Vitae Scholasticae: The Journal of Educational Biography

Lucy E. Bailey, Ph.D., Editor

Call For Papers


Family methodologies: how do they differ from other Life History Research  methodologies?


Families are corporeal and relational but they are also the stuff of stories and of culture. Family, like any topic of study, comes with its own tangle of investments, affections and complications. What constitutes “family” varies historically and culturally as well as discursively, and these complex ideas form the ways we imagine and undertake inquiries involving family members and/or ancestors.


This special issue of Vitae Scholasticae: The Journal of Educational Biography

focuses on methodological processes, themes, and theorizing in research conducted ‘with’ or ‘on’ family members (Bailey, 2016). We invite essays that explore

methodological conundrums, puzzles, and intricacies in researcher/subject relations within the complex memory, empirical, and affect work involved in family terrain.


Bailey has argued that the process of working-the-hyphen (Fine, 1994) in research with/on family members is messy and complex in part because of the discursive and affective investments in family, and because of the complexity of cultural nostalgia that shapes what is silenced/championed in family narratives (Bailey, 2009, 2016). Goodall (2005) has detailed how family silences and archival struggles shaped his inquiry into his father’s life and his own ‘narrative inheritance.” Norquay has taken up the complexity of being a steward for her mother’s archive, an accidental archivist (Silin, 2014) and the negotiations involved in making decisions about ‘private’ materials available to the ‘public’ (Norquay,2015, 2016). Methodological questions about family research are rich for further exploration.


We welcome the following formats and contributions:

1) full-length biographical, historical, or qualitative scholarship (6,000-8,000 words) that focuses on issues of family in research projects that foreground the methodological processes and complexities of the research; 

2) shorter creative pieces (500 to 2,500 words) that explore and represent such complexities in narrative, poetic, or artistic formats.


Send proposals / abstracts (no more than 500 words) and a brief bio (no more than 100 words) to: Dr. Lucy E. Bailey ( by July 15, 2017. Final submissions accepted for the special issue are due September 15, 2017. 



Bailey, L. (2009). “Necessary betrayals”, Vitae Scholasticae, Volume 26, #1, pp.98-116 


Bailey, L. (2016). “Epistolary Hauntings”, Education’s Histories: Methodological Grist for the History of education, Volume 3, October 2016,


Fine, M. (1994). “Working the hyphens: Reinventing self and other in qualitative research”, In N. Denzin & Lincoln, Y. (Eds.). Handbook of qualitative research (pp 70-82). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 


Goodall, H. L. (2005). “Narrative Inheritance: A Nuclear Family with Toxic Secrets,”

Qualitative Inquiry, Volume 11(4), 492-513.


Norquay, N. (2015). “ ‘Dear family’: Preparing personal letters for the archive” (unpublished MS).


Norquay, N. (2016). “Dear Lucy: A multilogue response to Lucy E. Bailey’s ‘Epistolary Hauntings’ ”, Education’s Histories: Methodological grist for the history of education, Volume 3,


Silin, J.(2014). “The teacher as accidental archivist.” Studies in Gender and Sexuality, Volume 15 (2), pp. 133-142.


More information contact:

Dr. Lucy E. Bailey ( or Dr. Naomi Norquay (