I think that at some point I will need to go back through my various publications and see how my bio has changed over time. The bio is an interesting thing. It is a form of identity ownership. It changes over time, but also within different contexts. For me, I recall the training I did with Right Management after I was laid off from Nortel. There I learned that I can ‘be’ whatever I want to be. To be confident in a new career, I needed to take ownership of my identity. I needed to ‘be’ that which I wanted be. It was at that time that I started to call myself an ‘instructional designer’, because, in that phase of my career that is what I wanted to be doing.
In academia, the bio is a little more complicated. It is layered with calls to authority. When associated with publications, it is credential that makes your argument stronger (or weaker). I struggle with how much I need to declare in my bio. I also struggle with what affiliations I should be drawing attention to. And in part, it depends on where the bio will be published. So, for this particular chapter that I’m a coauthor on in a medical education book, my bio looks like this:
Rebecca J. Hogue is an ePatient blogger, writer, PhD Candidate in Education at the University of Ottawa, Canada, and an Associate Lecturer at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her research interests are in the use of pathography to create rich descriptions of the experience of illness for use in patient advocacy and medical education.