know, a lot of people are talking about this similar ideas these days, and kind of this incorporation of black thought, or black, you know, ideas into, you know, our readings in the classroom and, and just being more inclusive overall and responsive to other cultures. So I feel like we were definitely at the forefront. I feel like we were at the forefront, maybe we weren't, but, but it definitely feels good. That, you know, we're seeing more people talk about this issue in doctoral programs, and just overall in higher education,

Erica Campbell 06:01

Right. And I will also add that one of the things that we did, too, because we knew that we had material to write about or to share our personal narratives, and what that looked like in the classroom, also believe that we went to you, Dr. Shelton, to be honest. And we said, you know, we have this idea, just to kind of really just dive in about what our, you know, black feminist thought is, and then also to really think about how we use that with qualitative research and qualitative, philosophical, philosophical understandings. And so you gave us the idea, in terms of the methodology to really just think about how we could use that as an opportunity to kind of collaborate when it comes to our narrative. And I know we'll get to that in a little bit a little bit later, I'm sure. But that's where kind of the idea got the wheels to kind of keep moving, that you know, what this this is qualitative research, what are narratives are, what our experiences are in that classroom, and you kind of gave us a wheel with the methodology with that.

Ashley Prowell 07:07

And I guess, you know, earlier on, I think we also had the conversation of, you know, or at least I know, I brought this up and shared it with the group, just this idea of choosing a white professor to to, to being engaged with our scholarship or this manuscript that we were writing. And I know, while Dr. Shelton tends to be very open, and, or is very open, and often probably even can relate to a lot of the issues that we we talked about in our paper, are some of them. I think we chose Dr. Shelton, because because of that, that openness. But I do think, you know, we did think about like, what would the paper: How would things look different if we engage with a, an African American or a black? Professor? And I do think there are implications for that? I think it could, would she have been involved in our group chat? Or, you know, how would that have changed things in terms of our findings, and how we engage with the content throughout the course semester? So I think that is something that, you know, we should, I don't know, if you want to talk, share your own thoughts about that. But I know that's something that we brought up earlier on.

Krystal Flantroy 08:27

But I also think that we were, we were a bit treading lightly as we began, because we also were still in a class with a professor, whose course we were really critiquing for something that we thought was missing, that was something essential. And so it felt like, Are we really gonna write about this? Because the truly enough mean, we've all been taught by her are sitting in her course. And it's like, how do we know Levy, this, this heavy critique of the course that we've been in without feeling weird about it? So that was another thing.

Stephanie Shelton 09:03

So you've brought up some of these? The next question is really looking at like some of the challenges. And and so I think that these are definitely some that are really important. And I'm glad that, Ashley, you initiated some of these concerns, because very important, and thinking about like collaboratively writing, and then trying to go through this publication process, because I feel like a lot of times for graduate students publication seems like more of like an abstract concept. That's sort of reality. And so what were some of the challenges of the collaborative writing and the publication process when you're working through this article?

Kiara Summerville 09:34

I don't know that the when we actually started writing together and in sharing our mirrors with each other, that wasn't necessarily tough for me. I think on the front end, we had to learn the methodology. And that was something that we had to kind of sit with because I think even with the methodology and you know, the philosophers and we were attributing citing in our methodology for themselves, white men, right. And so we talked about how, you know, we were critiquing this use of using white philosophers in these courses. But we are in fact using them for this type of work, we talked about how we are turning it on its head, right? To make it work for us, which is really the the nature of the whole paper, the theme of the whole paper making, making, what we were learning in that class, make it make sense to us. So I think learning the methodology at first was something that we had to had to understand, but the actual writing of the narrative seems to come quite naturally. For me, um, ladies, I'm not sure how you all felt about that.

Erica Campbell 10:43

And I will say that it actually became natural for me, because we had been in that class and really was in that space of really sitting with our thoughts about those white philosophers. In that course, I really felt like, you know, this was my opportunity to really get that off my chest in a writing format, right. But then also, because we were doing it in a collaborative matter, I think what really helped me to was that, okay, I'm not the only person that's talking about this, right. So, you know, often as a black woman, you know, you we feel good in numbers, we feel good having that sisterhood support. And I think knowing that we were collaborating, and right, but also writing our own narratives, at the same time made me feel empowered to just say what I needed to say, and just express myself, because I knew there were other women who would be doing the same thing. And so that really empowered me, it felt very natural for myself.

Ashley Prowell 11:39

And I think we brought this up in the paper, too, is just this idea of like, earlier on, like, hold on, are we missing something like just trying to think back through before, you know, before you, you know, you write about something or talk about something you want to make sure you have, I think that naturally, like have the facts. Right. So, so just thinking through the course, and, and I guess, also in a way of not to be offensive towards towards the qualitative program that we were taking these courses in, and just just really thinking about, you know, you know, if we, if if there was something that we didn't grasp, or something that we miss throughout the course. And I think like Erica was saying, like other people are, you know, once we realized, collectively that we have these shared thoughts and that other people are also talking about this, I think that helped us feel better about moving forward with with writing about it.

Krystal Flantroy 12:41

I just wanted to add, when we went to our first like, we we put up conference paper, like, I can't remember which one it is. And, ICQI, right? And so we go and we do our presentation, and we're sitting in this room of people, and like people were enlightened and move by it, and it was like, wait, y'all, I think we got we got some, and like, we left there. We we knew we felt better, like people came up and talk to us after our presentation. I was like, oh, okay, this is it. Alright. So it that I think that part of it, like putting in conference presentations, I think ICQI and AERA, um, you know, made a world of difference, because what it said was, is that scholars in Rome want to hear what we had to say about this particular topic, which may moving the work forward a little bit easier. You weren't as the trepidation wasn't there anymore. It was like, Okay, this is something we can talk about that we need to talk about.

Stephanie Shelton 13:48

So Erica,and Krystal kind of alluded to this, but I wanted to ask if you had anything else you wanted to add? What were some of the high points are the advantages of collaboratively writing, collaborative collaboratively writing, and a collaborative publishing process?

Ashley Prowell 14:03

I think, I guess just piggybacking off of what we just talked about was just this idea of, okay. This is something, you know, kind of new for us and that we're, you know, this is our first time writing about something like this, but being able to kind of figure it out through our collaborative narrative and responding to each other and going back and forth. With that process. I think that was something interesting and just kind of kind of figuring it out as we went, you know, I thought that was cool.

Krystal Flantroy 14:39

I think here said this earlier, and it there's power in numbers, right? And having people to work with and having people to bounce ideas off of and having people that have maybe more experiences or publishing because we were all in different parts of our journey at that point, and so We are, you know, it was it made the experience a lot easier. But it also made it tougher, right? Because you're working with four different people with four or five, five different people with five different schedules,

Stephanie Shelton 15:12

I think it might be worth you you talking a little bit going back a little bit to the to some of the challenges. If I recall correctly, some of the ways that you all wrote the paper was you initially, you divvied up sections you did the you did the narratives collaboratively throughout, but then you divvied up other sections, but then there had to be a process where the paper became unified. And so I don't know if you want to talk about that or not. But I think that that was definitely a very interesting part of the process, that it can be used for other people to hear about.

Erica Campbell 15:44

So that's a good point. Um, one thing that we did, so after, like, Kiara, I mentioned earlier, we had to really learn, and, and really understand this methodology, right. So that's always key and important before you, you know, put yourself out there to try and do it. And of course, you know, you either learn through the process, and of course, you learn after the process. I mean, that's part of qualitative research, and what we are, you know, tasked to do, and good researchers. But one thing that we did first is we decided that we would divvy up our narratives. And so one person will write their own personal narratives, each person wrote a personal narrative, right? But then we decided that we would go back, and then respond to each person's narratives. And so in each person's there, there's a might be a thought that Ashley said or thought they crossed or keyed, or said, and then I might interrupt with my communication or a thought of like, yes, like we you said, you were in class. And maybe you didn't understand this, this philosopher, I will respond by saying something like, You know what, I didn't understand that either, right. And so it kind of created not just only our own narratives to be able to get that narrative on paper, but it allowed us to, for lack of a better word, to interrupt each other, and kind of have a conversation back and forth through our written narrative. And so we did that using a Google Drive. And from there is where we use that just to move forward in our analysis.

Kiara Summerville 17:22

And I think when it came time to piece the paper together, it's not really a challenge, it wasn't a challenge, I don't think we leaned on each other's strengths, to kind of understand, you know, kind of what sections of the paper so for instance, I had had some previous experience with the conceptual framework, right? So it was, you know, easy for me to feel like I could step up and say, Okay, y'all, I feel like I can write this conceptual framework. I, you know, Eric knows, I joke about this a lot, I feel like I do really well with time things with a bow and concluding. So I'm happy to conclude as well. And then, you know, we talked about who was focused on the literature review, and who would focus on, um, you know, our data and creating themes from our narratives. And so that part, you know, it's really nice to lean on each other's strengths. And that way to piece the paper together.

Ashley Prowell 18:15

Yeah. And I think we were all at different points in our, you know, of course, in our PhD journey, so, you know, especially when it came to authorship, you know, I knew for myself, at least, that I was kind of in the bulk of my dissertation, and then I wouldn't have a ton of time to commit to the final pieces of the manuscripts. So, of course, second to last author. And I think other people may have, you know, chosen their authorship similarly, so, yeah. But, you know, in terms of we tried to be fair, there were there were multiple opportunities that came out of that paper, like, we were saying, conference presentations. So, we, I think we each had opportunities to kind of lead those projects along the way while we were at different points. So for ICQI I was at a easier time in my, in my PhD journey. So I I did get a chance to lead that a little bit. In terms of like, submitting the proposal for ICQI and everything

Stephanie Shelton 19:28

And I think Krystal did a she did it. You did AERA, you led that proposal.

Krystal Flantroy 19:34

Yea but it was canceled, thanks to COVID. So there was a lot of work for I won't say for no reason. But yeah, for no reason.

Erica Campbell 19:46

And I think that speaks to us feeling like you know, we can take this on the road and we can really make this a worthwhile project. So you know, even though AERA was cancelled because the COVID and it was 2020 when we got except it is still helped us to make us feel like you know what this project is worth while. And this is something that we should definitely even though, you know, hell was breaking loose in the country in the world, we feel felt like this. This research still needed to go forward. And I'm glad that we continue to push towards wrapping this paper.

Stephanie Shelton 20:24

So many grad students are likely to listen to this podcast. And so in channeling a graduate student perspective, which for some of you is current for others of you, it's in the rearview mirror, but not too long ago. And channeling a graduate student perspective, what was the publishing process like? And what do you wish that you known beforehand that you know, now,

Krystal Flantroy 20:42

I wish I had known that those jokes about reviewer number two, are actually really serious, not just imagined. There's such extremes on what reviewers want out of your paper. And oh, I do remember what I wanted to say the unifying part of the paper, Dr. Shelton really helped with our language, that was whatever I want to say, and helping it all pull together. So it was concise and consistent, even though we all have different words and different styles of writing. But yes, reviewer number two, that is exactly the truth. I, when I looked at our reviews for the paper, it was like one person was like, Okay, here's these few things and somebody else, like, I think you should look at this, this and this from these people, I think you guys missed it.

Kiara Summerville 21:28

And then not even being able to find some of their suggestions. Like it was really hard because maybe our institution didn't have access to it, and then having to figure out if we were going to include it or not. And if we didn't include it, how to word that in the letter back to the editors, or their reviewers. How to say, you know, thank you, but nothing.

Stephanie Shelton 21:53

Yeah, my advice for that is just in overall publishing experiences, just like trying to respond to everything and making it seem like, you know, I'm, I'm so grateful for this feedback. And but or however, you know, that's the way to approach it. But you know, trying your best to still address each and every comment as much as possible. But if it's not in line with what you're you're trying to do, or your goal or aims for the for your work, then, you know, saying that, and being honest, honest about that,

Erica Campbell 22:32

honestly, I think we were really blessed. We had Dr. Shelton, the great Dr. Shelton, on our team. And so because you were on our team, as we thank you all the time, it really helped us walk through that publication process. So I've been a part of some publications in my past experience prior to this research, but really have an understanding of how everything breaks down how you respond to the journal, how you respond to each of their, you know, suggested edits, that was something that was really eye opening for me, because now because we did that, and because she walked us through that process, so that we can understand that I feel more confident. Just just putting in other other manuscripts that other journals, you know, it just made me really see the process from start to finish, and not just kind of a small portion of the process. And so I'm thankful for that. But also it really, if we had to tell graduate students what to do, find a coach, find a mentor, find someone who will help you walk through that process, because that kind of takes a lot of strain and stress off of the manuscript writing and journal process. And so that was very helpful for me, and I'm sure my colleagues will say the same.

Ashley Prowell 23:46

And I would say to just being on the job market, right now, you I'm starting to realize what a valuable experience this was. And not that either of us were, you know, being aggressive about you know, collaboration, we have to collaborate, I think this for us, thankfully, it happened very, very naturally. And I think that is something to cherish, whether it happens in your PhD Career or later on in your, your, your later on in your career. But you'll find, I think when applying to jobs and kind of thinking through your entire journey, that experiences like this are really are really useful because you will be required to collaborate interdisciplinary. And for me, I'm in the Social Work program, and I think most of my these co authors are these gals here are in education. So I think that's that's a that was a great experience. And I think it's something that just shared Being honest and sharing your thoughts about course experience or things that are going on in your own research, or your own research area of interest, sharing that with others, Dr. Shelton, sharing that with others, and just kind of seeing where that where that takes you rather than, you know, making it a point to, you know, collaborate just just kind of surrounding yourself with people who have shared interests. And I think it'll just happen naturally.

Stephanie Shelton 25:31

I do want to accentuate because of some of the things that you all have said, I want to make it really clear to anyone who would listen to the podcast that you all did the work, you all respond as the reviewers, you will do the revisions. Because I don't want to give anyone the misguided impression that like I was in charge of anything, or I took over y'all did the work. And so I want to make sure that relative to Eric has note about, you know, find yourself a mentor, I think that's a really great piece of advice for any graduate students, or even early career faculty, but making sure that you find someone who helps you to understand how to do it and helps a highlight you not someone who jumps in and takes credit for what it is that you're planning on doing. Because that, that's that's not what happened. These women, these brilliant scholars did, did this work. This article is theirs,

Kiara Summerville 26:24

Dr. Shelton, I'm thinking about how you helped us kind of understand the landscape of qualitative research journals and where this might fit best, and timelines. And, you know, I'm thinking along those lines when Erica said, you know, coach and mentor to help us understand, you know, the scope of what we were working with in terms of submitting to a journal, and what that looked like, and keeping us on a timeline or schedule or, you know, if we fell off encouraging us to hop back on that timeline, that was very, very helpful for us.

Krystal Flantroy 27:05

I do want to speak to the publishing process, and here brought this up, I think that there are a multitude of journals in which you can publish and being able to select a journal that is interested in your topic, and will find your topic relevant, I think that will be a struggle for every graduate student, like cuz, you know, you're supposed to try to shoot for like, top tier journals. But as a graduate student, you're like, Okay, I'm not really sure which journals I should shoot for. And having Dr. Shelton help us with that. And a realistic timeline, right? Like, we wanted to turn our paper around in, you know, six months to a year, not 18 months, depending on the journal as we go back and forth, and back and forth. And so that was something I didn't realize, in the process of writing and publishing, that, like where you publish can determine how often your published, you know, the turn around the editors, what they like, if you're you fit like all of those things matter. And so like the mentoring on that was amazing.

Stephanie Shelton 28:11

Well, because you're all gifted and talented. You've answered multiple questions that I haven't asked yet. So thanks for being amazing in that way. If you could, if you could rewind time, and do this entire process all over again, what might you do differently?

Erica Campbell 28:26

You know, I'm one of those people that's like, I have no regrets. And the reason why I have no regrets right now, when it comes to this project is because was my first time doing a collaborative article with majority of my peers and colleagues, and of course, was your assistant, Dr. Shelton, but then also, just because I feel like you don't learn until you just do something. Right. So that's kind of how you learn the good things. Like we were saying, you know, the good things of how to pick a journal article How to really dive into a methodology that you have never done before, how to, you know, just just collaborate and really share the work and and just do that effectively and share your part. I think those are areas that I would have not learned if we didn't do this project overall. So I will say, No regrets. I don't have anything that I would change. I know, we were in the midst of COVID. If we can change the world, we would change COVID happening, because that did affect us finishing our paper, like we wanted to finish it earlier. But because of COVID I think that kind of just shook up our timeline a lot. And so I think that was something that I will say, if we had control over the world, I will make a change to other than that. I really enjoyed this process afterwards.

Kiara Summerville 29:47

Yeah, I think the pause that we all took when you ask that question, Dr. Shelton is a testament to you know, I don't know that I have any regrets either. You know about the process. And I learned a lot. And even, you know, I wrote another book chapter after this one and Erica's a co author on that book chapter with me. And we use the same method, right. And so to be able to go to our co authors on on this call and just say, you know, we've done this, this is what we learned from this paper that we did, you know, prior to this was helpful, very, very helpful.

Ashley Prowell 30:26

Yeah, I think it's, I think going into it just knowing like, it's not, it's not going to always be perfect. And, and I know, whether you're working with a group or by yourself and publishing, you know, putting your work out there, it's, it's pretty scary. And as soon as, you know, you get that email saying that your, your paper has been published, you know, for me, I get this, like, deep sense of fear, like, oh, my gosh, people are gonna be reading now. Like, they're gonna think I'm so stupid, but just know, going into it. And knowing that, you can always return to the same issue and improve upon it and build upon it and continue doing the work in that way. I think that's something that graduate students should definitely keep in mind. And it's qualitative research, you know, you it's so flexible, you can, you can do that. So

Krystal Flantroy 31:19

I think, um, with Erica, if I were to rewind time, I would probably just change the circumstances under which like our publication kind of happen, but you can't like change worldwide. I mean, she can't really predict a pandemic. But I also think that like, the things that I walk away learning from this is like, you can work with different people in different fields. Because when you're doing that, like you are using all of the knowledge, like all of us are in different fields, right? I'm in education, like for like secondary curriculum and instruction. And then we got Erica here, when higher education actually was in social work. Like, we collectively all felt the same way about the course that we were in. And so it was interdisciplinary. And it wasn't really about one person or another. It's like, this is the project that I would have never thought that I would have that we would have stumbled upon just from a group chat. Right. And so I think the rewind is, is like, if we could just rewind back in time, I probably would love to go back and be actually able to capture some of those conversations that we were having in a parking lot. Remember how you're having these conversations, you're going back and forth, you're talking about these particular articles. And like, I do remember one day I read are going three times I have no idea what's going on. Like, I came because like Y'all, I read it three times I've got it's like words on paper, it didn't make sense. But it's like, for me, the rewind would be to look at that as like data, right? Like if we could go back and just collect, like capture some of those, like intimate moments that were just what we thought were just conversations. And if we could capture that, though, probably the only thing that I would change, like, I want those, that raw interaction that we had, initially.

Stephanie Shelton 33:11

y'all have answered tons of questions that I've asked, and so what questions might you have for me?

Erica Campbell 33:18

How did you enjoy this process working with us Dr Shelter? How did you enjoy working with students of yours who, you know, really appreciate and are thankful for your mentorship and coaching in this process.

Ashley Prowell 33:32

And to sorry, could to piggyback on that to add to that, like, how, like being in in it and kind of disrupting it. So you are a part of the professor within the qualitative department. So being in it, and also kind of helping to disrupt at the same time, if you can talk a little bit about that.

Stephanie Shelton 33:52

Yeah, I think that's those are both really good questions. So I mean, for me, it was, it was it this is gonna sound really cliche, but I don't mean it that way. It was genuinely an honor. It was very touching to me, that you came to me and asked if I would help you support to help support you and moving forward? The answer was, of course, I will, you know, let's, let's figure out how to do it. But it also was scary. Because to go back to Ashley's point, I'm very aware of the fact that like, I'm a white person, um, and I do not have the perspective that you are describing, I do not, I do not know, the experiences, that that needed to be a core part of this paper. And so, working to be very deliberate about making sure that you were always in charge. That, you know, my role was never to take over, because that was already the problem, right? Like that was already wrong. That that white people were silencing black women that white people were, you know, a pervasive voice in qualitative research and so to not duplicate the very problem that was being critiqued. And then in terms of like your right, the article was Typically about the program that I teach in this article changed the way that I teach and a lot of different ways I became much more deliberate about making sure that the experience is the experiences that you describe, like didn't happen again, if I could help it. Um, and and I use your article in the class, students the semester read your article. But we also we, we've implemented like specific pedagogical frameworks that the students are aware of the students read with me, that are specifically targeted at rejecting the status quo rejecting these these Eurocentric white centric norms. And really taking the field of qualitative research to task about the ways that it's duplicated, the very oppressions that it sometimes pretends to critique. And so this process, it was helpful for me, just because I felt like there was an ordinate amount of trust in me helping to guide this process and mentor you. But it was also it was important for me professionally and scholastically, as well, because it's changed a lot of the way that I think about things because it's, I'm never so arrogant as to believe that I know everything. But it was a very explicit moment where the process that you were going through forced me to also actively interrogate the ways that I was potentially contributing to the very things that were being described. And so making sure that I was disrupting that as much as I was able to as well.

Kiara Summerville 36:31

And I appreciate Dr. Shelton, you amplifying our voices in your class, you know, I had multiple folks in that class you taught reach out afterwards, we read your paper in class. We even vote in tweeted about it, you know, as being hands on, and he read our paper. So I appreciate you, you including that in in your course, this paper in your course. And I'm using it as a tool to help your your students learn or think critically about the pedagogy in qualitative research and really, you know, any field that those students will will go on to, to work with.

Stephanie Shelton 37:16

I appreciate you all producing scholarship that that to be something that can make supposedly addressed.

Krystal Flantroy 37:23

I do you have a question. So you worked with us because we basically, were like, hey, we want to write this paper. Do you think in the future that you could see yourself collaborating with students more like maybe a project if, like how you've included us into your curriculum and to your pedagogy in your course, like maybe having a group project where they do something collaborative, and then they see something coming out of it doing this again, with another set of students possibly.

Stephanie Shelton 37:53

So I write the students a lot. Anybody who looks at my CV, there's there's a little symbol that I use to designate whenever the students I wrote soon as a lot. But the answer your question is, yes, I actually because this is an AERA Qualitative, Sig podcast. Boden and I are actually involved in an AERA grant project right now, that is a group of qualitative students. And we anticipate there being multiple collaborative writing projects that come out of that. And it's not that I've never done what you all propose doing ever before. But I do think that the process with us helped to refine and reflect on that process, to continue to make sure that what's happening is useful and helpful to graduate students. Because it's really easy, the stakes are different for y'all than they are for faculty, right? Like, I mean, like, Ashley, you talked about the very beginning when you introduce yourself, like I'm on the job market. And, and so the stakes are different, the calculus is different. And so making sure that what's happening is useful to y'all. And not just you being a means to an end for a faculty member. All right, to wind up my my favorite question, as you all know, what else would you like to share with graduate students, faculty or other listeners,

Kiara Summerville 39:10

I would say, go forward. If you have a project in mind, may use group in mind or just have been pondering on some things, when you're in the classroom or in your graduate student experience or even as a faculty, right? Go forward, you know, try to put it out there, think about how that can really influence higher education and push our field forward. Don't Don't be afraid to step out and try it. Don't be afraid to ask your colleagues if this is something that you think is worthwhile, and to go for it. And then also, like we said earlier, definitely seek out mentorship, seek out coaching, if you don't know how to kind of make those steps. In terms of manuscript writing, don't feel free to ask someone I know. It's like a fear that many of us kind of can, you know can overcome us as we're graduate students and kind of feel like we don't want to bother our faculty members. And we don't really want to ask questions, but feel free to do that, you know, get out of your comfort zone, ask those questions, you know, ask for coaching, ask for mentorship, but you never know what beautiful piece may come from that. So that's some of the advice that I would give. I think,

Ashley Prowell 40:19

I think in terms of collaboration, just also, you know, I think people tend to be afraid to work in groups, sometimes it just depends on your personality. Some people like would rather work alone, and some people actually enjoy working with groups. But if you're, you know, afraid of that, just being I think for us, it was a little bit easier because we were all friends and but just so being honest about kind of where we were at in our journey and what we had time for and okay, I can take on this and I can't you know, just so just being honest and upfront about that. And I think that tends to help the the process go smoother.

Kiara Summerville 41:02

In our paper we talk about we side Patricia Hill Collins in one of her 1986 essays, and we talked about how we use our marginality as an excitement to creativity. And so my thoughts for anyone, students, faculty, other listeners is, you know, what the four of us we could have just continued on about our way and maybe continue to complain, maybe, I don't know what we would have done if we wouldn't have done this paper. But we could have just went on finish that class that semester just kept going in our journeys, but we decided, like Ashley said earlier to use our thoughts in a scholarly way and that helped us write get a publication, but it helped us to you know, streamline our thoughts and, and even thinking about this conversation is helping us to give back to qualitative research in the field of education and, um, you know, really, academia, you know, all the things giving back by nature of sharing our experience and feeling like we were not getting in that class and having to use, you know, our marginality as an excitement to creativity to this creative work that we've put out into the world. So that would be my advice to listeners is to think about what he'll Collins said, and I'm using that marginality to, for to be creative with it, and help yourself to also helping others which in a lot of ways is kind of the foundation of black feminist epistemology in the first place, creating a gateway to entryway for all for all folks by nature of you know, our own position as black women.

Krystal Flantroy 42:44

And I just want to challenge graduate students, faculty, and other people who are listening to be the changemakers, right? Be the people that disrupt the normal pedagogical policies that we see in qualitative inquiry, right? You don't have to cover the people in the book, you can go out and research and dig deep, and try to diversify what it is that you have been doing. And what it is you have been learning about. If you have a thought in your head, it might be a theorist that already said it thought it up and go research that person, go follow that person, go use that person, scholarships and hope propel yourself forward. And so I just want to challenge people to think outside the box and dig deep and help your students to dig deep beyond what's on the surface or beyond what's Eurocentric and what's been normalized for us. So

Ashley Prowell 43:44

Yeah, I think it's a testament to Collins theory is like disrupting and kind of her outside or within theory, just disrupting and beat navigating the system, but also being able to disrupt it at the same time. So I feel like that's what we did with our paper. I feel like that's what Dr. Shelton was doing by helping us. So. Yeah.

Stephanie Shelton 44:10

Alright, so Dr. Kiara Somerville, and the future Dr. Erica Campbell, and the future of Dr. Kystal Flantroy and Dr. Ashley Prowell. Thank you very much for joining us today for qualitative conversations.

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