Tumbling from Embodiment to Enfleshment: Art as Intervention in Collective Autoethnography

  • Kelly W. Guyotte University of Alabama http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0534-1870
  • Brooke A. Hofsess Appalachian State University
  • Gloria J. Wilson Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Sara Scott Shields Florida State University
Keywords: arts-based research, autoethnography, methodology, collaborative research, art intervention, embodiment


We, the four authors, found ourselves swept into the tenure process, tumbling as we inquired into what this transition meant to each of us and to all of us. Through a methodological grounding in collective autoethnography – and expanded by art intervention, we came together in our inquiry to explore key experiences as new professors, asking how we individually, collectively, and aesthetically move(d) through our transitions into tenure track assistant professorship. We found it was through the embodied acts of listening, attuning, and responding with/in our flesh as women and as researchers that we felt the friction of Tenure as another body in our collective. Tenure provoked our poems, tears, arguments, victories, aches, paintings, tenderness, stitches through fabric, movements, and identities. This article serves as a methodological unpacking of our arts-based research process that used Tumblr, individual and collective artmaking, and visits to each other’s homes. While our collective work seeks new potentialities of understanding our tumbling selves as women, artists, and researchers new to the academy, we also see this work as opening our stories to the world in order to create new possibilities beyond our project.

Author Biographies

Kelly W. Guyotte, University of Alabama

Kelly W. Guyotte is an Assistant Professor of Qualitative Research at the University of Alabama. Her interests focus on qualitative methodology, pedagogy, and arts-based research.

Brooke A. Hofsess, Appalachian State University

Brooke A. Hofsess is an Assistant Professor of Art Education at Appalachian State University immersed in aesthetic and poetic approaches to inquiry contemplating teacher education and renewal.

Gloria J. Wilson, Virginia Commonwealth University

Gloria J. Wilson, an Assistant Professor of Art Education at Virginia Commonwealth University, engages in critical arts-based inquiry and approaches to affect social transformation.

Sara Scott Shields, Florida State University

Sara Scott Shields is an Assistant Professor of Art Education at the Florida State University. Her research interests include arts-based approaches to research and learning.


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