Contents: Phil Smith: Why Autoethnography? - Dene Granger: Who knew school could be so cruel?: Tales of a Learning Disabled Student at an Institution of Higher Learning - Michael Peacock: The Bad Apple - Elizabeth Grace: Autistethnography - Phil Smith: This Closet - Alicia Broderick: I Am Not of This World, and Yet I Am in It: A Daughter's/Disability-Studies-in-Education Alien's Log Of a Journey Through Hell - Bernadette Macartney: Listening: A Star Is Born! - Casey Harhold: Help Wanted - David Connor: Picture This: Snapshots of My (A)typical Family - Erin McCloskey: An Open Letter to Wyatt - Kathleen Kotel: That's OK, They Are Beautiful Children - Liz McCall: A New Chance to Matter - Lynn Albee: Being an Albee - Phil Smith: What Do These Stories Tell Us About Education and Autoethnography? - Phil Smith: Looking to the Future.
Phil Smith is Associate Professor of Education at Eastern Michigan University. His most recent book is Whatever Happened to Inclusion? The Place of Students with Intellectual Disabilities in Education (Peter Lang, 2010). He has published widely in the areas of qualitative research, education, and disability studies.
"Raw, authentic, and emotional ... These autoethnographies of educators who teach about and live with disabilities, or care for those who do, will break your heart. They offer hope that through personal stories we might create a sense of belonging for all touched by disability. These heartfelt and candid stories provide important insights that help us love more fully those who need us, provide assistance to those who are caregivers, teach more practically those interested in disabilities, open up the world of research to those who seek to understand experience deeply, and change the world ... A thoughtful and penetrating resource for classrooms, practitioners, and those living with disabilities and their loved ones." (Carolyn Ellis, Professor and Chair of Communication, University of South Florida; Author of 'Final Negotiations: A Story of Love, Loss, and Chronic Illness; The Ethnographic I: A Methodological Novel about Autoethnography; Revision: Autoethnographic Reflections on Life and Work'; and 'Handbook of Autoethnography') "Disability has always provoked stories - stories of 'what happened,' stories that attempt to answer the how, when, and why of disability. The stories here, however, have a larger 'point to make,' talking back to dominant ways of thinking and knowing about dis/ability. Thus, while we create stories to know and to be known - in story we also insist on the authority of our own (and other's) experience. Deftly constructed like lines in a poem, in 'Both Sides of the Table' Smith allows one story to speak to another, as the other nods back in shared understanding. More than an anthology, however, 'Both Sides of the Table' is a 'gentle manifesto.' In an era dominated by calls for 'evidence-based practice,' the field of education has been increasingly loathe to take risks. Although telling one's story is inherently risky, taking those stories seriously, ceding to their inner-authority, and allowing them to dislodge our taken-for-granted assumptions and ways of knowing involves an equally profound and existential risk. These are the risks that we as readers are invited, indeed, compelled to take in 'Both Sides of the Table'. In putting story in the service of social transformation, Smith pushes the field to move beyond its current sense making about research, dis/ability, and inclusion to embrace a more radical and far-reaching conception of belonging." (Beth A. Ferri, Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Doctoral Program in Special Education, Syracuse University)