ICAE 2021

A look back at previous conferences

If you have never attending our conference we invite you to gain a feeling for the diverse types of presentation, performances and contributions, via our YouTube conference page https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWNYTUbli3wRLda7ZmbpqOQ/videos below we share links to the 2021 and 2020 Keynotes. You will also find information on last years “highlights” page http://boomerang-project.org.uk/meet-presenters/

In 2021 we received submissions from Japan, Taiwan, Czechia, Aruba, Brazil, Hungary, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, USA, Finland, Malta, Norway, Israel, Australia, Sweden, England, Austria, Turkey, Denmark and Scotland. We hope the links below provide a flavour for some of this rich, exciting and diverse work shared at the conference. Please select links to watch the presentations on youtube or visit our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWNYTUbli3wRLda7ZmbpqOQ/videos


Keynote: “Still Point: Meditations on solitude, silence, and social sustainability”, Elyse Lamm Pineau, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZbvAUdu7jM&t=26s

Keynote Carolyn Ellis and Art Bochner Keynote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Xn4EVkhwu4&t=18s

SPOTLIGHT PANEL FROM JAPAN Blurred borders : Touching Territories with/without Touching Bodies, Teppei Tsuchimoto, Ritsumeikan University, Yusuke Katsura, Osaka University, Miho Zlazli, SOAS University of London, Chihiro Suzuki Osaka Prefecture University, Naoko Yokoyama, Ritsumeikan University, Yuto Takagi, (Kyoto University, Renan Okawa, Osaka University. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZbvAUdu7jM&t=26s


Charting Boarders and Crossing Territories Through Songwriting, David Carless, Martin Hoybye & Kitrina Douglas https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuseR4Vqcrw&t=6s


“The long walk” a film by Christopher Saunders

Ana Cimbleris-Alkmim: I am a clinical pharmacist, landscape designer, professor, consultant, and a Doctorate Student at a Graduate Program in Medicines and Pharmacy Practice in the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil. I am interested in medicinal plants and the many ways they can make our lives better. My presentation is titled “Holistic Health and Herbal Medicine: below the iceberg”.

Edgar Rodríguez-Dorans is a qualitative researcher and mental health practitioner interested in the study of identities, sexualities, the everyday lives of LGBTQIA+ people, and the use of performing arts in research. He completed a PhD in Counselling Studies at the University of Edinburgh. He is currently a Lecturer in Counselling and Psychotherapy at the University of Salford, UK.

Gary Hodge, is a Mental Health Nurse Lecturer at the University of Plymouth. He completed his PhD (Mental Health) with Lancaster University in 2020: ‘Becoming Intersubjective in medias res of Behaviours that Challenge in Dementia: A Layered Autoethnography’. His presentation ‘Becoming-Dementia’ is a reflection of his PhD thesis. It explores a nurse’s experience of working with people living with dementia through a Deleuzian theory of time lens. 

Oreoluwa Mohammed is a 3rd year medical student at Imperial College School of Medicine (London, UK). Ore has been involved in the EDI project entitled ‘Thriving not just Surviving’, focusing on how the inclusivity of the Medical School Admission Process can be improved. Ore’s main areas of interest are Medical School Inclusivity, Medical Education and Respiratory Medicine. Autoethnography provides a great opportunity to break silences and illustrate individuals enriching life experiences

David Carless: I am a researcher, writer and musician collaborating on interdisciplinary projects across social science, education and health. I specialise in narrative, autoethnography and arts-based research, often using songwriting, filmmaking and live performance approaches. My research with Kitrina Douglas is available online (see https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkWCTy8bNOY6JlvX_yg-Uig) and has been published as journal articles, books and book chapters. I am currently a Reader in the School of Health and Human Sciences at the University of the West of Scotland and an Honorary Professor in the Centre for Creative Relational Inquiry at the University of Edinburgh. 

Richard Whall: I am a Lecturer in Human Movement, teaching on the Sport & PE and Outdoors undergraduate courses at the University of Central Lancashire (UK). Combining my work and academic experiences, I have developed an interest in the physicality of learning, from a scientific and philosophical perspective. This has led me to explore the concept of physical intelligence as a PhD project, and people’s experiences of physical intelligence through running.  

Lucy Beattie is a PhD candidate at the University of the West of Scotland.  Her previous work in the third sector focused on agriculture, community and rural development.  She is researching the links between teaching, research and public engagement in STEM; in particular earth sciences, chemistry and engineering. www.researchblog.scot

Allison Upshaw holds the position of Assistant Professor of Voice at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, AL. a trained opera singer, professional actress, and playwright. Allison holds a doctorate in interdisciplinary studies (aesthetic meaning making/performance/education) from the University of Alabama and is working on her second doctorate in instructional technology.

Roberto Bezerra is a Professor in English Literatures at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro who is currently teaching courses on the poetry of modernity. Interested in the place of literary studies in teacher education in Brazil from a decolonial perspective. Has been experimenting with autoethnography for a while not only as an approach to writing and research but also as a pedagogical resource in the teaching of literature and creative writing. Every now and then he believes he can sing and write songs.

Carly Stewart is Head of Department for Sport and Event Management in The Business School Bournemouth University. She is a sociological narrative researcher of lives, bodies, identities and storytelling in a range of disruptive or transitional contexts across sport and physical culture, health, education and workplace settings.

Christine Lewis is a Senior Lecturer in Education at Edge Hill University.   Since 2015 she has been co-ordinator of the Narrative Research Network at Edge Hill University, a group which connects geographically diverse researchers from a host of interdisciplinary backgrounds to engage in dialogue around narrative work and the issues arising from it. 

Alec Grant has been involved in autoethnography for over 20 years.. He was the recipient of the UCAE7 2020 Inaugural Lifetime Contribution Award, ‘in recognition of making a significant contribution to the development and nurturance of the field of autoethnography and those working within it’.

Martina Stanga – I grew up in Switzerland and my background is in social work. In 2019 I returned to university in Glasgow to complete my Masters in Equality and Human Rights. I had ideas on how to explore the lives and meanings of independence together with my former clients, however, the Covid19 pandemic changed my plans. Instead, I looked inside my own body exploring my life with chronic pain in an autoethnographic way.

Marcia Morgan is an author, of two books: Black Women Prison Employees: The Intersectionality of Gender and Race, and The Silenced Voice: There is Purpose in Pain – a Business Book Awards 2021 finalist.  She is a member of the Prison Service Journal Editorial Board and has published several journal articles in the field of intersectionality and organisational psychodynamics.

“Submerged in the ‘Deep End’ of Coaching Swimming: An Autoethnographic account of coaching adolescents with disabilities”, Declan Downie. University of The West of Scotland. This study explores a coach’s personal experiences in coaching swimming to disabled athletes. 

Marnie Wedlake, PhD, RP, Assistant Professor & Registered Psychotherapist- I’m a full-time faculty member in the School of Health Studies at The University of Western Ontario, and I’m also a Registered Psychotherapist. My area of interest is mental health & wellbeing, broadly speaking.

Liana Beattie started her career in education as a teacher of English as a foreign language after completing her first degree at the Institute of Foreign Languages in Tbilisi (Republic of Georgia). Her research interests are, mainly, around educational leadership, creative qualitative methodologies, narrative research, and autoethnography.

Julie Parsons is an Associate Professor in Sociology and Associate Head of School for Criminology and Sociology at the University of Plymouth. Since 2015 she has worked on a series of externally funded research projects with LandWorks (a resettlement and rehabilitation scheme for prisoners and those at risk of going to prison). The latest project is a British Academy grant exploring the lived experience of the pandemic for socio-economically disadvantaged and criminalised individuals.

“Why ‘we’ run“, Jason Wragg & Richard Whall, University of Central Lancashire. This dual autoethnographic performance gives insight into the relationship of two men with the act of running. It explores the personal, professional, and cultural significance of running and how the act has provided a way of meaning-making

Jess Gosling is an international school teacher and holds an MA in Childhood Studies and Early Years. She completed a dissertation which was awarded a distinction: an action research project with narrative inquiry as its methodology. As part of the MA, she explored ‘fictional autoethnography’ and her own autoethnographic experiences as a trainee teacher. Jess will present an account which combines both approaches.

Jason Wragg is presently the course leader for the BA (Hons) Outdoor Adventure Leadership at the University of Central Lancashire and undertaking a PhD which is an autoethnographic exploration of the pilgrim adventurer.Having worked in international expedition leadership and been an ardent adventure traveller Jason became interested in undertaking a PhD in adventurous travel.

Kinan Wihba is a 3rd year medical student at Imperial College School of Medicine (London, UK) with a keen interest in medical education. Kinan will be studying a BSc in Global Health in 2021/22. Kinan has been involved in multiple dynamic staff-student collaborative projects to improve inclusivity for students from under-represented backgrounds in Higher Education. Kinan has also worked independently to review the primary care curriculum for 2nd year medical students from an inclusion and diversity perspective and to create new teaching material. Kinan is a Syrian refugee who draws on his lived experiences as a survivor of forced migration and transnational integration to help cultivate a more supportive atmosphere for refugees in Higher Education. With its reflective and retrospective qualities, autoethnography has been the best method for Kinan to approach and share his story.  

“Hair today …” Gayle Letherby, Universities of Plymouth and Greenwich. In this presentation I reflect on my own lifelong (what else could it be) relationship with hair – from the hours spent in hairdressers to my own attempts at barbering since the lockdowns began,
– some speculation on the reasons for and the practical impact and management of hair loss,
– hair and wellbeing (for me at least).

 Nandini is a Registered Dance Movement Psychotherapist and Trauma therapist and is pursuing her Professional Doctorate in Psychotherapy and Counselling from the University of Edinburgh. this film/ presentation, she hopes to speak into the ontological tensions of thinking about Identities and bodies (Collective or Individual) and explore how these can be disrupted through the lenses of Deleuzian ‘Becoming’ and Baradian entanglement.

Zoe Crockford is a final year student at Oxford Brookes University studying for an MA in Education (Artist Teacher Practice). She is also a full time secondary art teacher in Bournemouth, Dorset. Her presentation is closely linked to her dissertation and is titled ‘Selling or Sharing; what part does Instagram play in my artist identity?’

Susan Young is an BAFTA nominated animator, currently writing up her PhD: Bearing Witness: Autoethnographic Animation and the Metabolism of Trauma at the Royal College of Art. Her research is multidisciplinary and combines a cognitive focus with autoethnographic methodologies to bear witness to trauma, and critique and challenge institutional psychiatry.

Espen Hektoen: I am a Ph.D. student at the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning at NTNU, in Trondheim,  Norway. My project aims to look at teaching and learning in higher education through a lens of  transformative learning theory.  I’m also an active drummer and a drum teacher, and my passions for music and pedagogy both  reinforces and challenges my work in both arenas. https://pedagogicalverses.medium.com/

“Passing for straight, self-isolated in the closet; Writing between the margins of accepted and forbidden” Kari Silvola: As we live surrounded by texts and produce more and more text ourselves, Kari wanted to explore the multilayered discrimination (intersectionality) that hides in narration to exercise power in language. 

Martin Hoybye, Aarhus University, Denmark: My contribution is a presentation and song performance of “Dream of the Anthropocene,” a song that came to me during the first pandemic year, sparked by a personal story involving my child and health system care challenges during lockdown. The song develops from there to ask questions more broadly, and critically, about ‘the Anthropocene,’ proposed by Eugen Sturmer and Paul Crutzen as a geological designation recognizing that human activity wields formidable geological force. How did we get here, and “how do we connect if everything is broken?” I sing about a dream of a different future Anthropocene, and this song is an encouragement to ‘collaboratively witness’ (Carolyn Ellis) that there’s ‘Life in you and I, in the water, Earth, and Sky,’ and to proceed into our joint futures without “dreams of mastery’ (Achille Mbembe) of each other, of nature, but rather acknowledge our interconnectedness and stop perpetuating viscous circles.

Rachel Payne works at Oxford Brookes University as a Senior Lecturer in Art Education (2004-2019) and Principal Lecturer in Student Experience. Research interests focus on emancipatory pedagogies in schools and higher education which lead to transformative artist teacher practices, visual methodologies and policy in art and design education. 

Kyungmee Lee: Vulnerability in online PhD: The self and a community, Lancaster University, This presentation offers useful insights into the challenging nature of being an authentic self in online PhD courses and building open and honest relationships with other members of the doctoral community. 

Masha Godovannaya is a visual artist, experimental filmmaker, and queer-feminist researcher.  Approaching art production as artistic research and collective action, Masha’s artistic practice draws on combinations of approaches and spheres such as moving image theory, experimental cinema and DIY video tradition, social science, queer theory, decolonial methodologies, and contemporary art. 

“The Transformative Touch of Academic Territory” Espen Hektoen, Norway. With our world immersed in the pandemic, I reflect on how this transformative experience hardly could have been brought forth in our digital environment. Meetings between bodies in physical environments is a huge part of how we grow, even from dissent. Higher education is increasingly digitalized, and what implications may this hold for democratic society?

Yeela Raanan, Sapir Academic College, IsraelAn anthropologist attempts to understand a foreign culture; the auto-ethnographer investigates a culture to which they belong. The study focuses on women in the Bedouin society, who are paving a path towards higher education or personal and professional independence, within the constraints of a patriarchal tradition and religion. 

“An Ontological Approach on the Entanglement of Violence and Masculinity:How Practices of Resistance Matter in Understanding the Embodiment of Human Sexuality.”Marcus Fassl. Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna,

“An invasion of territorial and personal space: A Black woman’s perspective”, Marcia Morgan, Ministry of Justice. Using an autoethnography approach, this presentation captures the textures and tensions of the loss of personal space and its influences on interpersonal relationships, through poetry.

“Embodiment in the void – watching movies in virtual reality,” Thommy Eriksson, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. During the spring I supervise two student projects where an old vintage cinema of nostalgic importance to me is reconstructed in VR.

“From research to teaching territories: an autoethnographic approach to STEMM threshold concepts”, Joana Dos Santos, Imperial College London. This work aims to discuss the journey from the academic territories of research to education, identifying threshold concepts and identity shifts in the author’s transition from STEMM PhD student to Teaching Fellow.

“Scuba Diving, Not Snorkeling: Time-Use and the School Principalship During the COVID-19 Pandemic”, Anthony Bambrola, St. John’s UniversityThis autoethnographic study captures the experience of the pandemic school leader, with a focus on a leader’s use of time as a vehicle for insight into daily leadership practices and related challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“An autoethnography of affective lock-down atmospheres in times of deep mediatization”, Michael Skey, Loughborough University. This paper explores the deep mediatization of the self through quotidian working habits, zoom calls, online tutorials, messaging colleagues, student TikTok challenges

“When Is It My Turn?” Joseph Cleary, Buffalo State College, State University of New YorkThe author recounts memories of his most painful experiences as a Social Studies teacher in a large public high school in New York City from August 2008 through June 2010. Focus is directed toward the author’s relationship with his principal during the second school year. 

Storying Autobiographical Experiences of Gender-Based Violence: Writing As a Method of Reclaiming the Body. Mel Parks and Dr Jess Moriarty, University of Brighton. In this pre-recorded presentation, we explore methods for storying autobiographical experiences of GBV as a potential way of reclaiming stories held in our bodies whilst navigating the legal, ethical and moral dilemmas sometimes associated with autobiographical writing. 

Disrupted professional: an artist teacher in lockdown”, Rachel Payne, Oxford Brookes University. During 2020 I engaged in an autoethnographic analysis of how working with MA artist teachers informed my working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through reflexive journaling and arts-based research I documented my experiences of transferring face to face pedagogy to remote learning platforms. 


Thank you to everyone who has submitted presentations, performances and films to the 2020 conference. Please download the programme here

Key notes

Sophie Tamas

I am an associate professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, cross-appointed to the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies and the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies. I teach emotional geographies and qualitative research methods with an emphasis on autoethnographic, arts-based, Indigenous, and feminist approaches to knowledge production. I have an interest in the emotional and affective aspects of academic practice, post-traumatic knowledge, relational ethics, and the (mis)uses of personal narrative.

David Carless

I am a researcher-writer-artist working on interdisciplinary projects across social science, health and education. I use songwriting, music, storytelling, filmmaking and live performance to create social research that is relevant and accessible beyond academia. Research collaborations with Kitrina Douglas are available in the public realm as performances, CDs and films (see https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkWCTy8bNOY6JlvX_yg-Uig). Our work has been published as journal articles and book chapters and our latest book, Doing Arts-Based Research, will be published by Routledge. I am currently a Visiting Research Professor at Queen’s University Belfast and University of Edinburgh. 


‘Clever Girls’ reclaiming our Voices: autoethnographies of class, gender and ethnicity

film plus discussion with Jackie Goode, Christa Welsh and Jan Bradford Loughborough University

Presentations/ Performance / Films

Djenane Oliveira I am a clinical pharmacist and professor of pharmacy adventuring in autoethnographic work. This presentation is going to be about an autoethnograph class a colleague and I taught during the first few months of the pandemic in Belo Horizonte,  Brazil. 

Mark Price. My research interests focus on processes of personal and relational discovery, exploration and becoming – including notion of ‘border crossing’ and ‘boundary spanning’, through life events, choices and career changing, as we encounter and navigate the various demands of evolving roles and identities, prevalent in such times of social and political change.My presentation is titled “Dreaming our futures”

Emile Gouws, University of Pretoria, South Africa, I am a specialist teacher, PhD student, Autism self-advocate and executive committee member of the Commonwealth Disabled People’s Forum in which I represent, Emile’s presentation is titled “Neurodiversity. Experiencing COVID-19 as an autistic” 

Daniella Arieli, I am a social anthropologist and an action researcher, working at Emek Yezreel Academic College, in the north of Israel. My presentation is titled “Homecare autoethnograph: What happens to home when it becomes a research field?”

Tatiana Reyes currently serves as Assistant to the Dean for the College of Education at New Jersey City University, where she also adjuncts for the Department of Literacy Education and the Department of Multicultural Education. She graduated from New Jersey City University with a Master of Arts degree in Urban Education and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Writing.

Adrian D. Martin, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education at New Jersey City University.  Dr. Martin’s scholarship attends to promoting equity and social justice in education, teacher identity, qualitative inquiry, and the self-study of teacher education practices.  

Nicole Leibowitz holds a Master’s degree in Urban Education: Teaching & Learning in Urban Schools. She is the Program Coordinator for the New Jersey City University Teacher Intern Program. Her current research studies include the representation and implementation of Queer Theory in urban universities, teacher preparation, using technology to enhance literacy in the classroom, analyzing global intersections of existentialism and the postmodern, and exploring the benefits of social justice issues, both inside and outside of the classroom.

Hande Çayır is an Assistant Professor and Head of Graphic Design Department at İstanbul Yeni Yüzyıl University. Hande’s presentation titled “One’s book dedications: Was it my job to please people?”

My reclamation : My new normal, Elis Mokhtar
Sultan Idris Education University, Malaysia. I am presenting 30 pieces of my drawings which I made during the stressful COVID-19 lockdown in Malaysia. Through these drawings, I documented my deep emotions to release the -prolonged grief symptoms of ‘yearning’ and ‘longing’ to my son, whom I met after almost 10-years of separation (2009-2018). And now, we had to be separated again because of the pandemic

Reflecting on Black Lives Matter and my encounters with prejudice, discrimination and systemic racism, I wrote my story, which I hope to share. Feroza Isakjee

Fabiola Espinoza Veloso, from the University of Chile, describes herself as a feminist thinker, social worker and activist fully compromised with social development and human rights.  Her presentation is titled “The awakening of the red hooded”.

Nandini Manjunath, is a Registered Dance Movement Psychotherapist and is pursuing her Professional Doctorate in Psychotherapy and Counselling from the University of Edinburgh. Her presentation is titled “Reclaiming the Feminine body and voice”.

Aaron Teo is a Doctoral Candidate in the School of Education at the University of Queensland, and a full-time Business and Legal Studies teacher at a Brisbane-based Independent School. His presentation is titled “An AsianCrit autoethnographic account of reclaiming racial narratives as a non-Indigenous ‘Asian’ Australian high school teacher”.

Julie Parsons is from the University of Plymouth and her presentation is titles “dreaming of fishing’ – i-poems as reclamation”

Gustavo A. Raimondi, Brazil, Between applauses and loneliness, heroes/warriors and fear: thoughts of a medical professor during the COVID-19 pandemic

Mainstreaming,standardization and evidence-based practice. Autoethnography as resistance? A dialogical exploration. Knut Tore Sælør, Rolf Sundet and Trude Klevan. Univrsity of South-Eastern Norway

“Dione and Me” Jillian Adam. Central Queensland University, Australia

“Trans Bodies as Assemblages: Reclaiming the Expected Transgender AutobiographyAtalia Israeli-NevoGender Studies Program, Atalia Israeli-Nevo,Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Dance and Martial Arts in My Performance, YUN CHENHUANG, University of Taipei, Taiwan.

Autoethnography as a narrative tool in Photo Essays, Debora Baldelli, “Debora Baldelli, Ph.D in Ethnomusicology, Member of CRIA (Centre for Research in Anthropology), Portugal/Brazil. Identifies herself as an ethnographer. She has been experimenting with Creative Nonfiction and Autoethnography as a way of refreshing academic writing and introducing a much needed style re-evaluation.” 

Writing for an Audience, Writing for Yourself: Reclamation in Research? Kathryn Mara. Department of African Cultural Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

Reclaiming Blackwildgirl: From Black Girlhood to Black Womanhood, Menah Pratt-Clarke, Virginia Tech, USA

Father Michelin as an art promoter, YI LING LUI, Taipei National, University of the Arts, Taiwan.

Acade#MeToo: You can have my body, but you can’t take my mind, Andy Sturt, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA.

Experiencing COVID-19 as an autistic Phd student, Emile Gouws, University of Pretoria, South Africa

“You’re standing too close to the fire”: Autoethnography’s potential for the ‘transformation’ of positionality. Sharon Greenwood, University of Glasgow, UK

Restoring joy and happiness in the sociology of sport: A lifestyle sport case study encouraging positivity, Michael Girvan, University of Chester, UK

Reclaiming Original Meanings: Etymological Excavation in Aŋlɔ-Eʋegbe An ‘Oratory Practice’, Gameli Tordzro, University of Glasgow, UK

It’s quite alright to write philosophically-informed autoethnography, Alec Grant, Independent Scholar

Reclaiming Mealtimes: A parents experience of eating and mealtime behaviours with autistic children, Juliet Hall, University of Plymouth

Internal Objects: A mother within her son, within her mother, within her self, Mia Zielinska, The University of Edinburgh

One Career, Two Stories.Leal Porsotam, University of Bournemouth

Sitting in my consultant’s chair, Georgi Gill, University of Edinburgh (CCRI)

Putting Ourselves in the Picture, Simon Denison, Hereford College of Arts, UK

The Visible and Invisible Scars of a Second-Generation Survivor of a Controversial Minority Belief Group: A Humanistic Analytical Autoethnography, Hope Bastine, University of Nottingham

“Pretty F***ing… A.” Renata Ferdinand, City University of New York


We had a wonderful and diverse selection of work to engage and inspire us last year. Thanks to Tim Buescher for overseeing the review process. Below are a selection of some of the sessions and panels from last year.

In the conference opener seven autoethngraphers reflect on what “Activism” means or might mean. Does one have to define yourself as an activist to challenge social injustice? We think not. Perhaps activism is more about becoming an activist where you are in the hope that your work and scholarship might play some part in social change; and this may happen through multiple methods and forms. Underpinning our interest at the 2019 British Conference of Autoethnography we are interested to explore activism as a concern with social injustices, marginalisation, and stigmatisation. In relation to poverty, exclusion and disempowerment. Often it is those within our communities who have the fewest resources who are chellenges to bring about the most change, be this economic, environmental or in their own behaviour.

Anjila Sinha

Anjila lives in Greenwich with her daughter and her cat, Sigmund. She has worked in the charity sector for the past 30 years, currently supporting victims of gender-based violence. She has counselled in a GP surgery, a secondary school for boys and for MIND and is now working on setting up private practice. She is a compulsive reader and creative writer.  

Rev Dr Kevin Ellis

I am a Vicar on Anglesey and discovering whether or not he is an autoethnographer or not.  I am a Welsh learner. I have a New Testament PhD, and am currently working for another looking at what it means to lead a church as an English priest in Wales, using autoethnography as my lens and liberation theology as one of the many filters

Ross Wignall is a lecturer in social/cultural anthropology at Oxford Brookes University. His doctoral research explored the intersection of morality, faith and the gendered body as modes of youth self-actualisation and more recently his research focusses on the inclusion of youth voices in development policy in both Sub-Saharan Africa and the Global North with a particular focus on disenfranchised young people in Sierra Leone. He is a passionate advocate of auto-ethnography and has recently been writing about his own experiences of fatherhood. 

Adam McDade is a AHRC NPIF funded PhD research student in design at the University of Sunderland, and a tattooist at Triplesix Studios, Sunderland. His PhD research is titled, ‘Beyond the Epidermis: A practical investigation into contemporary Western tattooing’. Adam adopts a multi-method methodology that utilises his tattooing practice and autoethnographic reflections on practice in order to investigate the practical process of cultural production of tattooing, and the role of the contemporary Western tattooist.

Anette Holmgren, is a Danish psychologist,who writes and published stories, often about women in narrative therapy. Her most recent book is “The Psychology of Trauma (in Danish).

Allan Holmgren, Danish psychologist, has worked in psychiatry for more than 40 years. He write on narrative therapy, leadership and doing consultancy work. Together they co-authored Narrative Supervision, and have co-written a hands-on-book the “Theme Based Supervision and Collegial Reflections”. (Also in Danish).

Anette and Allan are both Directors of DISPUK: A Danish Consultancy and training center based on narrative and poststructuralist thinking with about 4-500 students a year. DISPUK celebrates its 30 years Anniversary in Ystad, Sweden, next year. www.dispuk.dk

Carol Day has been leading and directing The Centre for Creative Vision in North East Scotland since 2009.  She writes courses and practitioner programmes supporting others to connect meaningfully with their own stories and the stories in community and the natural world.  She is a counsellor and a shamanic operator.  She is the author of two books Wheel and Drum, and an artist who works with site specific narrative events and a project called The Theatre of Dragon Hill.  Her special interest is initiation and the human journey with the contrasting realms of darkness and light, especially pertaining to mood. The project she presents at this conference, an autoethnographic play is the piece of work submitted for her recent MSc paper in Pluralistic Counselling through Abertay University, Dundee (May 2019).

Abimbola Alao Abimbola is a researcher at Lapin Yliopisto – University of Lapland, Finland. Her research explores the influence of psychosocial intervention for dementia. Abimbola taught creative writing and storytelling at Marjon Plymouth University from 2007-2018. She is currently a visiting lecturer at the Peninsular Medical School, University of Plymouth, where she teaches ’StoryWeavers for Dementia’, a module in Medical Humanities. Abimbola is an award-winning author and performance storyteller. She is also a children’s book translator and her work include Yoruba translation of the classics: ‘Hansel and Gretel’, ‘The Little Red Hen and the Grain of Wheat’ and several other books published by Mantra Lingua.Abimbola’s performance is titled “Trickster Tales for Telling: A Narrative Performance”

Julie Parsons: I am an Associate Professor in Sociology. My doctoral study ‘An Auto/Biographical study of relationships with food’, formed the basis of a monographGender, Class and Food, Families, Bodies and Health, shortlisted for the Foundation of Health and Illness book prize in 2016. I have published a range of journal articles, book chapters and web sites; secured post-doctoral research funding and a mid-career fellowship (see: https://penprojectlandworks.org/).  I am convenor of the BSA Food Studies Group and work closely with colleagues from the BSA Auto/Biography study group, currently co-editing a Palgrave MacMillan Handbook of Auto/Biography due for publication next year. I am also editing a journal special issue on creative and collaborate approaches to research with a social and criminal justice focus. I was programme lead for an MSc in Social Research from 2010-2014 and am currently programme lead for the BSc (Hons) Sociology programme and an externalexaminer.https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/staff/julie-parsons. Julie’s presentation is titled “Whose timeline is it anyway?”. Coproducing the visual in the pursuit of social justice.”

Fiona Murray

is a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh and is a psychodynamic counsellor in private practice.  She completed her doctoral dissertation  “The Porn Factory: A feminist dystopian inquiry into porn (re)produced worlds”  in 2017.  She is interested in research that thinks with affect theory and the New Materialisms. One of the projects she is currently working on is an interdisciplinary project on evaluating photography as a visual method. Currently, she reckons she is the best granola maker in the UK at least but possibly further. She humbly acknowledges a stiff competitor in Marrakech. 

Christa Welsh-Saunders

Christa Welsh is a BACP accredited psychotherapist in private practice for over twenty years specialising in race, gender and trauma. Christa is also currently a doctoral researcher exploring transgenerational traumatic bonding. As a radical educationalist and Independent Scholar Christa sees herself as playing a critical role in the construction of ‘new’ meaning and perception to liberate both the oppressed and the oppressors from what Friere defines as the conspiracy of silence. This year Christa will present “Re-Visioning Experience: Child-Shifting and Reunification the psychological implications for British African Caribbean Women, Christa Welsh”  


Travis Heath, Associate Professor of Psychology, Metropolitan State University of Denver (email:heatht@msudenver.edu). Has practiced in Los Angeles, California and currently resides in Denver, Colorado where he co-founded Rocky Mountain Narrative Therapy Center (RMNTC). His work includes shifting from a multicultural approach to counselling to one of cultural democracy that invites people to heal in mediums that are culturally near. His work has also focused on the use of rap music in narrative therapy, working with persons entangled in the criminal justice system in ways that maintain their dignity, narrative practice stories as pedagogy, and a co-created questioning practice called reunion questions. This year Travis will present, “Crossing Enemy Lines: A Post-Oppositional Narrative Approach to Working with a Trump Supporter”tim Buescher

Tim Buescher – I am part of a relatively young mental health nursing team at the University of Hull where I teach student mental health nurses about research. Although I have only had a permanent position at my institution for two years, I have been doing this for four years. Hopefully, by the time you read this, I will have submitted my thesis, which began as an exploration of help-seeking in family members of compulsive hoarders and became a mutual exploration with a co-researcher of why we value some things and ideas over others and how we go on with disrupted and messy (hi)stories. In writing this, I have had to “come out” as a mental health practitioner uneasy with the position, language and politics of mental health care. 

DC 2David Carless. My professional background spans the performing arts, education and psychology – all of which inform the interdisciplinary social research I am immersed in as a professor of narrative psychology at Leeds Beckett University. Arts-based and performative collaborations with Kitrina Douglas incorporate songwriting, storytelling, filmmaking and live performance to create social research that is meaningful, relevant and accessible beyond academia. In the public realm, our research is available as a series of live performances, audio CD’s and films (see https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkWCTy8bNOY6JlvX_yg-Uig). Within academia we have published our work as journal articles, books and book chapters as well as performing and presenting at conferences around the world.

Screen Shot 2018-06-17 at 15.54.54Ken Gale: I work in the Institute of Education in the Faculty of Arts and Education at the University of Plymouth and have published widely and presented at a number of international conferences on the philosophy of education, research methodologies and collaborative approaches to education practices. My current research involves the use of post human and affectively inclined approaches to theorising and inquiry.

Jackie GoodeJackie Goode, is a  sociologist and Visiting Fellow in Qualitative Research in the School of Social Sciences at Loughborough University. After working for over twenty years on a variety of qualitative research projects in the areas of health, welfare, higher education and policing, she now enjoys writing autoethnographies. These have been published in Qualitative Inquiry, Cultural Sociology, Ageing and Society and Sociological Research Online. Her presentation for this years conference is titled: 

“Are we God’s Men?”: an autoethnographic family story”


Russell Heywood has been involved in the holistic movement for twenty years, as a facilitator and participant in various countries, also working as an English and Community Education teacher. Since finishing his arts practice PhD At Brighton University last year, he has been part of the Creative Writing and Autoethnography programmes.  His research uses multiple genres and a humorous approach to storying the self, connecting with autoethnography as a way of challenging apparently neutral dominant narratives and exploring more holistic cultural and personal possibilities. 2019 will see Russel present “Autoethnography is no laughing matter.” which explores how nurturing a playful or comical mood, supports entertaining, accessible autoethnography, keeping investigations light-hearted and less formal, which is often useful or necessary, when dealing with difficult material, awkward silences or highly contested areas.

Jess Moriarty is a Principal Lecturer at the University of Brighton where she is course leader on the Creative Writing MA and English Literature and Creative Writing BA. Her work is on autoethnography, communities of practice and developing confidence with creative work and academic life. This year Jess will present “Finding the inner compass: Mapping a way out of creative stuck places and personal change”

Gary Hodge

Gary Hodge – Is a mental health nurse and lecturer working in Plymouth, and a distance learning PhD (Mental Health) student with Lancaster University. He has a special interest in person centred and humanistic approaches to dementia care, completing a MSc in Ageing, Mental Health and Dementia in 2013. His presentation this year it titled:Becoming Intersubjective ‘In Medias Res’ of Behaviours that Challenge in Dementia: A Layered Autoethnography.

Phiona Stanley is Associate Professor of Intercultural Business Communication in Tourism and Languages at Edinburgh Napier University. She has published ethnographic and autoethnographic research on westerners teaching English in China, backpackers learning Spanish in Latin America, unlikely hikers, travel zine writing, converting a campervan, and the destination imaginaries of incoming tourists in Australia. She is currently writing about remigration, decolonizing volunteer tourism, and the intersectional power negotiations of LGBTIQA+ travellers in home-stay contexts in Guatemala.

Naomi Sharin Shajahan works as an Assistant Professor in Asian University for Women, located in Bangladesh and  aims to empower women from 17 different countries.  She teaches “women and autoethnography” and “feminism” there.    Naomi has completed PhD  from Murdoch University, Australia. her presentation is titled “Tibetan Buddhism and Feminism in an in-between space: A creative Critical Autoethnography in a non-western women’s voice”

“The number on the scales vs. the number on the bar – An exploration of strongwoman’s empowering potential”, Hannah Newman, Loughborough University

 “An autoethnography in poetry of experiences of epilepsy”, Louise Spiers

Alison Williams I am a teacher of higher vocational education within the department of education, health and community of an inner-city university in the Midlands. I am also currently completing my PhD at the University of Warwick, for which I am using Autoethnography to explore my practice as a teacher. My study places particular focus on fostering the conditions for transformative learning and factors that influence connectedness between people in the higher education organisation. I explore the conditions which support or impede the conditions that offer potential for transformative learning and the type of relationships needed to meet, with integrity, the aims of widening participation. 

Ravi Nishi, University of Edinburgh, Nishi is a student at the University of Edinburgh completing her second year of the Masters in Counselling, specialising in the Interpersonal Dialogue. Her interest in autoethnography grew during her Master’s, particularly stemming from her experience of being an Indian counsellor trainee in the UK and learning to embrace her ‘voice’ as a researcher and therapist. Nishi’s presentation it titled “Shades of Brown: My Tryst with Diversity and Culture as a Trainee Counsellor”,

“Territory, body, blood”, Tara McGuinness,University College Dublin,

“Autoethnography as Collaboration: A Cloistered Nun Shares her Journey”, Abbie Reese, University of California, Riverside, USA,

“Finding Meaning in Darkness’ A Play in 3 Acts Hanging out on the transitional edges: A study on mood disorder, the creative process and nature as a theatre.” Carol Day, Abertay University Counselling MSc

“The Abuses of the Academy’: An Autoethnographic and Reflexive Account of the Personal-Professional Impact of Harmful Institutional Pressures and Expectations,

Karen Lumsden

“Storying Cancer: A narrative inquiry”, Kathryn Aldrige Morris, Independent Scholar

            James S. Simmons is a transdisciplinary academic, with a BA in Socioeconomic Social Change, an MA in Media Theory, and is a doctoral candidate in Anthropology & Social Change.  He has been published by Critical Planning Journal, SF Bayview, Alternative Outlook, IndyMedia, and the Slingshot Journal.  James has also presented on panels for the Cultural Studies Association, North American Global Studies Association, the Society for the Advancement of Socioeconomics, the American Ethnological Society, North American Anarchist Studies Association, the Latin American Pedagogies Symposium, the Anthropology & Social Change conference, and many more. In academia, he has worked with Long Island University, California Institute of Integral Studies, Goddard College, Sonoma State University, and Berkeley City College. His activism work includes the Iraq Anti-War Movement, Amnesty International, Occupy Wall Street, Hampton Playground Initiative, and the California Prisoner Hunger Strike.