Story as assemblage: How it works, and what it offers to move forward

Year: 2019

Author: Pham, Xuan

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper aims to expand the discussions of story underpinned by poststructuralist thoughts in social sciences and education and to offer a way of reading story. Within poststructuralist paradigm, story is understood as a process that brings in heterogeneous time and space configurations and emphasises the virtual forces, silences, and unsaid of story. Drawing on a project exploring academic subjectivity of 14 Vietnamese women academics and doctoral students in Australian neoliberal universities and informed by Deleuzian concept of assemblage, I suggest a way of analysing story as assemblage. I highlight three methodological movements through this analysis. First, it indicates how a relation of heterogeneous forces associated with neoliberal governance, historical and cultural aspects of gender and nationality come together to produce story and academic subjectivity. Second, through mapping molar and molecular movements, it demonstrates affective capacities of the academic self that not only reproduces but reworks and disrupts normalcy, hierarchy, and organisation within assemblages. Third, it offers a way of re-imaging the academic self to minimise its associated corporate ideologies, which has been increasingly argued as toxic, and to recognise the generative possibilities for developing new relationships within academic spaces.