Call For Papers, Special Issue of The Ethnographic Edge (TEE)
Submissions to tee.ac.nz
The Ethnographer/Poet: Breaching the Humanities/Science Duality
Arts-based research has flourished in what Denzin and Lincoln (2011) term the "eighth moment" of qualitative research, "concerned with moral discourse, with the development of sacred textualities" (p. 3). As an integral—and ancient—form of communication, poetry and a poetic sensibility within prosaic writing—and particularly research writing—serves as a re-discovery of sorts: we can apprehend what Dewey terms the "subject and substance" of poetry, or rather, a sense of Bachelard's blended dualism of the scientific and poetic. When we cast our gazes across disciplinary boundaries, we find more unity in approach than disparity; similarly, when logics (often stemming from a variety of standpoints) are winnowed down, we find that clear thinking is clear thinking, however expressed. In a commencement address to Smith College in 1890, John Dewey understood this principle: "We must bridge this gap of poetry from science. We must heal this unnatural wound" (1969, p. 123). As the use of poetry and poetic devices has gained wider acceptance within inter-disciplinary research circles, it is incumbent upon qualitative researchers to re-assess their own practices.
In an age where, ironically, veracity is being trumpeted as "fake news," expression through poetry (and poetic devices, and worldview) is something that, as Walter Pater wrote, ". . . burn[s] always with this hard gemlike flame, to maintain this ecstasy" (1873, p. 154). Poetic expression means more than the words on the page: in ethnography, examining the senses, worldviews, and gist of gradations in meaning may be better represented using poetic language and devices. Thus, the importance of poetry and poetic representation and sensibility is both universal and particular to this historical moment.
Following Bachelard and Dewey—and mindful of Bachelard's suggestion that "poetic images condense infinite meanings in elliptic associations" (2014, p. 83)—I therefore propose a special issue for The Ethnographic Edge that calls for essays on ethnography regarding the use and efficacy of poetry and poetic method. The call would include "think" pieces about the direction(s) of poetry and poetic sensibility within research paradigms, poetic-influenced ethnographies, and ethnographically-based poetry. The suggested word range for articles is 5000-6500 words; for ethnographically-based poetry, the word range will vary.
I am calling for manuscripts that are "on the edge": that is, I envision (for example), sensory and sensual work that pushes (and justifies) the limits of what we currently think of as "poetic ethnography," representations of poetic ethnography, and poetry that shows rather than tells.
For a publication date of 2018:
1 February 2018: Call for papers;
15 June 2018: Close of submissions for special issue;
7 August 2018: Feedback to all "accepted" authors;
7 September 2018: Revisions due.
All articles will be submitted to the journal by their authors via the TEE website. All articles go through individual peer review. As with all submissions, peer review will assist in decisions for publication, but the Special Editor and the journal's editors have the final decision for publication.
Special Issue Editor:
Robert E. Rinehart
The Faculty of Health, Sport and Human Performance
The University of Waikato