Patricia Leavy, PhD is a best-selling author, women’s studies expert, and an internationally recognized leader in arts-based and qualitative research. She is widely considered the world’s most visible proponent of arts-based research as a means of making research publicly accessible.
After receiving several prestigious awards and fellowships Dr. Leavy earned her PhD in Sociology at Boston College in 2002. Dr. Leavy was a tenured Associate Professor of Sociology at Stonehill College from 2002-2012 where she also served as Founding Director of the Gender Studies Program and the Chairperson of the Sociology & Criminology Department. Dr. Leavy previously taught at Boston College, Northeastern University and Curry College. In 2012 Dr. Leavy left academia to focus her full-time efforts on her work as an author, independent researcher and public intellectual.
A prolific author, Dr. Leavy’s 18 published books include: The Oxford Handbook of Qualitative Research (Oxford University Press, 2014); Gender & Pop Culture: A Text Reader, co-edited (Sense Publishers, 2014); American Circumstance (Sense Publishers, 2013);Fiction as Research Practice: Novels, Novellas and Short Stories (Left Coast Press, 2013); Low-Fat Love (Sense Publishers, 2011); Essentials of Transdisciplinary Research: Using Problem-Centered Methodologies (Left Coast Press, 2011); Oral History: Understanding Qualitative Research (Oxford University, 2011); The Practice of Qualitative Research, 2nd edition, co-authored (Sage Publications, 2011); Method Meets Art: Arts-Based Research Practice (Guilford Publications, 2009); Hybrid Identities: Theoretical and Empirical Examinations, co-edited (Brill Publishers 2008, & Haymarket Publishers, 2009; Handbook of Emergent Research Methods, co-edited (Guilford Publications, 2008); Iconic Events: Media, Politics, and Power in Retelling History (Lexington Books, 2007); Feminist Research Practice: A Primer, co-authored (Sage Publications, 2007); Emergent Methods in Social Research, co-edited (Sage Publications, 2006); The Practice of Qualitative Research, co-authored (Sage Publications, 2005); Approaches to Qualitative Research: A Reader on Theory and Practice, co-edited (Oxford University Press, 2004).
In addition to her own writing, Dr. Leavy is widely recognized for her pioneering work creating innovative publishing opportunities for other scholars and artists, through the 5 book series she edits. Oxford University Press hand-picked Dr. Leavy to serve as editor for their book series, Understanding Qualitative Research (which focuses on how to effectively write-up and understand qualitative research methods). Dr. Leavy also created 4 book series for which she formed a partnership with Sense Publishers. The award-winning Social Fictions publishes novels, plays and short story collections that are informed by research and teaching experiences. This is the first book series to exclusively publish the products of arts-based research. The Teaching Gender and Teaching Race & Ethnicity series illustrate Dr. Leavy’s ongoing commitment to social justice and equality. Finally, Dr. Leavy and Sense Publishers recently announced the development of the Teaching Writing series which will provide writing instruction in a variety of fields and genres.
A vocal advocate of public scholarship, Dr. Leavy has appeared on national news, radio and is regularly quoted by the print and online news media (for example, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today). She is also routinely interviewed about her work by popular and scholarly media. She has regular blogs in The Huffington Post, The Creativity Post and We Are the Real Deal and publishes freelance op-eds.
In 2015 Dr. Leavy was announced as the youngest recipient of the Special Career Award given by the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. The award recognizes her entire body of work, and particularly honors her advancement of qualitative and arts-based research. Dr. Leavy received a 2014 Special Achievement Award from the American Creativity Association which honors creativity and innovation in every field. The Special Achievement award recognizes her extraordinary work advancing arts-based research and the ground-breaking Social Fictions series. Arts-based scholars from all over the world, including many of the Social Fictions authors, sent in letters of support calling Dr. Leavy “a visionary” and the Social Fictions series “a watershed moment in the academy.” In recognition of her remarkable contributions to the discipline of sociology The New England Sociological Association named Dr. Leavy the 2010 “New England Sociologist of the Year.” She has also been nominated for the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry’s Lifetime Achievement Award and remains on the list of active nominees.