Our Stories Matter explains and exemplifies the methodology of Scholarly Personal Narrative (SPN) writing for marginalized, underrepresented, and previously "disappeared" students at all levels of higher education. Presently no book looks at the whys and hows of scholarly personal narrative writing that focuses on this particular audience of underrepresented students. SPN writing has its origins in early slave narratives; 1960s feminist liberation stories; religio-spiritual autobiographies; existential, postmodern, and postcritical theory; and memoir/autobiographies of victimization and victory. Our Stories Matter attempts to fill a huge vacuum in the literature on the art and craft of personal narrative writing for undergraduates and graduates, because it appeals to a hugely expanding, previously underrepresented audience. It also provides faculty with a substantive pedagogical rationale and a writer's guide for teaching this kind of scholarly research - not just to underrepresented students but to all students who are ready to tell their stories in their own original, creative ways.
Robert J. Nash has been a professor in the College of Education and Social Services, University of Vermont, Burlington, for 44 years. Since 1996 he has published 13 books, several of them national award winners, along with over 100 articles, numerous book chapters, and several book reviews. In 2003 he was named the Official University Scholar in the Social Sciences and the Humanities at the University of Vermont, only the third faculty member in the history of the College of Education and Social Services to be so honored. Sydnee Viray is a highly respected student services administrator at the University of Vermont. She is a social worker, consultant/scholar in the areas of diversity and inclusion and financial management for mission-driven non-profits and for government bodies. She has spent the last 10 years as a community social worker advocating for, and with, economically and racially marginalized community members. She is currently a Scholarly Personal Narrative writing co-instructor (with Robert) at UVM.