This essay explores what I describe as “bad feelings” in the field and the research process. Combining autoethnography with feminist and queer methods, I counter the stigma around trauma and feelings of shame and fear in research. I ask what happens when the researcher experiences bad feelings that recall past lived trauma, and that challenge their sense of safety and security. In addition, I consider what it means for researchers to feel bad about their research. I argue that feeling one’s research, and thinking through and with bad feelings, opens up the possibility to “accidentally fall” into productive, and perhaps, alternative issues of study.

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