A tale of grappling: Performative duoethnography as expanded methodological thinking


  • Runa Hestad Jenssen
  • Rose Martin




This article is a tale of two researchers, teachers, and artists grappling and playing with duoethnography. By expanding the methodology, we aim to bridge duoethnography into pedagogy. Grappling with the methodological to pedagogical bridge, we found that intertwined performative aspects of doing a duoethnography could challenge our knowledge production and roles as researchers and the current and more dominant practices that we operate within. We engage with a performative paradigm (Bolt, 2016) and lean on relevant theories from new materialist feminist thinkers such as Karen Barad (2003, 2007), Lenz Taguchi (2009, 2012) and Tami Spry (2011, 2016), while dialoguing with Joe Norris and Richard D. Sawyer’s (2012) tenets of duoethnography. Our embodiment of these tenets, intertwined with our theoretical positioning, allows our investigation to expand into a performative duoethnography. As an end, we propose duoethnography as a critical performative pedagogy (Pineau, 2002) and offer this article as a playful impulse connecting methodological considerations with pedagogy.


Metrics Loading ...


Adams, T. E., Jones, S. H. & Ellis, C. (2014). Autoethnography. Oxford University Press.

Andersen, C.L., Guttorm, H., Koro-Ljungberg, M., Löytönen, T., Osgood, J., Otterstad, A.M., Rantala, T., Rautio, P., Välimäki, A., (2017). Darkness matters. Reconceptualizing Educational Research Methodology, 8(2) Special Issue. https://doi.org/10.7577/rerm.2229

Ashlee, A. A. & Quaye, S. J. (2020). On being racially enough: a duoethnography across minoritized racial identities. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 34(3), 243–261. https://doi.org/10.1080/09518398.2020.1753256

Barad, K. (2003). Posthumanist performativity: Toward an understanding of how matter comes to matter. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 28(3), 801–831. https://doi.org/10.1086/345321

Barad, K. (2007). Meeting the universe halfway: Quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning. Duke University Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv12101zq

Barlett, P. F. & Chase, G. W. (Eds.). (2013). Sustainability in higher education: Stories and strategies for transformation. MIT Press. https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/9418.001.0001

Bayley, A. (2018). Posthuman pedagogies in practice: Arts based approaches for developing participatory futures. Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-70978-9

Bhabha, H. K. (2004). The location of culture. Routledge.

Bhattacharya, K. (2020). Understanding entangled relationships between un/interrogated privileges: Tracing research pathways with contemplative art-making, duoethnography, and Pecha Kucha. Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies, 20(1), 75-85. https://doi.org/10.1177/1532708619884963

Bolt, B. (2016). Artistic research: A performative paradigm? Parse 03 Issue Repetitions and Reneges, 129-142.

Breault, R. A. (2016). Emerging issues in duoethnography. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 29(6), 777-794. https://doi.org/10.1080/09518398.2016.1162866

Bresler, L. (2019). Wondering in the dark: The generative power in the arts and in qualitative research. In N. Denzin & M. Giardina (Eds.), Qualitative inquiry at a cross-road (pp. 80–95). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429056796-7

Bron, A. & Thunborg, C. (2017). Theorising biographical work from non-traditional students' stories in higher education. International Journal of Contemporary Sociology, 54(2), 112-127.

Brown, H. (2015). Still Learning After Three Studies. International Review of Qualitative Research, 8(1), 127–143. https://doi.org/10.1525/irqr.2015.8.1.127

Burford, J. & Mitchell, C. (2019). Varied starting points and pathways: A duoethnographic exploration of ‘diverse’ students’ uneven capacities to aspire to doctoral education. Reconceptualizing Educational Research Methodology, 10(1), 28–44. https://doi.org/10.7577/rerm.3242

Chang, H. (2008). Autoethnography as method. Left Coast Press.

Conquergood, D. (1991). Rethinking ethnography: Towards a critical cultural politics. Communication Monographs 58, 179-194. https://doi.org/10.1080/03637759109376222

Denzin, N. K. (2018). Performance autoethnography: Critical pedagogy and the politics of culture (2nd ed.). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315159270

Ellis, C. (2004). The ethnographic I: A methodological novel about autoethnography. Ethnographic alternatives book series. AltaMira Press.

Ellis, C. & Bochner, A. P. (2000) Autoethnography, personal narrative, reflexivity: Researcher as subject. In N. K. Denzin and Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The handbook of qualitative research (2nd ed). (pp. 733-68). Sage.

Fels, L., & Belliveau, G. A. (2008). Exploring curriculum: Performative inquiry, role drama, and learning. Pacific Educational Press.

Fitzpatrick, E. & Longley, A. (2020). Performative writing as a method of inquiry with the material world: The art of the imperative. LEARNing Landscapes, 13(1), 115–128. https://doi.org/10.36510/learnland.v13i1.1007

Fitzpatrick, E. & Farquhar, S. (2018). Service and leadership in the university: duoethnography as transformation. Journal of Organizational Ethnography, 7(3), 345–360. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOE-08-2017-0037

Goltz, D. B. (2011). Frustrating the “I”: Critical dialogic reflexivity with personal voice. Text and Performance Quarterly, 31(4), 386-405.


Hendricks, K.S. (2018). Compassionate music teaching: A framework for Motivation and Engagement in the 21st Century. Rowman & Littlefield.

Huckaby, M. F. & Weinburgh, M. H. (2015). “Spark like a dialectic”: Difference in-between feminisms/duoethnography. International Review of Qualitative Research, 8(1), 49–67. https://doi.org/10.1525/irqr.2015.8.1.49

Jackson, A. Y. & Mazzei, L. A. (2017). Thinking with theory: A new analytic for qualitative inquiry. Routledge.

Jenssen, R. H. (2021). Facing the Soprano: Uncovering a Feminist Performative “I” Through Autoethnography. In E. Angelo, Jn. Knigge, M. Sæther & W. Waagen (Eds.), Higher Education as Context for Music Pedagogy Research (pp. 113–135). Cappelen Damm Akademisk. https://doi.org/10.23865/noasp.119.ch5

Kallio, A. A. (2021). Doing dirty work: Listening for ignorance among the ruins of reflexivity in music education research. In A. A. Kallio, H. Westerlund, S. Karlsen, K. Marsh, E. Sæther (Eds), The Politics of Diversity in Music Education. Landscapes: The Arts, Aesthetics, and Education, vol 29. (pp. 53–67). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-65617-1_5

Koro, M. & MacLure, M. & Ulmer, J. (2018). D...a…t…a…, data++, data, and some problematics. In Denzin NK and Lincoln (Eds.). The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research. (pp. 426-483). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Koro-Ljungberg, M. & Löytönen, T. & Timothy Wells, T. (2020). Relational spaces: wit(h)ness-ing in writescapes. In Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 41(4), 604-622 https://doi.org/10.1080/01596306.2018.1529023

Kinnear, C. & Ruggunan, S. (2019). Applying duoethnography to position researcher identity in management research. SA Journal of Human Resource Management, 17(3), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v17i0.1056

Lenz Taguchi, H. (2009). Going beyond the theory/practice divide in early childhood education: Introducing an intra-active pedagogy. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203872956

Lenz Taguchi, H. (2012). Pedagogisk dokumentation som agent. Gleerups Utbildning AB

Martin, R. (2016). Women, dance and revolution: Performance and protest in the Southern Mediterranean. IB Tauris. https://doi.org/10.5040/9781350989863

Martin, R. K. (2019). Feeling the field: Reflections on embodiment within improvised dance ethnography. Journal of Dance & Somatic Practices, 11(2), 197–207. https://doi.org/10.1386/jdsp_00005_1

MacLure, M. (2018). Encounters and Materiality in Intimate Scholarship: A Conversation with Maggie MacLure: Critical Posthuman Methodological Perspectives in Education In Strom, K., Mills, T., Ovens, A. (Eds). Decentering the researcher in intimate scholarship: Critical posthuman methodological perspectives in education. (pp. 232-242). Volume 31 Emerald Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-368720180000031016

Mair, J. & Frew, E. (2018). Academic conferences: A female duo-ethnography. Current Issues in Tourism, 21(18), 2152-2172. https://doi.org/10.1080/13683500.2016.1248909

Mohanty, C. (1989). On race and voice: Challenges for liberal education in the 1990s. Cultural Critique, (14), 179-208. https://doi.org/10.2307/1354297

Norris, J., & Sawyer, R. (2004a, October). Null and hidden curricula of sexual orientation: A dialogue on the curreres of the absent presence and the present absence. Paper presented at the Democratic Responses in an Era of Standardization, Troy, NY.

Norris, J., & Sawyer, R. D. (2004b). Hidden and null curricula of sexual orientation: A Duoethnography of the absent presence and the present absence. In L. Coia, N. J. Brooks, S. J. Mayer, P. Pritchard, E. Heilman, M. L. Birch, & A. Mountain (Eds.), Democratic responses in an era of standardization: Papers from the 4th curriculum & pedagogy annual conference (pp. 139-159). Troy, NY: Educator’s International Press.

Norris, J. & Sawyer, R. D. (2012). Toward a Dialogic Methodology In J. Norris, R. D. Sawyer & D. Lund (Eds.), Duoethnography: Dialogic Methods for Social, Health, and Educational Research (pp. 9-40). Left Coast Press.

Pinar, W. (1975). Curerre: Toward reconceptualization. In W. Pinar (Ed.), Curriculum

theorizing: The reconceptualists (pp. 396–414). McCutchan.

Pinar, W. (1994). The method of Currere: Essays in curriculum theory 1972–1992. In

W. Pinar (Ed.), Autobiography, politics and sexuality (pp. 19–27). Peter


Pineau, E. (2002). Critical performative pedagogy: Fleshing out the politics of liberatory education. In N. Stucky & C. Wimmer (Eds.), Teaching performance studies (pp. 41–54). Southern Illinois University Press.

Reinertsen, A. & Blyth, C. (2021). Walking an Article Into Being Becoming Together. International Review of Qualitative Research, 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1177/19408447211002765

Sawyer, R. D. & Liggett, T. (2012). Shifting positionalities: A critical discussion of a duoethnographic inquiry of a personal curriculum of post/colonialism. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 628-651. https://doi.org/10.1177/160940691201100507

Spry, T. (2011). Body, paper, stage: Writing and performing autoethnography. Routledge.

Spry, T. (2016). Autoethnography and the other: Unsettling power through utopian performatives. Taylor & Francis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315545356

Ulmer, J. B. (2017). Posthumanism as research methodology: inquiry in the Anthropocene. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 30(9), 832–848. https://doi.org/10.1080/09518398.2017.1336806

Wilson, G. J & Shields, S. S. (2019). Troubling the "WE" in Art Education: Slam Poetry as Subversive Duoethnography. The Journal of Social Theory in Art Education (Online), 39, 5–18.

Østern, A. L. & Knudsen, K. N. (2019). Performative approaches in arts education: Artful teaching, learning and research. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429444159

Østern, T. P., Dahl, T., Strømme, A., Petersen, J. A., Østern, A. L. & Selander, S. (2019). Dybde//læring – en flerfaglig, relasjonell og skapende tilnærming [Deep education – a cross-curricular, relational and artful approach]. Universitetsforlaget.




How to Cite

Hestad Jenssen, R., & Martin, R. (2021). A tale of grappling: Performative duoethnography as expanded methodological thinking. Reconceptualizing Educational Research Methodology, 12(2). https://doi.org/10.7577/rerm.4683