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.
Bad Feelings: On Trauma, Nonlinear Time, and Accidental Encounters in “the Field”
Ghassan Moussawi is Assistant Professor in the Departments of Gender and Women's Studies and Sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Correspondence to: Ghassan Moussawi, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 3078 Lincoln Hall, 702 S. Wright Street, Urbana, IL 61801, USA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Ghassan Moussawi; Bad Feelings: On Trauma, Nonlinear Time, and Accidental Encounters in “the Field”. Departures in Critical Qualitative Research 1 March 2021; 10 (1): 78–96. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/dcqr.2021.10.1.78
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