Creative Nonfiction Narratives and Memory-Work: Pathways for Women Teacher-Researchers’ Scholarship of Ambiguity and Openings

  • Daisy PillayEmail author
  • Mary Cullinan
  • Leighandri Moodley
Part of the Studies in Arts-Based Educational Research book series (SABER, volume 2)


“Creative Nonfiction Narratives and Memory-Work: Pathways for Women Teacher-Researchers’ Scholarship of Ambiguity and Openings” by Daisy Pillay, Mary Cullinan, and Leighandri Moodley, draws on exemplars of memory-work and creative nonfiction narratives presented by two teacher-researchers from their graduate studies. Mary, a Canadian teacher and late-entry doctoral student, used personal photos and metaphorical images to evoke memories of how women saw their journey as late-entry doctoral students in order to come to a closer understanding of her life and place in academia. Leighandri shares two creative narratives she composed with South African women novice teachers in her master’s study to bring her to a deeper understanding of her own story as a novice teacher. The mosaic pieces illustrate ways in which memory-work and creative nonfiction narratives can facilitate new understandings of both past and present, generating new narratives of women teachers that can activate change for the future.


Artefacts Creative nonfiction Doctoral students Memory-work Novice teachers Photographs South Africa Teacher professional learning 



Permission was received from Kerusha, Elizabeth, Carol, and Bridget for their contributions to be included in publications based on Leighandri and Mary’s research.

We are grateful to our peer reviewer, Marie Hyleen Sandra Mariaye (Mauritius Institute of Education, Mauritius), for her reassuring and insightful feedback on this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daisy Pillay
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mary Cullinan
    • 2
  • Leighandri Moodley
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalDurbanSouth Africa
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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