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  • Math Is Surreal
  • Debora Joy Nodelman

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Figure 1.

Debora Joy Nodelman, 2008. Math Is Surreal [Mixed media collage on canvas. 11 × 14 in.].

As an artist/researcher/teacher, I craft collages while writing academic papers, for “to be engaged in a/r/tography means to inquire in the world through a process of art making and writing” (Springgay, Irwin, & Kind, 2005, p. 899). My work with collage art began during my first semester as a doctoral student at Chapman University in Orange, California. While writing an objective literature review on girls and mathematics, I found that my subjectivity could be safely expressed in my earliest collage Math Is Surreal (2008). I find representing the written word [End Page 83] through metaphorical images requires that I think differently about what constitutes knowledge. My artistic practice is an intersubjective process that supports relational meaning-making (Springgay, Irwin, Leggo, & Gouzouasis, 2008). In the selection of images, objects, and symbols, I connect theory with practice to interpret complex ideologies, and represent my own knowledge as well as the experience and knowledge of others. The renderings of a/r/tography—contiguity, living inquiry, metaphor/metonymy, openings, reverberations, and excess—help shape my practice-based research. I endeavor to identify as an a/r/tographer as I continue to connect my research and teaching through personally meaningful visual arts practice.

Debora Joy Nodelman
Chapman University


Springgay, S., Irwin, R. L., & Kind, S. W. (2005). A/r/tography as living inquiry through art and text. Qualitative Inquiry, 11(6), 897–912.
Springgay, S., Irwin, R., Leggo, C., & Gouzouasis, P. (Eds.). (2008). Being with a/r/tography. Rotterdam, the Netherlands: Sense Publishers. [End Page 84]


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pp. 83-84
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