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ABSTRACT. This study explored ways that doctoral supervisors working together across distance can enhance ethically reflexive practice through collegial support. A form of collaborative biographical memory-work was used to enhance theorizing around the discursive positionings and subjectivities that emerged from experiences remembered and shared. This method is usually based on memories from childhood assumed to have undergone less re-scripting through re-telling over time. In contrast, in this study six experienced doctoral supervisors worked over two years to remember and theorize ethical difficulties in their adult professional practice before turning to shared memories of childhood experiences linked to adult concerns. These insights led supervisors to re-articulate earlier difficulties in supervision, linking earlier experiences of mothering and schooling to ethical stances taken in later life. The collaborative memories elicited unexpected intersections between dominant discourses of rational authority/ knowledge and power and feminist understandings of disciplined bodies/emotions and care within the constraints of contemporary university environments. The research points not only to the value of collaboration in the work of theorizing, but to the contribution of biographical memory exploration to reflexive ethical practice. pp. 39–59

Keywords: doctoral education; postgraduate supervision; ethics; embodiment; feminist poststructural theory

LISE BIRD CLAIBORNE
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University of Waikato
SUE CORNFORTH
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Victoria University of Wellington
MARIAN COURT
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Massey University
KATHIE CROCKET
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University of Waikato
CATHERINE MANATHUNGA
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Victoria University, Melbourne

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