Sanctioning Subjectivity: Navigating Low-Risk Human Ethics Approval

Phillip Kavanagh, Kate Douglas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Phillip Kavanagh recently returned from a field trip to the United States
to conduct interviews with a research subject. These interviews took
place over two months, lasting several hours at a time, up to three times a
week. Two weeks into this interview process, the subject turned to Kavanagh.
“Do you have anything specific you wanted to ask me?” Kavanagh
did not.
This field trip was for Kavanagh’s doctoral thesis—a memoir artefact
and exegesis—for which Kate Douglas is the primary supervisor. The
impetus for the project was an uncanny coincidence—Phillip Kavanagh is
a gay 30-year-old comedy playwright, born in 1988, with a deep sense of
irony and a habit of finding himself in farcical situations. The interview
subject is the American writer Joe Keenan, who created a fictional version
of himself across a trilogy of novels: a gay comedy playwright with
a deep sense of irony and a habit of finding himself in farcical situations,
first published in 1988, aged 29 in the third novel, and named Philip
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Methodologies for Auto/biography Studies
EditorsKate Douglas, Ashley Barnwell
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780429288432
ISBN (Print)9780367255688
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2019


  • Academic integrity
  • Human ethics
  • field research
  • Life narrative


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