We humans share our life stories, as Bauer, McAdams and Pals (2008: 84) have suggested, ʻto try to derive some sense of unity and purpose out of what may otherwise appear to be an incomprehensible array of life events and experiencesʼ. Yet as Holtgraves and Kashima (2007: 91) have pointed out the sharing of stories is also an inherently communal event for what is shared and how it is expressed is also dependent upon the audience. The complex story I am sharing is centred on my experience of transition and change as a rural mid-life female and junior academic. I consider whether gender has been the most salient aspect of my identity in creating meaning within my story of transition and change. I explore how, for me, the performance of gender is intertwined with the performance of many other aspects of identity. I also describe how my relationships to, and in, place have influenced the story I share. The telling of my story was shaped with two audiences in mind. The first and more interactive audience occurred within the conference session. The second is an audience of academics interested in narrative theory and methodology who will silently read, and evaluate, my written story. Additional layers are inserted as I consider what must be left out of my narrative, as well as what I have chosen to include in order to portray the sense of unity, purpose and professionalism anticipated by an academic audience.
Recommended CitationFoskey, Ros, From the periphery: Experiencing being an academic newcomer, Current Narratives, 2, 2010, 14-26.