Heartbeats: Exploring the power of qualitative research expressed as autoethnographic performance texts

Mary E. Weems, Carolyne J. White, Patricia Alvarez McHatton, Clarence Shelley, Tim Bond, Nicole Ruth Brown, Lois Melina, Ann Lois Scheidt, Jackie Goode, Phoenix De Carteret, Jonathan Wyatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the ways to participate as change agents in the struggle toward a true participatory global democracy is constructing spaces in which to communicate across race, ethnicity, religion, class, and culture. This collaborative, auto/ethnographic performance text was started during a pre-conference workshop titled "Heartbeats: Writing Performance Texts," I designed and facilitated with the help of my colleague Carolyne J. White. The purpose of the workshop was to encourage colleague participants from around the globe to construct spiritual and physical spaces for creating sacred, performance texts grounded in their lived experiences both as researchers and as socially conscious beings in the world; and to share them out loud in an ad hoc learning community environment. The environment was created in part, by transforming a traditional university meeting space into a space filled with cultural artifacts, photographs, music, and the voices of men and women gathered together for a brief period of time, in the hopes of encouraging the construction of more sessions like this in traditional university conference settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)843-858
Number of pages16
JournalQualitative Inquiry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoethnography
  • Ethnography
  • Imagination intellect
  • Lived experience
  • Poetic Inquiry
  • Sacred space

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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