A conversation with the enemy
School of Humanities, University of Western Australia
Place of Publication
Crawley, Western Australia
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Arts and Humanities
My PhD thesis is an autoethnography. Distress and anger prompted the recollection of my first debilitating years with vulval pain, or vulvodynia: the crisis. The narrative developed into 'a wider investigation into the manifestations of vulvodynia in other women in the past and the present, analysing, in the process, inadequate conceptualisations of genital pain in medicine and psychology' (p. 2): query, challenge and re-evaluation. (Unless otherwise indicated, quotations in this article are drawn from my PhD thesis, Vulvodynia and Autoethnography (2011).) Guided by unfolding life events and inner promptings, my methodological approach found expression through a thesis form that intermingled memoir, theory and speculation: 'The project began to determine its own trajectory, ultimately developing into a complicated life/research praxis in which thought, feeling, body and soul converged' (p. 2).
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