Carolyn Ellis

Carolyn Ellis
University of South Florida | USF · Department of Communication

Ph. D. Sociology Stony Brook

About

159
Publications
168,582
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
12,832
Citations
Introduction
Carolyn Ellis is Distinguished University Professor Emerita at USF. Her recent books are Revision: Autoethnographic Reflections on Life and Work (rev, 2020 ), Final Negotiations: A Story of Love, Loss, and Chronic Illness Expanded (2018, Temple), Evocative Autoethnography (2016, Routledge), with Bochner, and Autoethnography (2015, Oxford) and Handbook of Autoethnography (2013, 2022, Rout.), with Holman Jones and Adams. Her current research focuses on autoethnography and personal storytelling.
Additional affiliations
January 1981 - August 2018
University of South Florida
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (159)
Article
Full-text available
In March 2018, researcher Carolyn Ellis video recorded a short interview session with participant Jerry Rawicki for the purpose of describing the relationship that developed between them during their 9-year research collaboration. An excerpt from this interview is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dj6IZx5vzlk . The authors present this v...
Chapter
Full-text available
In diesem Beitrag charakterisieren wir Autoethnografie als Methode der psychologischen Forschung. Wir gehen auf die Geschichte, den Arbeitsprozess und die Ergebnisse autoethnografischer Untersuchungen ein, unterscheiden verschiedene Gattungen innerhalb des Genres, erläutern das Konzept performativer Epistemologie, die Bedeutung von Schreiben als Er...
Article
Full-text available
This article features an interview conducted on April 20th, 2020 with Jerry Rawicki, a 93-year-old survivor of the Holocaust, about his experience during the COVID-19 Pandemic and how it compares to what happened to him during the Holocaust. The first author reflects briefly on her own experience of the pandemic and how she decided to focus on Jerr...
Article
Autoethnography refers to both a research process and the product of the approach. Practitioners draw from their lived experiences as a starting point for social inquiry. They represent their thoughts, emotions, collective experiences, and social processes associated with an identity or issue and then contextualize them in broader, societal‐level p...
Chapter
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
In this essay, I present the talk I gave at the celebration honoring my retirement from University of South Florida (USF). Held on January 25, 2019, this event was attended by an audience of friends, students, and university faculty and administrators. I tell several stories about coming to USF, meeting and collaborating with Art Bochner, and the s...
Preprint
Full-text available
In diesem Beitrag charakterisieren wir Autoethnografie als Methode der psychologischen Forschung. Wir gehen auf die Geschichte, den Arbeitsprozess und die Ergebnisse autoethnografischer Untersuchungen ein, unterscheiden verschiedene Gattungen innerhalb des Genres, erläutern das Konzept performativer Epistemologie, die Bedeutung von Schreiben als Er...
Article
Full-text available
This article extends the research of Jerry Rawicki and Carolyn Ellis who have collaborated for more than eight years on memories and consequences of the Holocaust. Focusing on Jerry’s memories of his experience during the Holocaust, they present dialogues that took place during five recorded interviews and follow-up conversations that reflect on th...
Chapter
Full-text available
Co-constructed interviewing is a relational method of in-depth, interactive, and open-ended interviewing which is emerging in many fields, most notably communication studies and oral history, as a way to co-construct more collaborative, dialogic, and mutually influential research relationships. Rich, multivocal representations can result from co-co...
Article
Full-text available
This panel, which took place at International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry in May 2016, examines the experiences of five scholars who have retired from university life and the responses to the panel by two scholars anticipating that transition. Panelists discuss how and when they decided to retire; the role of the university, department, and pro...
Chapter
Full-text available
The authors describe the history of autoethnography, particularly within the communication discipline; discuss key characteristics of autoethnography and identify the purposes of doing autoethnographic research; and provide three examples of doing and writing autoethnography.
Article
Full-text available
This manifesto addresses how an autoethnographic perspective can be applied directly to the experiences of others in compassionate research. Compassionate research connects us with others, emphasizes what we can do for participants, and contributes to social justice. This article describes collaborative and compassionate research with a survivor of...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract: As a young Jewish boy during the Holocaust, Jerry Rawicki was a courier for the Polish Underground in the Warsaw Ghetto. The Nazis murdered his father Abram, mother Sophie, and sister Stephanie. Passing as a Gentile, his surviving sister Fela worked in a coffee shop in Warsaw. Under the cover of groups leaving for hard labor outside the G...
Article
Full-text available
This story tells about an accident that occurred at the 2016 International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. The first author presents her autoethnography of her partner’s fall and her subsequent reaction. Then to complicate and deepen her telling, she crafts a second multivoiced account from the responses of eight people who were part of the event....
Article
Full-text available
This article includes autoethnographic vignettes that explore the emotional, embodied, relational, communal, and ritualized aspects of sleeping. As a Western, White, upper-middle-class professional woman in a long-term relationship with a partner who has similar characteristics, I describe sleeping in the familiar environment of our primary and vac...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we trace the rise of autoethnography from its modest beginning as a form of indigenous ethnography through its inception as a mode of resistance to conventional ethnographic writing practices and silent authorship to its introduction as a narrative identity and covering term. Autoethnography has become a genus for many diverse spec...
Book
Full-text available
This comprehensive text is the first to introduce evocative autoethnography as a methodology and a way of life in the human sciences. Using numerous examples from their work and others, world-renowned scholars Arthur Bochner and Carolyn Ellis, originators of the method, emphasize how to connect intellectually and emotionally to the lives of readers...
Research
Full-text available
In this chapter I address how we as researchers do compassionate research that has as a goal to honor, care for, and support others we interview. What does it mean, how does it feel, and what decisions have to be made as we form relationships and relate to our participants moment by moment, situation by situation? What role does our own self-examin...
Article
Full-text available
This essay introduces the author's mentoring relationship with Robin M. Boylorn, whom she advised as a PhD student from 2003 to 2009. It describes their initial meeting and the relationship they developed as Robin completed her dissertation, which became the book Sweetwater. It discusses the ethical issues in doing autoethnographic research about o...
Article
Full-text available
La autoetnografía es un enfoque de investigación y escritura que busca describir y analizar sistemáticamente la experiencia personal con el fin de comprender la experiencia cultural. Esta aproximación desafía las formas canónicas de hacer investigación y de representar a los otros, a la vez que considera a la investigación como un acto político, so...
Article
This conversation takes place in Warsaw. Carolyn Ellis has come to Poland to accompany Jerry Rawicki, a Warsaw Ghetto survivor, on his first trip back to Poland since the Holocaust. There she arranged to meet Marcin Kafar, a scholar in Poland who has spent time with her at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. During this visit, Marcin...
Article
Full-text available
Love is a power greater than death, just like the songs and stories told. —Bruce Springsteen, " Terry's Song " I n this article, we show the compassionate interviewing and storytelling that took place through sharing conversations with two Holocaust survivors. For four years, I (Carolyn) have met with Jerry Rawicki; for three years, I (Chris) have...
Article
Full-text available
The canonical explanation for how Jews survived during the Holocaust involves some form of luck. To explore and deepen an understanding of episodic moments of luck, this article presents and discusses survivor Jerry Rawicki's close calls with death during the Holocaust. The first author examines Jerry's perspective as a survivor and her own perspec...
Article
Full-text available
Viewing personal narrative as a way to cope with personal issues and public troubles, as well as to provide companionship and comparative life experiences for those going through their own troubles, the author tells a story about adapting to the chronic pain and deterioration of osteoarthritis of the hip. Coping with degenerative but non-life-threa...
Chapter
In this chapter, we detail our approach to understanding and practicing autoethnography. We begin by defining autoethnography and describing its history and emergence within qualitative social research and within psychology. We then propose general guiding principles for those seeking to do autoethnography, principles such as using personal experie...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, a researcher and collaborator present stories about the second author’s survival during the Holocaust. They propose that their approach of collaborative witnessing is a form of “relational autoethnography” that allows researchers to focus on and evocatively tell the lives of others in shared storytelling and conversation. The autho...
Article
Full-text available
This book explores the experiential research methods (arts-based, reflexative, collaborative) that allow researchers to access their own and their participants' knowing in richer ways. It comprises chapters on innovative methods of research and analysis using literary forms, performance and visual arts, and through collaborative and interdisciplina...
Article
Full-text available
This series of autoethnographic narratives addresses vulnerability and reflexivity in coping with loss. The stories took place during two months of summer 2011 at a log cabin in the North Carolina mountains where the author spends her summers with her partner and two dogs. Representative of the kinds of losses that regularly happen to all of us, th...
Article
Full-text available
This story describes the procrastination and work practices of an autoethnographer as she observes herself on the blank computer screen.
Article
Full-text available
This story tells a version of my life as an ethnographer and symbolic interactionist. From an early age, I was intrigued by how people interacted and created meaningful worlds for themselves and by my own motives, actions, thoughts, and feelings. Later, as a student of sociology, my eyes were opened to the macro forces that constrained, liberated,...
Article
A key question for most societies is how to prepare young people for the demands of their future work and life environment. However, as Ronald Barnett (High Educ Res Dev 23(3):247–1260, 2004) remarks, ‘learning for an unknown future calls for an ontological turn from knowledge to being-in-the-world’, which makes its own demands. Being in the world...
Article
Full-text available
This story describes a seasoned professor's attempts to take stock of her academic life. The main voice is that of the professor as she lives, works, and considers what she cares about. The cacophony of other sounds comes from the questioning voices inside her head, blended with the imagined voices of her dogs Zen and Buddha, and the real voices of...
Article
Full-text available
In Judaism, human nature is understood as existing on a spectrum between yetzer hara (evil inclination) and yetzer tov (good inclination). Jews struggle to suppress the yetzer hara and exercise the yetzer tov. Based on an oral history interview and cocreated by a survivor of the Holocaust and a researcher, this story focuses on bread (lechem) and h...
Article
Full-text available
Autoethnografie ist ein Ansatz zum Forschen und zur Präsentation von Forschungsergebnissen, der persönliche Erfahrungen systematisch beschreibt und analysiert, um auf diesem Weg kulturelle Erfahrung zu verstehen. Hierbei werden traditionelle Wege des Forschens und der Darstellung "der Anderen" kritisch infrage gestellt, denn Forschung wird als poli...
Article
Full-text available
Autoethnografie ist ein Forschungsansatz, der sich darum bemüht, persönliche Erfahrung (auto) zu beschreiben und systematisch zu analysieren (grafie), um kulturelle Erfahrung (ethno) zu verstehen (Ellis 2004; Holman Jones 2005). Er stellt kanonische Gepflogenheiten, Forschung zu betreiben und zu präsentieren, infrage (Spry 2001) und behandelt Forsc...
Article
Full-text available
Qualitative researchers are increasingly being called upon to become human rights advocates, to help individuals and communities honor the sanctity of life, and to promote the core values of privacy, justice, freedom, peace, and human dignity. In this volume of plenary papers from the Fifth International of Qualitative Inquiry in 2009, leading qual...
Article
Full-text available
This ethnographic story seeks to reveal the complexity in talking across the urban/rural and Black/White divide in the 2008 Presidential Election.The story shows the tensions between feeling that an attempt to understand the other might help perpetuate the very intolerance we want to break through and feeling a responsibility to reach out and try t...
Article
Full-text available
The author lays out critiques of autoethnography from social science, post-structuralist, and aesthetic perspectives. She responds to these critiques emotionally as well as rationally, through stories that show as well as prose that tries to convince. She takes a stance yet remains open to what she can learn from others' responses. In the end, she...
Article
Focusing on the ethics of writing about others in ethnographic and autoethnographic tales, this article provides excerpts from stories about neighbors in a mountain community that show differences and conflicts about religion, gender, ethnicity, and race. The author provides a dialogic representation of the debates that occurred in her mind about t...
Article
Full-text available
Heewon Chang has written a useful book on autoethnography for novice and experienced researchers alike who wish to include themselves in their traditional ethnographic studies. In this sense, what she advocates is akin to the “analytical autoethnography” advocated by Anderson (2006), which privileges theoretical understanding of broader social phen...
Book
Full-text available
Autoethnography is an autobiographical genre that connects the personal to the cultural, social, and political. Usually written in the first-person voice, autoethnographic work appears in a variety of creative formats; for example, short stories, music compositions, poetry, photographic essays, and reflective journals. Music Autoethnographies explo...
Article
Playing off Goodall's title, A Need to Know, this author asks the question, “Do We Need to Know?” She views Goodall's book as a double spy story, one in which Buddy plays the role of an ethnographic spy who investigates his father's career as a CIA spy. Goodall's revelations about his family secrets prompt her to consider and raise issues about her...
Article
Full-text available
This script comes from an edited transcript of a session titled “Talking and Thinking About Qualitative Research,” which was part of the 2006 International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on May 4-6, 2006. This special session featured scholars informally responding to questions about their pe...
Article
Full-text available
The Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Inquiry: Perspectives, Methodologies, Examples, and Issues represents an unfolding and expanding orientation to qualitative social science research that draws inspiration, concepts, processes, and representational forms from the arts. In this defining work, J. Gary Knowles and Ardra L. Cole bring together the...
Article
Full-text available
ABSTRACT: Constructionism has become one of the most popular research approaches in the social sciences. But until now, little attention has been given to the conceptual and methodological underpinnings of the constructionist stance, and the remarkable diversity within the field. This cutting-edge handbook brings together a dazzling array of schola...
Article
Full-text available
This article focuses on relational ethics in research with intimate others. Relational ethics requires researchers to act from our hearts and minds, acknowledge our interpersonal bonds to others, and take responsibility for actions and their consequences. Calling on her own research studies, the author examines relational ethics in ethnographies in...
Article
You wonder: What does it mean to live with an emotional spirit, a spirit that cares about what others are feeling, that feels with and for them, a spirit that is “helplessly attached to being human” (Pelias, 2004, p. 141). To discover the heart of such questions, you follow Ron Pelias's lead and track your day.
Article
Full-text available
In Communication as...: Perspectives on Theory, editors Gregory J. Shepherd, Jeffrey St. John, and Ted Striphas bring together a collection of 27 essays that explores the wide range of theorizing about communication, cutting across all lines of traditional division in the field. The essays in this text are written by leading scholars in the field o...
Article
Dressed in a mid-calf, purple cotton dress with a matching raw knit cardigan casually draped over her arm, Laurel enters the room. A large, loaded down, cloth bag hangs from her shoulder, and she clutches books and papers in both hands. I am struck, as always, by her presence. Appearing calm while rushing, she gracefully takes over the room. No, th...
Article
Full-text available
As a sociology and communication ethnographer, I specialize in writing autoethnographies-ethnographies that focus on personal and emotional life. In this paper, originally prepared for the China Communication Forum of 2004, I introduce and demonstrate an autoethnographic perspective to doing social science research. Additionally, I discuss the rela...
Article
Full-text available
This autoethnographic story shows the process of tending the graves of family members. In the past, the author reluctantly accompanied her mother on her visits to the family cemetery. Once there, she took on the role of distant observer as her mother took care of the family cemetery plots. When her mother becomes disabled, the author begins to arra...
Article
Full-text available
During the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, the author was on a plane headed to Dulles Airport. She narrates and analyzes her experience in terms of how she reframed and made sense of these events. After she first resisted the frame of terrorism, her perceptions were influenced by her location during the attacks as well as by personal exp...
Article
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
This story describes an evening of interaction with the author’s aging mother as the author assists her in her nightly routine of preparing for bed. The surrounding frame describes the author’s reading of this intimate story to her mother. The author comments on the tension between independence and dependence that occurs as she tries to help her mo...
Article
Full-text available
This chapter examines the inclusion of the researcher's experience in interview research, the different forms it can take, and how this inclusion deepens and enriches what we know about our topics of research. The authors move from lesser to greater degrees of involvement of the research and provide exemplars of the variety.
Article
Full-text available
In this work, the author introspects about the steps she takes when evaluating narrative ethnographies. Her story shows how she thinks about and reacts to alternative genres of writing. Optimally, she tries to feel and think with the story, moving back and forth as the two processes merge. She tries to immerse herself in the flow of the story, unti...
Article
Full-text available
Given the relationship between trauma, loss, and interpersonal bonds, the editors have assembled a noteworthy list of contributions discussing trauma associated with close relationships (divorce, infertility, widowhood). Certainly, trauma is closely associated with loss. This edited volume offers the perspective of over twenty leading scholars in t...
Article
Full-text available
Once again, editors Norman K. Denzin and Yvonna S Lincoln have put together a volume that represents the state of the art for the theory and practice of qualitative inquiry. Built on the foundation of the landmark first edition, published in 1994, the second edition is both the bridge and the roadmap to the territory that lies ahead for researchers...
Article
Full-text available
The author seeks to develop an ethnography that includes researchers’ vulnerable selves, emotions, bodies, and spirits; produces evocative stories that create the effect of reality; celebrates concrete experience and intimate detail; examines how human experience is endowed with meaning; is concerned with moral, ethical, and political consequences;...
Article
Comments on an article on the ethics of informed consent by Rose Weitz previously published in the periodical 'Health.' Family response to informed consent; Constraints imposed by social science research practices on Weitz' work; Ethics of the narrative approach to medical sociology.
Article
Deborah E. Reed-Danahay. ed. Auto/Ethnography: Rewriting the Self and the Social. Oxford: Berg, 1997 277 pp.