About Carolyn Ellis
My main areas of interest include autoethnography, Holocaust, emotions (particularly loss and grief), narrative, relationships, and qualitative methods. For most of my career in sociology and communication, I have been interested in narratives of loss and trauma, health benefits of storytelling, and humanistic approaches to research on sensitive and traumatic topics. I have written about how emotions are experienced and expressed in mundane and extraordinary situations. Additionally, I have developed methods that integrate ethnographic, literary, and evocative approaches to portray and make sense of unique lives in cultural context. I research as an ethnographer, expressing my observations of lived experience in stories, with scenes, dialogue, character development, and plot. Focusing on how context and relationship affect stories created during interviews, I have conducted collaborative and reflexive interviews in which members occupy dual roles of researcher and participant. Currently I am writing a literary ethnography with Holocaust survivors about their experiences and how they strive to make sense of trauma and create meaningful lives in their later years.
Fighting Back or Moving On: An Autoethnographic Response to Critics
The International Review of Qualitative Research (2009)
The author lays out critiques of autoethnography from social science, post-structuralist, and aesthetic perspectives. She responds to these critiques emotionally ...
Introduction: Taking Ethnography into the Twenty-First Century
Journal of Contemporary Ethnography (1996)
Postmodernist and poststructuralist perspectives on truth, objectivity and language will hopefully elicit constructive challenges to ethnography. Ethnographic assertions are often ...