Latest from the Blog


Spark has been released! I’m absolutely over-the-moon. Honestly, I’ve never been more excited to share my work. This was a special project from the outset. I’d like to share the inspiration behind this novel and what it means to me.

Four years ago I had the experience of a lifetime. I was one of fifty people invited to participate in a seminar on the neuroscience of creativity hosted by the world-renowned Salzburg Global Seminar in Austria. Receiving that invitation was like getting the golden ticket for Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. The several-day seminar occurred at the actual Sound of Music house in Salzburg, an incredible castle over-looking pristine water and snowcapped mountains. I met incredible people. The participants included world-famous neuroscientists, artists, and others from around the globe. To say I felt I felt privileged to be there is an understatement. It was an extraordinary, life-changing experience, personally and professionally. While I was there, the idea for a novel began to take shape. I had long wanted to combine my love of writing fiction with my passion for the research process, but I didn’t know how to do it, or if it was even possible. In Salzburg, I figured it out. After the seminar I spent some time in Vienna which is where I wrote the outline. I put it in a drawer to allow it to stew. When I had met other commitments and felt the time was right, I began writing.

See, what I figured out in Salzburg was that to really work, it would have to be a novel that worked on two levels: one for students and one for general readers. The result is a novel that explores the research process, interdisciplinarity, and critical thinking. Simultaneously, it’s very much a simple adventure story about learning to see differently—ourselves, others, and the world. Although I had the idea four years ago, I wrote most of it over the last two years, and there’s no doubt that changes in the US and abroad influenced me. Spark is a counter-narrative to the divisiveness we’ve experienced. Here’s the official synopsis:

Professor Peyton Wilde has an enviable life teaching sociology at an idyllic liberal arts college—yet she is troubled by a sense of fading inspiration. One day an invitation arrives. Peyton has been selected to attend a luxurious all-expense-paid seminar in Iceland, where participants, billed as some of the greatest thinkers in the world, will be charged with answering one perplexing question. Meeting her diverse teammates—two neuroscientists, a philosopher, a dance teacher, a collage artist, and a farmer—Peyton wonders what she could ever have to contribute. The ensuing journey of discovery will transform the characters’ work, their biases, and themselves. This suspenseful novel shows that the answers you seek can be found in the most unlikely places.

This book was a big leap for me, and for my publisher. This is the first novel Guilford Press has ever published. To say I’m honored they took a chance on this book is an understatement. They were the only spark-coverpublisher I wanted to work with on this book. They did not disappoint. When you hold the book in your hands, you’ll see the incredible love and care they put into it, from the stunning, timeless cover created by Paul Gordon to the beautiful interior design details created by the production team. Working on this book with Guilford was another one of the greatest privileges of my life.

I also want to give a huge shout-out to the incredibly generous reviewers. I’m blown away by the early response to Spark. Here are a few snippets:

“Thought-provoking! Intriguing! Clever! A read that absolutely left me wanting to live in the world that Leavy created–a world of beauty and possibilities.” Robin Patric Clair, PhD, Purdue University

“Who, today, is not wondering, “How will our social and political differences ever get resolved?” In a highly-original and compelling novel, Spark, Patricia Leavy, gently leads us to answers… If I ran the world, I would make this book required reading.” Laurel Richardson, PhD, The Ohio State University

“A thoroughly enjoyable and thoughtful read! Spark is not only a page turner, but also an intellectual treasure that will stick with me.” Christine Sleeter, PhD, California State University, Monterey Bay

“This intriguing novel illuminates the blinding force of presumptions–about one’s own capacities, about other people, and, not least, about the ‘requirements’ of legitimate intellectual inquiry. Perhaps more fundamentally, it is about the possibility of transcending oneself, seeing people for who they truly are, and thinking beyond disciplinary silos.” Mark Freeman, PhD, College of the Holy Cross

“This is a sensational book and should be everyone’s freshman read.” Eve Spangler, PhD, Boston College

You can read more reviews as well as a sample chapter here:

I truly love this book and I’d be so grateful if you’d pick up a copy. Guilford Press is happy to offer 20% off and free shipping in the US/Canada. To take advantage use promo code 7FSPARK at their website:

Spark is also available at amazon:

As for what’s next, I’m looking forward some spring/summer conference travel as well as a tour of Iceland in September, including a lecture at Iceland University of the Arts. I’m super excited. I’m also busy writing as usual. I’m nearly done with another novel which I hope to release in late fall. I have a few nonfiction projects in the works too. More soon. In the meantime, I hope you’ll give Spark a read and that perhaps it reignites your own spark. I’d like to leave you with the opening words:

a spark exists
within, between, among
and within that spark,
entire worlds of possibility

Love and light,

USA Best Book Awards!!!!!

I’m absolutely over-the-moon. The 2018 USA Best Book Awards results were announced. Privilege Through the Looking-Glass is the winner in the category anthologies nonfiction. It’s also been honored as a finalist in the categories multicultural nonfiction and education/academic. This honor belongs entirely to the contributors. Their brave, bold, and brilliant writing inspired me and it’s clearly inspiring others. I extend my sincere thanks to the publishing team at Brill/Sense for their continued support of justice-oriented, creative, scholarship. I also have to say that during this particular historical moment, in which social injustice, hate, and intolerance are increasingly commonplace, I’m especially heartened by this recognition. The contributors in this volume show the very human side of issues related to privilege, oppression, and injustice. This is an open-hearted book that helps build a bridge forward. Above all, I think the authors show the importance of compassion and empathy. By shining a light on this book, the awards committee has made a beautiful and much-needed statement about respecting differences.

I can’t believe it, but the good news doesn’t end there. The Handbook of Arts-Based Research is the winner in the category education/academic. It’s also been honored as a finalist in the categories anthologies nonfiction, art, and performing arts. Again, this honor belongs entirely to the contributors. Their creative, innovative, and border-crossing work is changing the research landscape for the better. These folks inspire me beyond words and I know their work inspires countless others. I’m enormously grateful to the publishing team at Guilford Press for their exemplary work on this book, their support of the arts, and their kindness towards me over the many years we have worked together. And again, I have to say, the timing of this award and the category in which we were recognized, is extremely meaningful. At a time when the arts and artists are under attack, this is a most welcome nod. It’s particularly meaningful being selected as the top education/academic book. handbook-arts-based-research-cover

It’s truly an embarrassment of riches and I’m enormously grateful. These books were labors of loved worked on over a period of years. We didn’t do this work for awards and had no expectations. Even after the nominations, we all felt these were underdogs to receive any recognition, let alone all of this. It’s tremendous.

Awards aside, this fall has been a busy time. I’m the November blogger for the National Art Education Association Monthly Mentor Blog. My four short blogs are all about different aspects of arts-based research. You can follow the blog here:

mcgill signingI also delivered a keynote address at McGill University last month at the “Arts as an Agent for Social Change” Symposium. I had an absolutely wonderful time and want to thank the Artful Inquiry Research Group for hosting me and the bookstore staff for running my book signing. I looooved speaking with so many researchers, artists, and students at the book signing. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who waited in line to chat with me, get a book signed, and take a photo. I had a blast and left inspired beyond words. McGill line

As for what’s next, right now I’m busy writing and gearing up for the March 1 release of my novel, Spark. This book is like nothing I’ve done before and I’m completely in love with it. Can’t wait to share more. In the meantime, thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming on this journey with me.

Love and light,

Spring/Summer Roundup

I had such a busy spring traveling to conferences and book events that I’ve taken the summer to hideaway with my loved ones, reading and writing. I’ve already read eight novels and I’ve nearly written one of my own. I’ve been delinquent on keeping up with my blog. I hope you understand. But it’s been an exciting time so I’m thrilled to share some highlights. AERA brill book signing

AERA award

In April I attended AERA in my favorite city, New York. I had a wonderful time meeting readers at both my Brill/Sense and Guilford Press book signings. Huge thank yous to everyone who attended! I was also profoundly honored receiving the AERA Significant Contribution to Educational Measurement and Methodology Award for Method Meets Art Second Edition. The timing made it all the more meaningful. In this time when the arts and artists are under attack and yet needed perhaps more than ever before, I’m enormously grateful and humbled the AERA Division D decided to honor arts-based research in this way. Method Meets Art just turned 10 too, so this is quite the birthday celebration. MMA2 has just been translated into Polish too! I’m so grateful to the translators and foreign publishers around the world that I’m blessed to work with.
ICQI Taiwanese friends
May was also a wonderful time to connect with friends, colleagues, and readers from around the globe. Thank you to everyone who waited in line at my Guilford book signing at the ICQI conference in Illinois! I was thrilled to meet so many interesting scholars and readers from South America, Europe, and Asia, as well as those from closer to home. I’m also grateful to the folks who attended and participated in our session celebrating the Handbook of Arts-Based Research. I had a wonderful time doing a workshop on writing fiction as research later in May at the Narrative in Music Education conference in Boston. It was my first time returning to Boston University, my alma mater. Huge thanks to everyone who attended my book signing! I felt like I was meeting old friends.

This has also been a humbling time. I’m elated to share that the International Book Awards were announced and the Handbook of Arts-Based Research was honored as an award-winning finalist in four categories: anthologies– nonfiction, art, education/academic, and performing arts. It’s an embarrassment of riches because the American Fiction Awards were just announced and my novel Blue was honored as an award-winning finalist in two categories: inspirational fiction and chick-lit/women’s lit. Low-Fat Love Stories was honored as an award-winning finalist in the short story category. I love writing fiction and these were special projects for me, so I’m truly grateful for the recognition.
NYC Guilford lunch
I’ve also had two wonderful visits to the Guilford Press office in NYC. I can’t overstate what a privilege it is to work with such an outstanding publishing team. They are brilliant and their support means the world to me. I had the best time during both of my visits: signing a new contract, picking up page proofs for my forthcoming novel, Spark (it’s gorgeous), and having lunch meetings with the trade marketing and sales teams. We are all so excited about our plans for releasing Spark (coming March 1, 2019). It’s their first novel and it’s unlike anything I’ve written before. I’m madly in love with it and just buuursting to share it.

In the meantime, I have a new book coming out in a matter of days. My coauthored book Contemporary Feminist Research from Theory to Practice is a one-stop shop for readers interested in engaging in feminist research. We cover history, theory from around the globe, ethics, methods and research design, writing for academic and public audiences, and activism. We also provide a range of additional resources. I’m especially proud that the book applies an intersectional approach, uses non-binary language, has contemporary examples throughout, and includes digital feminism and other current developments. I honestly think it’s a terrific textbook or resource for the bookshelf of any researcher. I’m thrilled Guilford Press once again priced it affordably with students in mind without sacrificing production quality (honestly, it’s gorgeously produced). This is my 25th book publication! It’s hard to believe, but it feels like a milestone worth enjoying. I’ve done an in-depth, exclusive interview that I’ll share on my social media once it’s released. We looked at the new book, my entire catalogue, and covered ground including what I’ve learned about publishing, mistakes authors make, academic critique, the academic award system, social media snark, and more. Look forward to sharing it.

You can see I’ve been busy! That said, I’m looking forward to spending the rest of the summer reading and writing. I hope you’re all having a wonderful, inspiring summer too, or whatever season you find yourself in.

Love and light,


I could sum up how I feel so far this year with one word: grateful. Last year I had to cancel all of my professional appearances in order to have back surgery. I was devastated. One year later I find myself attending a slew of conferences and much to my surprise, picking up some incredible honors along the way. The truth is, it’s been an embarrassment of riches and I’m at a loss for words. The American Journal of Nursing selected Research Design as one of their best books of the year, in the category of Nursing Research. Research Design is one of my proudest achievements and I’m over-the-moon. I share this recognition with the incredible team at Guilford Press. But as it turns out, this was only the first of many surprises. My publishers and colleagues also teamed up and as a result I was honored by the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Wow. It’s just so lovely. Then on March 10th I traveled to SUNY-New Paltz to deliver the opening keynote address at the Arts-Based Research Symposium. I loved my keynote conversation with conference host Dr. Michael Viega, which we both agreed to record so anyone who wishes can watch it on YouTube. Boy did they have a surprise for me after the keynote. They have established “The Patricia Leavy Award for Art and Social Justice.” They gave me a beautiful plaque and then presented a student with the inaugural award. The award will be given annually. I have no words to describe how honored and humbled I am. For me, research practice is and should be intertwined with our value system so the spirit of the award moves me deeply. I also recognize how few women have awards bearing their names. I take that responsibility and honor very seriously. I had a wonderful time at New Paltz. My heartfelt thanks to everyone who waited in line to speak with me. I’m enriched by each of you. new paltz pl award

new paltz award winners

new paltz book line

I was floored to learn that I’m also the recipient of the American Educational Research Association Division D Significant Contribution to Educational Measurement and Research Methodology Award. They’re honoring Method Meets Art Second Edition because they believe it will “have a lasting influence.” I share this honor with the world-class publishing team at Guilford Press, including my incredible editor and friend, C. Deborah Laughton, without whom, this book would not exist. I will accept this award in person, on behalf of arts-based researchers. I’m elated that the committee chose this historical moment to recognize ABR. As I write this, I’m also preparing to head to the National Art Education Association conference to receive my Distinguished Service Outside the Profession Award. I’m honored to serve as a representative of the ABR community.

It’s been an exciting and humbling whirlwind. Since I was a little kid I’ve loved writing more than anything. Discovering the world of research methods and arts-based research was a blessing beyond words because it provided a purpose to my creative impulse. So I was already incredibly fortunate to be able to spend my life doing work that love. To receive this kind of extraordinary recognition from my peers is beyond words. I’m truly grateful. But many others could also benefit from the kinds of honors I’ve received and so I’d like to make a statement about awards moving forward. I will always be glad to accept recognition from outside of the arts-based research world because I can use it to promote the field of ABR, which is much bigger than my own work. Likewise, I’ll always be grateful for any accolades my books may be fortunate to receive, because books result from the invisible labor of many and I’m always glad to celebrate the hard work of my publishing teams. However, moving forward, I no longer wish to be nominated for any career awards expressly from arts-based groups (so I’m permanently removing myself from consideration for the ICQI lifetime achievement & AERA Tom Barone awards). Let’s spread it around and hopefully go well beyond “the usual suspects”. There are many scholars doing important work worthy of praise. For example, women often do so much work for so little recognition. I can think of a long list of women and non-binary individuals from different racial and ethnic backgrounds who ought to have their work honored. I plan to use any influence I may have to shine a light on their efforts.

At the end of the day, it’s really about writing and I’ve been busy. I published a piece about what it means to be a woman in the arts with Grammy-winner Paula Cole. My teenage-self thought that was pretty cool. I secretly finished my next novel—by far the most special thing I’ve ever worked on. It’s a new genre for me and the first novel Guilford Press will publish. I’m excited to meet with the trade team in New York City next month. The book will be out in early 2019. Can’t wait to share more details. I’m also immersed in writing another novel, one that is a return to my roots. Details soon. Thank you so much for all of the good energy and support. I’m grateful to be on this journey with all of you and hope to see you at spring conferences and book signings.

Love and light,

Late 2017 Highlights

I’m over-the-moon to announce the National Art Education Association has selected me to receive the 2018 Distinguished Service Outside the Profession Award. Looking at the list of previous recipients, which includes Jacqueline Kennedy, Nelson Rockefeller, and a host of governors, senators, and CEOS, is humbling. I have a deep love and respect for art educators so to receive this nod from them is truly lovely. I see this as recognition of arts-based research and less about my own work. Although the NAEA doesn’t invite acceptance speeches, please know when I accept this award in March I will be doing so on behalf of the arts-based research community.

It’s been an embarrassment of riches as I also learned Research Design has been honored by the 2017 USA Best Book Awards (hosted by American Book Fest) as research-design-cover an “honored finalist” in the category Education/Academic. I wanted to write this book for nearly twenty years. It was a total labor of love and I feel it’s the most important book of my career. I’m thrilled for this recognition. I extend a spirited thank you to the entire team at Guilford Press. They are the best of the best and this book would not be what it is without their talent, time, and generosity.

With lots of travel at the end of the year, Ningbo, China was a highlight I’ll never forget. I was honored to deliver a keynote address at the 6th World Chinese Art Education Symposium. It was an extraordinary experience of pageantry unlike anything I’ve been a part of before. Media lined the giant ballroom as we spoke. There was even a drone flying in the room. I was thrilled to meet with Li, the Chinese publisher for Method Meets Art and grateful to do some media promo in advance of the release. I’m forever grateful to Tihao Zeng, my guide and translator on this journey.
China PL speaking
China media

Despite the highs, this has been an overwhelmingly difficult year for me. I suffered a serious and painful injury to my spine which forced me to cancel a host of book events. I underwent surgery, lifestyle changes, and continue with daily physical therapy. Politically and socially, it’s also been enormously challenging. With so much darkness, I’m more grateful than ever for the rays of light. Wishing you all a peaceful end to 2017 and triumphant 2018.

Love and light,

Privilege Reader!!!

Privilege Through the Looking-Glass is out!!!! This was a collaborative effort all the way. I was absolutely blown away when such incredible scholars and authors agreed to sign on as contributors. I already knew they were brilliant thought leaders, but with this project they also demonstrated courage and vulnerability. I’m in awe of them and deeply grateful for their time and expertise. I’m also especially glad to release Privilege Through the Looking-Glass at this historical moment. Indeed, when we began this project years ago we no way of knowing just how timely the release would be. So many of us in the US and abroad feel we need a path forward and the authors have provided one. privilege-through-the-looking-glass-cover

Privilege Through the Looking-Glass is a collection of original essays that explore privilege and status characteristics in daily life. This collection seeks to make visible that which is often invisible. It seeks to sensitize us to things we have been taught not to see. Privilege, power, oppression, and domination operate in complex and insidious ways, impacting groups and individuals. And yet, these forces that affect our lives so deeply seem to at once operate in plain sight and lurk in the shadows, making them difficult to discern. Like water to a fish, environments are nearly impossible to perceive when we are immersed in them. This book attempts to expose our environments. With engaging and powerful writing, the contributors share their personal stories as a means of connecting the personal and the public. This volume applies an intersectional perspective to explore how race, class, gender, sexuality, education, and ableness converge, creating the basis for privilege and oppression. Privilege Through the Looking-Glass encourages readers to engage in self and social reflection, and can be used in a range of courses in sociology, social work, communication, education, gender studies, and African American studies. Each chapter includes discussion questions and/or activities for further engagement. It can also be read by anyone interested in better understanding their life and the lives of others.

Huge thanks to the team at Sense Publishers for all of their hard work. I’m also thankful to We Are The Real Deal for doing this interview with me about the release:

Please learn more about the book and pick up a copy:

Sense Publishers:

As for me, I’m now able to move forward. This book has allowed me to come full circle. Between Privilege Through the Looking-Glass and Gender & Pop Culture I have chronicled the most important messages in my thirteen-plus years of teaching sociology. This subject is vital in sociology and many other disciplines, as well as society broadly, and I hope professors will teach with it. I plan to devote the rest of my professional life to my art and advancing research methodology (lifelong projects very much about empowerment, power, privilege, knowing, and, light). Can’t wait to share the things I’ll be working on over the next several years. For a little hint, I’ve just signed three book contracts with two publishers all for fiction. I’m so excited about what’s to come.

Love and light,

Handbook Release!!!!!!!!!!

YAY!!!! I’m overjoyed to announce the release of the Handbook of Arts-Based Research. After many years of writing and speaking about ABR, a few years ago, as I wrote the second edition of Method Meets Art, I had time to reflect on how much the field has grown. It seemed like the time for a comprehensive, interdisciplinary, retrospective and prospective review of the field. We’ve been working on the handbook ever since. handbook-arts-based-research-cover

I say we, because this gorgeous collection is the result of a team effort. The contributors absolutely CRUSHED IT! I’m in awe of their talent, wisdom, and generosity. This international group of superstar artist-researchers is pushing the field forward. I’m grateful. My hat is also off to the world-class publishing team at Guilford Press. From copyediting to layout, cover design and marketing, they have honored my vision. I also applaud Guilford Press for continuing to prioritize students and knowledge advancement over profits. The handbook is a whopping 738 pages and priced at less than half the cost of competing handbooks (it costs less than the average 300-page textbook). They set this price without sacrificing quality and production. The handbook is stunning. Finally, I’m indebted to the artist Charles K. Williams (AKA: Charlie Green) for allowing me to use his work for the cover. Choosing the cover art for a handbook about art is daunting. I wanted to support a living artist. As a kid, I fell in love with art in the streets of New York City. To me, there was little difference between what hung on SoHo gallery walls and the graffiti and other street art. I wanted the handbook cover to be a nod to street art, which is necessarily public. Serendipitously, I met Charlie selling his art in the streets of SoHo and fell in love with his sensibility. I picked this particular piece because it reminds me of the street itself. Wrapping the handbook in this art is a statement. Check-out Charlie’s website and Instagram to learn more about his work:


This handbook was such a long-time in the making that I’m overjoyed early reviewers are embracing it. Here are excerpts of a few of the generous endorsements we’ve received.

“Renowned author and editor Leavy has assembled prominent artist-researchers—from educators and therapists to beyond—for this outstanding, innovative handbook. The volume surveys the philosophy and practice of progressive inquiry using literary, performative, and exhibited modalities. Contributors present rich guidance and compelling arguments for the role of ABR alongside more traditional research methods in the exploration of complex social worlds. Like exceptional art, this handbook has magnitude, quality, and significance for researchers and students across multiple disciplines, including the social sciences, education, health care, business, humanities, media, and fine arts.” —Johnny Saldaña, MFA, School of Film, Dance, and Theatre (Emeritus), Arizona State University

“With this handbook, Leavy not only helps to define the field of ABR, but also encourages readers to imagine new ways of conducting and appreciating research. Beautifully rendered chapters describe the emergent, diverse world of artistic inquiry, and balance the conceptual with the practical. The volume guides researchers and students to bring both creativity and vigor to producing works of scholarly art.” —Ronald J. Chenail, PhD, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nova Southeastern University

“Leavy, a champion of ABR, has gathered leading scholars from around the world in this welcome contribution to our rapidly growing field… Traversing scholarly disciplines and art forms, this volume ushers ABR into its own as a new paradigm for research. It is a gift for anyone with a passion for bringing artistry to research.” —Diane Conrad, PhD, Department of Secondary Education (Drama/Theatre Education), University of Alberta, Canada

“…Superb… This is a work that will be read, reread, and referenced often, and that will help academics of all types understand and explain clearly to others how art can work to combine both ‘formula’ (that is, research analysis) and ‘soul.’ —David A. Almeida, EdD, Department of Special Education, Bridgewater State University, Massachusetts

If you’re interested in the handbook, pick up a copy or learn more:

Handbook of Arts-Based Research on Amazon:
Handbook of Arts-Based Research at The Guilford Press (15% & free shipping in North America):

I hope that artists, methodologists, and researchers across the disciplines will pick up a copy for personal use. I think this is the kind of reference you will pull from your bookshelf time and again. I know I will. I also hope professors will ask their libraries to order a copy and will consider if for their own courses. I’m enormously grateful to everyone who labored on this one-of-a-kind collection. I’m proud to be a part of it.

Here’s a piece I wrote called, “A Love Letter to the Arts” which expresses my love of art, fears and hopes, and gratitude to be a part of a “gang of beauty bandits”:

I’m also honored to be Routledge UK’s Spotlight Author for Autumn (Guilford’s European distributor). Please check-out the exclusive interview I did with them about the Handbook of Arts-Based Research. For best viewing, click on the US flag in the top right corner and change to the UK flag.

As for what’s next, I’ve done several interviews about the handbook. I’ll share these on social media as they’re released. Now it’s time to crawl back into my creative writing hole. We need to do ABR if we are to understand its value. I’m currently working on a novel that’s quite special to me. It’s a new genre for me (sort of an adventure), so it’s a challenge too. I love a new challenge. I look forward to sharing more details down the line. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all of your support.

Love and light,


Wow!!! I’m humbled and overjoyed to learn that Research Design has been certified as an Instant Bestseller. I originally had the idea for this book more than twenty years ago when I was an undergrad. The idea lived and matured in me for a long time. I consider this book my greatest professional achievement. I truly hope it is of value to professors, students, and researchers. I extend my deep appreciation to the entire team at Guilford Press for their exemplary work. Research Design is beautifully produced. I’m also enormously grateful to early readers who have picked up a copy and professors who are considering it for their courses. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

To celebrate this milestone I held a raffle on my Facebook page and ultimately gave one lucky winner signed copies of Research Design and Method Meets Art. To continue the celebration, Guilford Press is happy to offer 25% off ALL of my Guilford titles (includes free shipping in the US & Canada). Please take advantage. Use promo code AF25PL (valid through Sept. 1).
Research Design:
My Guilford Titles:

On a personal level, this wonderful embrace by early readers is especially meaningful to me because I’ve had a difficult year. I was truly devastated this spring to cancel all of my book events for Research Design when I needed to undergo surgery on my spine. I’m doing well now and can’t overstate how much I appreciate your support. When I was dealing with my health, I did have a chance to do a couple of interviews about Research Design and I’m happy to share those here:

My thanks to these outlets for being will to have conversations about contemporary knowledge-building practices and for supporting this work. As I said in one of the interviews, “I know the term research methodology doesn’t sound very sexy, and so the subject often goes under the radar. But our methods practices are complicit in knowledge production world-wide with pervasive real-world implications. These issues ought to be brought into the light.”

Thank you all for your incredible support. It means the world to me. More soon.

Love and Light,

Research Design!!!!!!!!!!

ECSTATIC to announce the upcoming release of, Research Design: Quantitative, Qualitative, Mixed Methods, Arts-Based, and Community-Based Participatory Research Approaches (due out April 10). I can honestly say I have never been more excited to share my work. I’ve never been prouder. This is my 22nd book and it would not have been possible without every single book that came before it. It’s the culmination of my entire body of work; the offering I’ve always longed to make to the academic and research communities; my attempt at a magnum opus. research-design-cover

I first had the dream to write Research Design when I was a sophomore in college. I had recently changed my major from theatre arts to sociology, and transferred schools. I was taking survey of research methods and reading Earl Babbie’s textbook. To me, that large hardcover textbook was beautiful. It contained the formulas for how to create and understand knowledge. But I also knew that it was offering a perspective on how to create and understand knowledge. Someday I wanted to offer another perspective. More than 20 years later, I have attempted to do so.

My goal is to offer professors, students, and researchers a single book that covers all five approaches to research design, differing from the two or three approaches covered in most primary texts. Research Design can be used as a primary or supplemental text in research methods courses across the disciplines. Chapters that may not be of interest can also be omitted. In addition to covering the five approaches to research, there are other special features:

A Focus on Ethics
Often research design texts present a chapter on ethics in research, or in some cases, just a section of a chapter. However, ethics are intertwined with all phases of the research design process. Therefore, in addition to including a robust chapter on ethics (chapter 2) all subsequent methods chapters highlight ethical decision-making with “ethics in practice” stops. Topics often ignored are also covered (e.g., White researchers exploiting people of color in communities in which they are not invested, data sharing to enable replication studies).
Writing a Proposal
Most students of research methods, and novice researchers, need assistance learning how to write a solid research proposal. Therefore, at the beginning of each of the approaches to design chapters (4-8) I present a template for a research proposal. The remainder of the chapter is spent filling in the template. So instead of arbitrarily learning the dos and don’ts of each approach to design, as you learn the nuts and bolts of each approach you are simultaneously learning how to put it all together in a research proposal. As a pedagogical feature, a summary of the proposal template is presented at the end of each chapter as well.
A Note about Language
The issue of language in how we write research proposals and ultimately represent our research is important and often overlooked in the literature. Researchers using the five different approaches tend to use different words to describe the components of their work. These words are meaningful and carry implications about what we as researchers can know and how we come to know. These differences in language are not random but rather speak to deeper issues about the philosophical beliefs and research practices guiding inquiry. In order to highlight the importance of language and model how you might write a research proposal with these five approaches in chapters 4-8 I employ the terms commonly used in that type of research.
Hot Topics, Social Justice, and Interdisciplinarity
Timely topics not covered in other texts are included, such as: replication studies,
data sharing, and public scholarship. There is also coverage of standard material that is often excluded, such as an in-depth section on how to construct surveys in the quantitative chapter. Social justice themes and current events are incorporated throughout the book through interdisciplinary research examples.
Pedagogical Features and Additional Resources
This text is meant to be user-friendly. As such, key terms appear in bold font and there are easy-to-read tables and figures throughout the book. There are also “Review Stops” throughout each chapter (short quizzes meant to assess the learning of the material before proceeding on). Each chapter includes discussion questions, practical activities, and additional resources (books, academic journals, and websites). Finally, there are excerpts from original interviews with leading researchers across the disciplines who use the five approaches reviewed in this text. Their top-tips appear in expert tip bubbles in chapters 4-8.

Research Design is so special to me that I personally made everything that is inside this book (e.g. glossary) as well as the companion Power-Point slides for instructors. Textbook publishers are willing to pay people to create this content, and if you visit most textbook companion websites you’ll see the content was not created by the author, but no one knows or cares about a book like its author and so I did every single thing in or associated with the book myself to give professors and students the best possible content.

The price was also important to me. As a full-time author, I certainly believe that authors and publishers have the right to earn money for their work; however, the exploitation of students by the textbook industry is awful. I’m challenging it with the help of Guilford Press. The competing books for Research Design cost $80-$220. My textbook is priced at $45, nearly half the price of our least expensive competitor (same length), and it can be used as a primary textbook. I hope this makes it easier for students if their professors choose to adopt it as a primary or secondary text.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the team at Guilford Press for their incredible work on this book. Guilford BLEW MY MIND with the production of this book. It’s truly beautiful from the stunning original cover art to the cool design features inside. This was important to me because many students are nervous about taking research methods. The aesthetics, warmth, and clean layout of a book helps make it more inviting. As with everything else, I poured my heart into this book. We tried to get the details right.

I’m enormously grateful to those who pre-ordered the book helping us achieve an incredible launch. My fondest hope is that professors will adopt this book in their courses.

You can order at amazon

Professors can learn more about course adoption at Guilford Press

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your support! I truly hope this book is of use.

Love and Light,

Round Up

I’ve been a little behind in sharing recent happenings (I’ve been in an editing hole, making the final tweaks on the most challenging and exciting book project of my career… more details soon, but the release will be April 10, 2017). Some exciting things have happened: I released my latest book, Low-Fat Love Stories, I’ve received five IPPY 2017 nominations, and Method Meets Art Second Edition turned two, and is going global.

At the end of 2016 I was thrilled to release Low-Fat Love Stories, which is a special project. It’s my first collaboration with a visual artist, Victoria Scotti. Victoria is a deeply talented visual artist and collaborating with her was a magical process. After Low-Fat Love was released five years ago, I was inundated with emails from people telling me about their stories of low-fat love. People lined hallways at book talks and conferences to whisper their most intimate stories to me. It was a very humbling experience. I wanted to honor the stories people were sharing with me so I decided to collect new, formal interviews and directly ask people about a dissatisfying relationship with a romantic partner, family member, or their own body image. Each one focuses on a woman’s experience with what I call “low-fat love.” That was the impetus for Low-Fat Love Stories which is a collection of sixteen short stories and visual portraits that Victoria and I call “textual-visual snapshots.” I conducted interview research with women ranging in age from their twenties to seventies who come from all different kinds of backgrounds and circumstances. The stories focus on settling in relationships, the gap between fantasies and realities, relationship patterns, divorce, abuse, childhood pain, spirituality, feeling like a fraud, growing older, and daily struggles looking in the mirror. They are written in the first-person with language directly taken from each woman’s interview. They are quite raw, and we think will prompt visceral responses. As a collection, the stories and arts set you on an emotional rollercoaster and illustrate the different forms “low-fat love” may take, and the quest for self-worth in the context of toxic popular culture. It’s meant to validate peoples’ experiences, often those we are too afraid or embarrassed to share, and to empower readers in their own lives. We hope readers get one simple message: you are enough. We also hope arts-based researchers, creative arts therapists, and others find value in the new methodology we developed. In order to assist practitioners who wish to use or adapt our approach, we included a detailed discussion about the methodology at the end of the book, along with the complete interview guides used in the project. Please check-out some of the interviews I did about LFLS, as well as a piece I wrote about “writer’s block” and the creative process:

I’m humbled to share my work has received five IPPY 2017 nominations (Low-Fat Love Stories has been nominated in three categories, and Blue in two). To me, awards are not a measure of worth– we must value our work independent from external judgment. That is the only way to be a scholar or artist. True to the muse. However, it’s obviously lovely and as these books are quite special to me I’m particularly touched. I’d be lucky to receive an IPPY some day. Further, books are the result of the work of many behind-the-scenes whose names often go unknown, and so I’m delighted to share these nominations with my publishing team at Sense Publishers.

Method Meets Art: Arts-Based Research Practice Second Edition turned two. The best news it that I have secured deals for foreign translations in Chinese, Korean, and Polish. There’s no question that this book changed my career and my life. It’s the labor of love that has given me my scholarly community (the greatest colleagues in the world), and countless other blessings and opportunities. There’s no greater compliment then people wanting your book in their language and so I’m honored and humbled beyond words to see MMA2 go global. I hope this further legitimates arts-based research within the global research landscape. My commitment to ABR has never been stronger.

As for what’s next… I’ll be on the road this spring doing several talks and book signings (please check the “Appearances” link under the “Presentations” tab for details). Looking forward to connecting with friends, colleagues, and readers. The big news is that the book I’ve been mentioning for years, the culmination of everything I have done in my entire career, will be released April 10!!!! I’m BURSTING to share details (very soon). This book, it’s simply everything to me. I truly hope it’s of value. More soon. #AllWaysOfKnowing #SecretBookProjects

Love and Light,