TTU Professor Awarded Prestigious Outstanding Publication Award

TTU professor Jeong-Hee Kim has been awarded the Outstanding Publication award by the American Educational Research Association.

Texas Tech Professor of Curriculum Studies, Jeong-Hee Kim, has been awarded the Outstanding Publication award by the American Educational Research Association for her book, "Understanding Narrative Inquiry: The Crafting and Analysis of Stories as Research".

In her book, Kim examines the structure of narrative inquiry, which is an emerging research methodology in both social and human sciences. Narrative inquiry, Kim explains, explores the lived experiences of people whose stories are untold in order to shed light on larger social issues. 

"My book covers a wide range of topics that are integral parts of narrative inquiry, from philosophical and theoretical underpinnings to methodological issues and to artistic ways of theorizing one's understanding of the research phenomena under study," Kim said.Jeong-Hee Kim

Kim initially began writing her book in 2013, but had to put her manuscript aside in order to care for her aging mother who was hospitalized at the time. After her mother's recovery, Kim began writing again in 2014. Kim said she devoted all of her time to the manuscript during the hours she wasn't teaching as she was behind publication schedule. The book was published in 2015 (copyright 2016) by internationally known publisher SAGE.

When discussing her research process, Kim describes it as an arduous and challenging affair, but not lacking in rewards.

"I spent countless hours searching for relevant readings that would enlighten me. There was so much to read before I could write a sentence," Kim said. "The more I read, the more I realized how little I knew. It was a humbling experience."

Kim said she found inspiration in the activities she was involved in, such as campus talks on various topics, museum exhibits, concerts, morning walks and more. She also attributes Roland Barthes's "The Pleasure of the Text" as a guide to her writing process, which touches on the importance of writing a text that isn't boring to readers.

"The last thing I wanted to do was to write a boring text," Kim said. "What I didn't want to do was to make my book a frigid text that might treat my readers as if they were an unintelligent audience who needed some lecture on narrative inquiry. I had to find ways to engage the reader, or desire the reader in Barthes's term. That was the most difficult part of writing the book. To write the text that desires the reader, I had to make myself vulnerable and share my own personal stories of becoming."

The Outstanding Publication award was presented to Kim by the American Educational Research Association's Narrative Research Special Interest Group, which selects an outstanding publication through a rigorous nomination and review process. The award is considered one of the most prestigious awards an educator or scholar can receive during their academic career in education.

"I was deeply honored and humbled to win the award as it means that the national organization acknowledged the invisible amount of toil I had exhausted into writing the book and put a stamp on it as an exemplary publication that makes a contribution to the field of education as well as to the interdisciplinary qualitative research community. The award is the token that reminds me of the saying, 'No pain, no gain,'" Kim said.