The Creative Qualitative Researcher is designed to help readers see the range of possibilities of creative scholarship. The phrase "creative qualitative researchers" points toward scholars who call upon their literary skills to evoke the emotional and intellectual complexity of their subjects; who deploy their vulnerable, relational, and reflexive selves to expose and change problematic cultural practices; and who engage their embodied ideological and ethical sensibilities as researchers.
Part I introduces chapters on four qualitative methods: autoethnography, performative writing, narrative inquiry and poetic inquiry. Each of these four method chapters presents the method written in the style it features, provides writing prompts for exploring the chapter's themes, and offers written examples of the method.
Part II, divided into four chapters, aims to develop creative qualitative research skills relevant to the methods discussed in Part I. Chapter 5 discusses empathy and ethics; Chapter 6 is a primer on creative writing; Chapter 7 identifies some alternative ideas for using the words of others; and Chapter 8 focuses on collaborative improvisation to compose scholarly work. Each of the chapters in Part II includes a large number of writing exercises, prompts and strategies to assist scholars in becoming better creative researchers.
By the end of the book, readers will know what creative research might entail and will have a clear understanding of the methods. Working with the various writing strategies, readers will see the potential of creative research and gain skills for its use.
Ron Pelias taught performance studies from 1981-2013 in the Department of Communication Studies at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and is currently Adjunct Instructor of Theatre, School of Music and Performing Arts, University of Louisiana at Layfayette. He works on the stage primarily as a director and on the page as a writer committed to non-traditional forms of scholarly representation. His most recent books exploring qualitative methods are Leaning: A Poetics of Personal Relations (2011), Performance: An Alphabet of Performative Writing (2014), and If the Truth Be Told: Accounts in Literary Forms (Sense, 2016).
Ron has has published 7 books, 1 co-authored edited book, 65 journal articles, and 18 book chapters. In addition, he has adapted, complied, or written 32 performance scripts/plays and staged them for public audiences, several at national and international conferences. He has also published poems, fiction, and essays in 82 different literary journals. He has been given the Lifetime Achievement Award in Qualitative Inquiry, International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, 2017; named as an Outstanding Scholar for the College of Liberal Arts, Southern Illinois University; and received the Distinguished Service Award from the Performance Studies Division of NCA. The National Communication Association, Central States Communication Association, and the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry have sponsored programs honoring his contributions to the field.
Prologue: An Author Begins to Play
Part I: Qualitative Methods
Chapter 1: Deploying the Self: Autoethnography
Chapter 2: Performing on the Page: Performative Writing
Chapter 3: Telling Tales: Narrative Inquiry
Chapter 4: Poeticizing the Everyday: Poetic Inquiry
Part II: Qualitative Writing Strategies
Chapter 5: Leaning In: Empathy and Ethical Research
Chapter 6: Engaging: Language and Structure
Chapter 7: Using the Words of Others: Citation
Chapter 8: Generating Texts: Collaborative Improvisation
Epilogue: Four More Chances to Play
Recommended and Referenced Sources