Two men talking: Performing selves in emergent relational space

Ken Gale, Jonathan Wyatt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


We have been writing collaboratively for eight years, using an approach, 'nomadic inquiry,' drawn from the French 20th Century philosopher, Gilles Deleuze, (e.g. Gale & Wyatt, 2009). In this approach we exchange writings, via email, to which we each in turn respond. We might respond directly to what the other has written, working with the ideas, stories, figures or form of the piece; or we might, as Deleuze would put it, take 'lines of flight,' or work with it 'rhizomatically,' allowing the other's writing to lead us elsewhere, somewhere, anywhere. We see this collaborative writing as inquiry (after Richardson, 1997; Richardson & St. Pierre, 2005; Speedy & Wyatt, 2014; etc.): We do not know where the writing will take us. We write, together, in order to find out where we are going and what will be created. We inquire into understanding and/or troubling notions of subjectivity; and/or perhaps we are inquiring into friendship (Gale & Wyatt, 2009). The writing that follows is based upon a longer piece, 'Two Men Talking' (Gale & Wyatt, 2008a), that we originally wrote five years ago as we were producing our joint dissertation at the University of Bristol. Our writing had only recently begun explicitly to consider questions of gender. In Gale & Wyatt (2008b), written during the same period of time as we were writing Two Men Talking, we began to explore our process of "becoming men." In that writing we exchanged stories from our childhood and early adulthood about boarding school, hair, sexuality, mothers, relationships and more. After Butler (2004, 2006), we discussed the provisional nature of gender, and how in our collaborative writing-our "collective biography" (Davies & Gannon, 2006)-the experience of writing to and with each other about gender was central to our process: Because of what has gone before, and because of our shared present and prospective shared future, we can perform these versions of our masculinities today. (Gale & Wyatt, 2008b, p. 251).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCreative Practitioner Inquiry in the Helping Professions
EditorsJane Speedy, Jonathan Wyatt
PublisherSense Publishers
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9789462097438
ISBN (Print)9789462097414
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014


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