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Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1757-1871
  • E-ISSN: 1757-188X


In this article I discuss how my background as a somatic movement therapist and educator has informed my identity and current work as a higher education (HE) researcher and academic developer, or teacher of HE. I explore what it means to come from a non-traditional home discipline, and to work in a non-unified field within academia. How does it impact on academic credibility, and the practical choices of methodology and dissemination? What might a new, less traditional home discipline bring to HE research, and what problems might arise for a researcher wanting to draw on less known or regarded methods, practices or theories of research? Within somatic movement and education the ethos of embodiment, that is an awareness of the importance of the body, underlies all theory and practice. Elements of this ethos can also be found across many disciplines within academia. HE is a non-unified field that has been described as atheoretical or without an overarching theoretical base. It attracts researchers from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds, and yet draws strongly on social science and hard science descriptions of rigour, validity and what is considered knowledge and research. In this article I take a reflective and embodied approach to consider how this impacts on issues of credibility working in HE, drawing on conversations with other HE researchers and academic developers, and the consequences and tensions that result.


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