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This page represents my own "felt-analysis" (Million, 2009) of the murals that the teacher participants created collectively, and is meant to portray how their work made me feel as the 'researcher', not necessarily what the participants intended for the interpretation of their work.

 

The analysis is as much about myself as it is about the participants,

and I intend to tell the story here of how their art became a narrative of 'consumption' for me,

leading me to consider the ways that teachers are being 'consumed' by the work of Teaching,

along with the ways I both consume and am consumed in other areas of my life.

 

As a White person attempting anti-racist scholarship, as a researcher 'consuming' the generous gifts of participants' time and effort, as a wife and mother being 'consumed'

by domestic labor and care of my two young children,

I'm complicit in many consumptive systems.

 

As a living being that exists in an interdependent material world which relies on relationships of 'consumption' for survival, my own story in this work has therefore become a narrative of questioning what kinds of 'consumptive' relationships are possible among caring professionals if we could take the time for collective care as we imagine 'otherwise worlds'.

Ultimately, this work represents my offering back to the participants,

as a sort of call-and-response aesthetic towards a redemptive narrative

of learning to enact reciprocal care among caring professionals.

My intent in calling this ethnographic method of currere a "synaesthography" is to convey the mutually-causative nature of the work itself, the aesthetic felt analysis, and the co-created narrative that results from the ongoing contributions of a 'participant audience' invited (or not) by the participants. I derived this term from the prefix 'syn', meaning 'together' (e.g. synapse, synthesis, synchronous); the root word 'aesthet', meaning 'to feel or perceive' in relation to art or beauty (e.g. aesthetic, anesthetic); and the suffix 'ography', meaning 'to write about' (e.g. ethnography, biography, geography). I was unable to find this term in use in any other context, aside from the neurological condition of "synesthesia" explained below. The condition itself is an apt metaphor for the methodology, and I debated removing the 'a' from 'aesthetic' to reflect this, as the spellings are often used interchangibly. Ultimately, I decided to leave the 'a' as an acknowledgment of the influence of philosophical aesthetics on the humanities and qualitative research fields. This also is intended to differentiate the term from the neurological condition, so as not to obscure any developments in medical research with its metaphorical application in this work.

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