At least since Bochner’s turning-point essay, Narrative’s Virtues, it has been clear that the critics are wrong about autoethnography.1 No, it is not merely self-absorbed navel-gazing, and we all know it. It is a powerful form of evocative writing-as-inquiry that has generated big substantive change in qualitative inquiry across many methods and disciplines. The re-centering of what Ellis calls the Ethnographic I in qualitative human social research is nothing short of revolutionary.2

But in every critique there is a thread (or a glimmer) of truth.

One major peril of all academic work is the raw fact that our audiences are, largely, just us. Goodall was correct, I believe, in calling upon us to do better, extending our work as public intellectuals by reaching for audiences well beyond our own ivy-covered walls.3 By remaining a small,...

You do not currently have access to this content.