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Full-Text Articles in Interpersonal and Small Group Communication

Father's Blessing: Ethnographic Drama, Poetry, And Prose, Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D. Jan 2015

Father's Blessing: Ethnographic Drama, Poetry, And Prose, Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D.

Faculty Publications

Following interpretivist traditions focusing on how individuals make sense of and make meaning from their lived experience, the author, a heterosexual woman, travels with a gay male friend/participant to visit his estranged father, a retired Air Force pilot and elder in the Mormon Church. The work attempts to show the dialogic construction, negotiation, and transformation of identities and relationships.


Revisiting Don/Ovan, Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D. Jan 2015

Revisiting Don/Ovan, Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D.

Faculty Publications

In this piece, the author, a heterosexual woman, travels to her hometown of Lake City, MN to reconnect with Donovan Marshall, a gay man she last saw in 1986. "Revisiting Don/ovan" explores opportunities and challenges of coming out, leaving, and returning to live in a small town.


Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Coming Out In An Alcoholic Family, Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D. Jan 2015

Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Coming Out In An Alcoholic Family, Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D.

Faculty Publications

This piece invites readers inside emotional and relational dynamics of coming

out as gay in an alcoholic family system. Taking an interpretive approach to

research, focused on how participants make sense of and make meaning

from their lived experience, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” offers a longitudinal and

narrative ethnographic account of family secrecy and disclosure.


Remembering A Cool September, Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D. Jan 2015

Remembering A Cool September, Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D.

Faculty Publications

This ethnographic short story chronicles the author’s emotional journey following September 11, 2001. After weeks of disconnection, she encounters a display of patriotism by two gay male friends, provoking her to process what it means to be both patriotic and gay in contemporary U.S. culture.


Passings, Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D. Jan 2015

Passings, Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D.

Faculty Publications

The author, a heterosexual woman, and Gordon Bernstein, a gay man, have been friends and research collaborators since 1995. In 2004, the author accompanied Gordon on a trip to his hometown of Philadelphia to conduct fieldwork and interview family members. This project ethnographically explored personal and relational opportunities and challenges associated with coming out in a family system defined by avoidant communication, hegemonic masculinity, and terminal illness.


Labor Pains In The Academy, Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D. Jan 2011

Labor Pains In The Academy, Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D.

Faculty Publications

This piece offers autoethnographic reflections on crossroads to which many academics come: whether to seek (or postpone or avoid) parenthood and when. The author deeply explores the personal (her own trajectories from daughter and sister to potential mother and from graduate student to full professor) in order to reflect on structural constraints associated with graduate education, the academic job market, and institutional policies and politics.


Qualitative Inquiry Into Art History: A Tribute To Arthur P. Bochner, Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D. Jan 2004

Qualitative Inquiry Into Art History: A Tribute To Arthur P. Bochner, Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D.

Faculty Publications

This poem is dedicated to the author's mentor Arthur P. Bochner, Distinguished University Professor, University of South Florida.


Hands, Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D. Jan 2003

Hands, Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D.

Faculty Publications

In this ethnographic short story, the author shows end-of-life communication between grandfather, father, and (grand)daughter.


Men Kissing, Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D. Jan 2001

Men Kissing, Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D.

Faculty Publications

The author, a heterosexual woman, uses the theme of men kissing to show relational dynamics in her fieldwork community, a network of gay male friends. Political implications of public same-sex kissing also are discussed. At the time the events described in "Men Kissing" occurred (1997) and for six more years, it was not legal for persons of the same sex to be intimate in Florida and 13 other states.


Between Gay And Straight-1 Before, Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D. Jan 2001

Between Gay And Straight-1 Before, Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D.

Faculty Publications

In chapter 1, “Before,” of the book Between Gay and Straight: Understanding Friendship Across Sexual Orientation (AltaMira Press, 2001), I story the absences, silences, and stereotypes surrounding same-sex orientation when I came of age in the 1980s and early 90s.


Negotiating Academic And Personal Selves (Chapter 4 Of The Book Between Gay And Straight: Understanding Friendship Across Sexual Orientation), Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D. Jan 2001

Negotiating Academic And Personal Selves (Chapter 4 Of The Book Between Gay And Straight: Understanding Friendship Across Sexual Orientation), Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D.

Faculty Publications

“Negotiating Academic and Personal Selves” is Chapter 4 of the book Between Gay and Straight: Understanding Friendship Across Sexual Orientation (AltaMira Press, 2001). Here I show how my relationships with the gay men of my research community alter how I position myself in graduate courses, how I practice research, how I write, and how I teach my classes. As a student, I delve into new projects on sexual orientation and identity; as an instructor, I alter course reading lists, assignments, and activities. This chapter also moves through my increasingly problematic encounters with associates who identify as heterosexual. My new consciousness ...


Introduction To Between Gay And Straight: Understanding Friendship Across Sexual Orientation [Book], Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D. Jan 2001

Introduction To Between Gay And Straight: Understanding Friendship Across Sexual Orientation [Book], Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D.

Faculty Publications

This chapter sets a personal, academic, and cultural context for the author's PhD dissertation research (1994-98), an ethnographic and interview study of a network of gay male friends in Tampa, Florida.


Life Projects (Chapter 5 Of The Book Between Gay And Straight: Understanding Friendship Across Sexual Orientation), Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D. Jan 2001

Life Projects (Chapter 5 Of The Book Between Gay And Straight: Understanding Friendship Across Sexual Orientation), Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D.

Faculty Publications

“Life Projects” is Chapter 5 of the book Between Gay and Straight: Understanding Friendship Across Sexual Orientation (AltaMira Press, 2001). The timeframe spans from the fall of 1996 to January 1997. I’m taking a course on life history, and I ask a member of my research community, Gordon Bernstein, to participate in my project. During our interviews, Gordon teaches me about the ongoing process of coming out—to oneself, to other gay men, and to coworkers, friends, and family. Later, I grapple with elements of this network of gay male friends that can be unsettling, especially for women. I ...


Homeward (Chapter 6 Of The Book Between Gay And Straight: Understanding Friendship Across Sexual Orientation), Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D. Jan 2001

Homeward (Chapter 6 Of The Book Between Gay And Straight: Understanding Friendship Across Sexual Orientation), Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D.

Faculty Publications

“Homeward” is Chapter 6 of the book Between Gay and Straight: Understanding Friendship Across Sexual Orientation (AltaMira Press, 2001). Here I present events that took place during the spring 1997 semester and that summer. An issue that comes to the forefront is the binary (gay-straight) construction of sexual orientation and identity. I ask what it means to say, “I’m straight,” or “I’m gay,” and what options and experiences such a claim opens up and closes off. By exploring an attraction between myself and one of my participants, I question the popular wisdom that friendships between straight women and ...


Tales From The (Softball) Field (Chapter 3 Of The Book Between Gay And Straight: Understanding Friendship Across Sexual Orientation), Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D. Jan 2001

Tales From The (Softball) Field (Chapter 3 Of The Book Between Gay And Straight: Understanding Friendship Across Sexual Orientation), Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D.

Faculty Publications

“Tales from the (Softball) Field” is chapter 3 of the book Between Gay and Straight: Understanding Friendship Across Sexual Orientation (AltaMira Press, 2001). “Tales” marks the beginning of my academic journey into this community. It’s the fall of 1995, and I’m taking a graduate class on qualitative methods. Unexpectedly, the softball field emerges as a fieldwork site. As I become immersed in team members’ lives and stories, I begin exploring how to “work the hyphen” (Fine, 1994) between gay and straight, to practice research (and friendship) with and for my friends/participants.


Contact (Chapter 2 Of The Book Between Gay And Straight: Understanding Friendship Across Sexual Orientation"), Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D. Jan 2001

Contact (Chapter 2 Of The Book Between Gay And Straight: Understanding Friendship Across Sexual Orientation"), Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D.

Faculty Publications

“Contact” is chapter 2 of the book Between Gay and Straight: Understanding Friendship Across Sexual Orientation (AltaMira Press, 2001). The timeframe portrayed extends from June 1994 to September 1995. It opens with my boyfriend Doug meeting David Holland, who would become our first gay male friend. David and his partner Chris introduce us to gay spaces around Tampa. Also in this chapter, Doug begins his four-year tenure with The Cove, a team in the predominantly gay Suncoast Softball league.


Talking Through Meaning (Chapter 7 Of The Book Between Gay And Straight: Understanding Friendship Across Sexual Orientation), Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D. Jan 2001

Talking Through Meaning (Chapter 7 Of The Book Between Gay And Straight: Understanding Friendship Across Sexual Orientation), Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D.

Faculty Publications

Chapter 7 provides a dialogic analysis of my PhD dissertation research (1994-98) on a network of gay male friends in Tampa, Florida. The chapter is based on a conversation my husband Doug and I had while I was trying to compose a more conventional conclusion on gay-straight friendship and friendship as method. We discuss my project’s academic, personal, interpersonal, and cultural implications.


Defending Life: Epilogue To Between Gay And Straight: Understanding Friendship Across Sexual Orientation [Book], Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D. Jan 2001

Defending Life: Epilogue To Between Gay And Straight: Understanding Friendship Across Sexual Orientation [Book], Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D.

Faculty Publications

In the epilogue, “Defending Life,” the project comes full circle. The setting is the oral defense of my PhD dissertation. About a dozen of the men I befriended and wrote about—most of whom have read the document—are in attendance. My academic and research communities offer personal and scholarly responses to my work. We talk through the disbelief and pain surrounding Matthew Shepard’s death just four days before, and we try to direct ourselves toward a future of greater harmony and justice.


A Home Of Her Own: (Writing) A Family Story Of Separation And Second Chances, Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D. Apr 1996

A Home Of Her Own: (Writing) A Family Story Of Separation And Second Chances, Lisa M. Tillmann Ph.D.

Faculty Publications

On March 16, 1996, I interviewed my mother, Beth Tillmann, about her parents' divorce and her life as a foster child. From detailed notes taken during our phone conversation and from family stories told to me throughout my life, I constructed a narrative titled "A Home of Her Own." Its structure and tone mimic the way my mother speaks about the dissolution of her family of origin and her attachments to and separations from those who tried to help her rebuild a sense of home. After the story, I discuss what narrative representations of loss offer the writer, the participant ...