Nomadic Ethics

Attending to the Ghosts we Cite


  • Stephen P. Carter University of Cambridge



qualitative methods, citational ethics, arts-based research, reading and writing, post-qualitative research


In response to Maureen Flint’s (2020) performance and essay, Fingerprints and Pulp, on the ethics of truncating and flattening research participants in qualitative research, I extend this ethical concern to the voices of scholars flattened in qualitative research and writing processes. Scholars cite for many reasons, but what is there that holds us to account for our treatments of academics that come before; how can we avoid flattening and abusing those we cite? Through endeavouring to recognise and protect ghosts and nomadic identities of those other than the author in the research and writing process, I propose a new way of re-animating and re-embodying the haunting, nomadic voices in cited texts, in order to minimise further, future truncations and limitations of the other in academic writing. Attending to the ghosts allows for more ethical and just behaviour towards those cited. Seeing the multitude of ghosts haunting scholarly work obliges more ethical behaviour toward those voices flattened in writing. 

Author Biography

Stephen P. Carter, University of Cambridge

Stephen P. Carter is a post-graduate scholar of Education from Queens’ College, Cambridge. He is currently working for the learning disabilities charity L’Arche at their community in Ipswich, UK. His interests lie in post-qualitative research methods, and innovative education strategies, particularly for teaching environmentalist, feminist, and social justice. He has just finished a master’s thesis on the educational possibilities of diffracting post-humanism and Donna Haraway’s move into compost through a neo-pagan, feminist spiritualism.   




How to Cite

Carter, S. P. . (2022). Nomadic Ethics: Attending to the Ghosts we Cite. Art/Research International: A Transdisciplinary Journal, 7(1), 29–46.