The essays in this issue of Departures in Critical Qualitative Research take the art and possibility of failure seriously, showing us the risk, the pleasure, and the innovative forms of knowledge that can come from encountering and making sense of the unexpected, the difficult, and the devastating in our lives and in our work. As Judith Halberstam points out, “under certain circumstances failing, losing, forgetting, unmaking, undoing, unbecoming, not knowing may in fact offer more creative, more cooperative, more surprising ways of being in the world.”2 The emphasis on success, sensemaking, and certainty in the work of qualitative inquiry leaves out, as the essays in this issue make clear, what we do not readily or easily acknowledge, know, or understand. For example, Stephanie Young's “It's Not Just Black and White” chronicles her conversations with students about the instability of racial categories and identities, taken-for-granted knowledges about race and racism,...

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