This article discusses how a performed drama based on a narrative inquiry into the lived experience of women casual academics in Australian universities is understood by an audience. The audience, principally comprised of casual and ongoing academics, described the drama as authentic and personally recognised many of the main scenarios and preoccupations re-presented. In particular, they identified that the drama’s re-presentation of casual academics’ feelings of insecurity, precarious collegial relationships, and a lack of belonging and voice strongly resonated with them. The presentation also provoked them to communicate their own lived experiences of academia, which constituted a second set of narrative data. Moreover, when the audience was invited to engage with and respond to performed data they became active and collaborative participants in the research project by sharing personal insights and narratives which extended the scope and depth of the initial research project. Therefore, a public re-presentation of narrative research can transform narrative inquiry research into an action research project if the researcher adjusts her/his research approach and accepts that the audience narrative response can function as a second phase of data gathering. Adjusting to the emergent generation of data in turn further democratises research processes and relationships.
Educational Action Research / Vol. Article in press