NBN Interviews

Two more NBN interviews, on Spark and Raising Race Questions respectively

After an extremely busy spring semester, I did two more New Books in Education interviews with two of my favorite authors, Patricia Leavy on her new book, Spark, and Ali Michael on her award-winning book Raising Race Questions: Whiteness and Inquiry in Education. I thoroughly enjoyed both and have learned a lot from the conversations with Patricia and Ali.

Spark is a highly original novel about an unexpected yet extremely fruitful journey of a sociology professor, Peyton Wilde. Peyton, together with a diverse group of companions, was charged with answering a perplexing question in a five-day seminar held in Iceland. As they worked to address the question from very different perspectives, the experience also transformed each and every one of the team members. This innovative text offers far more than what a typical novel could offer: the author seamlessly incorporates into it a process of social inquiry. Readers can relate to the book on multiple levels. It can be read for fun, for a book club discussion, or adapted as a required text for qualitative inquiry courses in fields such as education, social work, and communication.

Here is the link to the podcast: Spark

In Raising Race Questions, Ali Michael worked with a group of white teachers to inquire about race and schooling. She has masterfully shown to us, how teachers can become more racially competent through asking difficult questions, building inquiry groups, and working on personal and interpersonal reflection. The book offers four guiding principles for teachers to inquire about race and racism: (1) the inquiry aims to make teachers and classrooms more whole than creating fractures; (2) teachers’ and students’ positive racial identity matter; (3) a multicultural curriculum is not sufficient for building an antiracist classroom; (4) racial competence can be learned. These principles are inspiring and helpful for not only teachers, but also all the citizens who care about the issues of equity, inclusion, and social justice.

Here is the link to my conversation with Ali: Raising Race Questions

NBN Interviews

NBN Interview on Discursive Perspectives on Education Policy and Implementation

The study of education policy is a scholarly field that sheds light on important debates and controversies revolving around education policy and its implementation. In this episode, I will be talking with three scholars who have made substantial contributions to this field by introducing an innovative perspective to the studies of educational policy—the discursive perspectives. In their new edited volume, Discursive Perspectives on Education Policy and Implementation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), editors Jessica LesterChad Lochmiller, and Rachael Gabriel, together with other contributors of the book, argue that we should pay close attention to how language is used as a mediation in the entire process of education policy conceptualization and implementation. The book offers compelling and diverse examples to demonstrate how researchers interested in different aspects of policy studies may employ language-based methodologies to enrich our understanding of crucial issues in the realm of policymaking. Thoughtfully produced and carefully presented, the book also won this year’s AERA Qualitative Research SIG outstanding book award.

This is my first time to conduct interview with more than one guest remotely. I am glad it went on so well! Thanks, Drs. Lester, Lochmiller, and Gabriel!

NBN Interviews

NBN Interview with Aaron Kuntz on his new book–The Responsible Methodologist: Inquiry, Truth-Telling, and Social Justice

In this episode, I speak with Aaron M. Kuntz about his book, The Responsible Methodologist: Inquiry, Truth-Telling, and Social Justice (Left Coast Press, 2015). This book offers a thorough and much-needed interrogation of the role of research methodologist in today’s neo-liberalist era. Kuntz reflects upon the social and cultural structure that gave rise to the conventional role of a methodologist, a technocrat and middle-manager of knowledge production. He urges social and educational researchers in general, and research methodologists in particular, to move away from such a morally indifferent position and to encompass a social justice oriented approach to research. In his book, Kuntz also mobilizes the latest social theories from post-structuralism to new materialism to reconceptualize the meaning of truth and the responsibility of researchers.

This thought-provoking and beautifully executed book will bring the readers to the central issues and debates with which contemporary researchers and research methodologists have been wrestling. Aaron is inspiring, interesting, and humorous. I love to hear his intellectual journey from a literature student to an established qualitative methodologist.

NBN Interviews

NBN Interview with Patricia Leavy on Low-Fat Love Stories

It was a great pleasure to chat with Patricia Leavy on her new book, Low-Fat Love Stories (Sense Publishers, 2017, co-authored with Victoria Scotti). This interesting and inspiring book is a collection of short stories and artistic portraits focusing on women’s dissatisfying relationships. What makes these stories different from conventional fictions is that all the stories are based on extensive interviews with women of different ages and from different racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds across the United States. In the book, readers will read extremely candid and moving personal stories, identity struggles, and painstaking self-reflection. As a product of art-based research, the book also critically interrogates how popular culture shapes women’s self-perception, influences their understanding of romantic relationship, and eventually contributes to their sufferings of low self-esteem, depression, or anxiety. Dr. Leavy has so many insights to share about conducting art-based research. I enjoyed the entire conversation with her incredibly and my personal favorite part of the interview is her talking about how she conducted collaborative art-based research with artist, Victoria Scotti.

NBN Interviews

Interview with Lucinda Carspecken on her new edited volume: Love in the Time of Ethnography

In this “New Books in Education” episode, I talked with Lucinda Carspecken on her new edited volume, Love in the Time of Ethnography: Essays on Connection as a Focus and Basis for Research.Carspecken is anthropologist and lecturer in the School of Education, Indiana University Bloomington. In this beautifully curated book, contributors from various social science disciplines—sociology, anthropology, education, psychology, etc.—explore different facets of a basic component of human life, love. The authors define love broadly to include affective feelings, expressions, practice and philosophy across different cultures and traditions. It not only reveals how affective feelings are deeply shaped by different cultural, social and political practice, but also examines love’s potential to transcend the boundaries between self and the other, to increase the solidarity among young activists, to overcome traumatic experiences, and to anchor the relationship between human beings and nature. While grounded in the ethnographic approach, the book also intentionally includes unconventional academic writings such as poems and autobiographies. Of particular interest is the discussion of love as a primary tenet in social science research methodology: the conceptualization of research praxis as love-in-action and the expatiation of the relationship between love and validity.


NBN Interviews

My first podcast in “New Books in Education” series is out

Since this October, I’ve joined the New Books Network as a host in the podcast channel “New Books in Education.” I will focus specifically on conducting author interviews with new books published in the field of qualitative inquiry. Now my first podcast episode is out and available for download.

In this episode, I talked with Dr. Karen Ross from the University of Massachusetts Boston on her book: Youth Encounter Programs in Israel: Pedagogy, Identity and Social Change (Syracuse University Press, 2017). It was very interesting and inspiring to talk with Karen!

Click here to read a short description of Karen’s book and listen to my interview: New Books in Education.