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Professor Jane Speedy


Jane Speedy has a longstanding personal commitment to feminist activism and professional experience and qualifications in teaching, counselling and narrative therapy.  She spent her early career in counselling/inclusive education and education management before moving into higher education.  More recently she has acquired an international reputation for developing innovative interdisciplinary qualitative research methodologies.  She is widely internationally published and lectures frequently in Australia, the United States and Europe. 

She teaches Narrative Inquiry and other research methods at the arts-social sciences interface particularly on the narrative inquiry EdD pathway.  She has a keen interest in the development of creative research training environments that reflect, extend and seem relevant to the lives of practitioner researchers and encourage and extend professional life writing as a legitimate contribution to the educational research canon.  Her own doctoral research, a narrative inquiry positioned within a feminist/poststructuralist discourse , explored the interrelationships between therapeutic and academic cultures.  Her latest book 'Narrative Inquiry and Psychotherapy' troubled the edges between therapy and research and between the arts and social sciences. 

Jane is interested in the development of methodologies that blur the genres between the arts and the social sciences such as fictionalised accounts, short stories, auto-ethnographies and poetic and visual narratives.  She has presented and published a range of work on the uses of magical realism as method in psychotherapeutic and educational research.

Her current focus is on collaborative writing and various forms of collaborative text production, including collective biography, writing as inquiry, and juxtapositions of various visual and written textual forms.  Her  current ESCalate project features a particular interest in web 2.0 technologies, such as blogs and wikis as sites for radical collaborations and she is currently writing about the opportunities provided by 'twitter' as a site for developing auto-ethnographic and collaborative writing skills.  Of particular ongoing interest is the increase in published output and the particular forms of ethical know-how emerging amongst research students and early career researchers exposed to extensive collaborative writing processes and practices.

Jane is also co-ordinator of CeNTraL, the Centre for Narratives and Transformative Learning, a very lively research centre at the Graduate School of Education with a large interdisciplinary membership from across the university and elsewhere within the UK and beyond.  This centre runs regular seminar series, writing groups, reading groups and hosts visiting professorships and fellowships.  See the centre website for more details.  Jane also maintains and develops CeNTraL's collaborations with a number of other universities and organisations, including the International Qualitative Inquiry Congress.  For more about the 2009 Congress, see CeNTraL's website or read Jane's blog at QI 2011

Also linked with the Graduate School of Education is the newly active university research theme: Identities, which Jane co-leads.  This interdisciplinary theme explores and develops identity research across the university and has active members from five of the six university faculties.  For details of forthcoming events and projects, consult the identities theme blog.