[Name and address of author]
August 23, 1999
Dear Friends, Acquaintances, Allies, and Colleagues:
I am a doctoral candidate in Speech Communication at the U of W. I am
writing to solicit your help in locating potential interviewees for my study of
how academic feminists form alliances, particularly within the academy. My
work draws on that by scholars who seek to understand the dynamics of how
race, national origin, ethnicity and class function in feminist alliance forma-
tion. The speciﬁc focus of my study is power balance or imbalance among
I hope to interview at least twenty self-proclaimed academic feminists. The
interviews will be done in person. They will take about an hour and will be
tape recorded, with your consent, transcribed and analyzed by me. Audio-
tapes will be destroyed within thirty days. Names and other identifying infor-
mation will be kept separate from interview data and destroyed within one
year. No real names will be used when writing my dissertation without explicit
permission from interviewees. My dissertation may become a book; chapters
may become journal articles.
Here are some of my research questions: 1) How do academic feminists
negotiate power and subordination in their work? 2) With whom, and under
what conditions, do feminists ally themselves within academic contexts? 3)
How do academic feminists position themselves along axes of race, national
origin, class, sexual orientation, religion, and other personal identity markers?
4) What do feminist alliances mean to those who describe them? My hope is
that my research will lead to further understandings about how academic
feminists arrange their collaborative practices both within and outside of the
workplace (the academy).
Will you participate in my study? Would you also direct me to others who
might be willing to be interviewed? If yes to either of these questions, please
call or email me. Participation in this study is voluntary. Interview participants
may choose to stop the interview at any time and may select to decline re-
sponse to any questions they do not feel comfortable answering.
Thank you for your time.
[signature and name of author]