SIG in Autoethnography

Call for Participation

Autoethnography 2021 Special Interest Group (SIG):

Looking Back and Moving Forward

Sessions on Wednesday May 19, appx 1-5pm.

The theme of this year’s ICQI conference, Collaborative Futures in Qualitative Inquiry calls us to critically reflect on our own practice over time and to work together to improve our ability to respond to current environmental, public health, political and social crises.


In this SIG day, we aim to:

  • Learn from key turning points in the development of our field over the past decade
  • Ask how autoethnography can help us not only survive but also act with increasing empathy and efficacy in repressive times
  • Share the ideas, resources, and strategies that inspire and improve our current practice, and
  • Engage in collective conversation and speculation on the future that allows us to story our dreams closer to possibility.


Looking Back (80 minutes)

A panel of invited speakers including Norman Denzin Art Bochner & Carolyn Ellis, Claudio. Moreira & Marcelo Diversi, Sophie Tamas, Tony Adams, Stacy Holman Jones and Robin Boylorn will open the session by sharing turning points or key moments in their autoethnographic practice over the past decade. Rather than offering a theoretical overview or explanation, this series of quick, personal, visceral sketches aims to evoke the affective contours of the field by zooming in on the emotionally and/or intellectually charged encounters, events, or ideas that have shaken or shifted our work.


Reflecting and Connecting (80 minutes)

To draw current priorities from this evocation of the past, participants will work collectively to identify emergent themes for discussion in breakout rooms led by a range of autoethographic practitioners including Keith Berry, Chris Poulos, David Purnell & Lisa Spinazola, Lesa Lockford. Lisa Tillmann, Esther Fitzpatrick, and Ahmet Atay. The aim of this session is to make space for focussed conversations that connect past learning to current practice.


Moving Forward (80 minutes)

Participants will share what they’ve gleaned from their own experience doing autoethnography in concert with the Looking Back presentations and Reflecting and Connecting discussions. Led by a complement of autoethnographers including Jonathan Wyatt, Ken Gale, Craig Gingrich-Philbrook, Devika Chawla, Kakali Bhattacharya, Ron Pelias and Sandra Faulkner, participants will generate lines of flight, strategies, aspirations, mandates, things to bring forward, or pack in our bags for the voyage ahead as brief mini performances or interventions.


Collective Speculation Plenary (80 minutes)

During the last plenary session, the SIG day will culminate in a session that aims to collectively speculate on autoethnographic futures. This session makes room for spoken word, singing, and the utopian raving that sometimes talks dreams closer to possibility and features some of our community’s most inventive and fanciful thinkers and makers, including Anne Harris, Amber Johnson, Benny LeMaster, Bryant Keith Alexander, Tami Spry, Kitrina Douglas & David Carless and Fetaui& Joshua Iosefo.