Writing and Righting Trauma: Troubling the Autoethnographic Voice


  • Sophie Tamas Carleton University




trauma, autoethnography, representation, ethics, testimony, research


How do we speak meaningfully and ethically about loss and trauma? This piece grapples with the use of traumatic experiences as the basis of autoethnographic scholarship. It mulls over the impact of telling our messy, unreasonable stories in a tidy, reasonable voice, and the consequences of becoming participant-observers in our own lives. Our testimonial practices are bound by discursive norms that limit our ability to tell performative stories which produce both knowledge and empathy. The scholarly authorial voice insulates us from the experiences we purport to describe and limits the impact of our work. This piece asks how we might write ourselves differently. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0901220


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Author Biography

Sophie Tamas, Carleton University

Sophie TAMAS lives in small-town Canada with three kids, two cats and a dog. In between the laundry and the weeding, she is a PhD candidate at Carleton University. Her dissertation research uses arts-based, feminist, postmodern, collaborative methods to explore how (or if) survivors represent and recover from trauma.


How to Cite

Tamas, S. (2008). Writing and Righting Trauma: Troubling the Autoethnographic Voice. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-10.1.1211



FQS Debate: Qualitative Research and Ethics