Collective Memory-work as Method and Resistance


  • Trisia Farrelly Massey University
  • Rochelle Stewart-Withers Massey University
  • Sharon McLennan Massey University
  • Lorena Gibson Victoria University of Wellington



Academic mothers, collective memory work, memory work as method, PBRF


Four academic mothers share their first foray into collective memory-work while exploring academic mother subjectivities located within tertiary education in New Zealand. Originating in education and gender studies, memory-work is currently an untapped research method in anthropology. The authors invite anthropologists to explore the value of collective memory-work, particularly when all participants seek academic outputs; where power imbalances in the group are minimal; and where trusting relationships are pre-established. Key words: memory-work; collective memory-work; mothers; academic mothers; method; PBRF.

Author Biographies

Trisia Farrelly, Massey University

Dr Trisia Farrelly is a senior lecturer in Social Anthropology with the School of People, Environment and Planning at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. Her research interests include community-based development; protected area management;conservation; Indigenous Fijian epistemologies and methodologies, development, indigenous Fijian micropolitics, governance, and entrepreneurship; socio-cultural analyses of waste minimisation; informal economies; collective memory work; Pacific Islands waste management.

Rochelle Stewart-Withers, Massey University

Dr Rochelle Stewart-Withers is an senior lecturer with the Institute of Development Studies, School of People, Environment and Planning at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. Her research focuses on the Pacific region where she has on-going research interests in parenting, households and family, gender, qualitative research methodologies, Pacific epistemology, and also sport as a vehicle for development. She is also Chair of Ethics.

Sharon McLennan, Massey University

Dr Sharon McLennan is a lecturer with the Institute of Development Studies at Massey University having recently completed a post-doc fellowship. Sharon's current research is focused on the experiences of volunteer tourists and hosts in Fiji, as well as the discourses and images produced by voluntourism organisations, hosts and volunteers. The aim is critically examine the ways in which voluntourism is shaping development discourses and understandings of global citizenship. She has ongoing interests in volunteering for development (particularly medical volunteerism), international health, and information & Communication Technology and social media for Development.

Lorena Gibson, Victoria University of Wellington

Dr Lorena Gibson is a lecturer in social anthropology with the School of Social and Cultural Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand. She has longstanding research interests in public anthropology; the anthropology of hope; gender; culture and development; qualitative methodologies; and ethnographic writing.




How to Cite

Farrelly, T., Stewart-Withers, R., McLennan, S., & Gibson, L. (2017). Collective Memory-work as Method and Resistance. Sites: A Journal of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, 14(2).