Hope is an ontological need and a political imperative that must survive in our writing especially when we are writing about disenfranchised communities. In this essay, I reflect upon the importance of representing and articulating hope in research and writing. How can we lay hold of hope without romanticizing or resorting to individual exceptionalism and bootstraps thinking? How might we build and construct hope in the research process? What does hope look like to communities who engage with our writing? This essay starts out by discussing ways in which political reflexivity entered into the writing of my book Feeding the Other: Whiteness, Privilege, and Neoliberal Stigma in Food Pantries followed by a particular classroom experience which illuminated the limits of my reflexive practice. This experience was also the impetus for the field note titled “Desire and the Third Space” (p. 94) presented in the book. I offer this journey as a guide for those also concerned with writing with and for disenfranchised communities.
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