In this article, we trace the rise of autoethnography from its modest beginning as a form of indigenous ethnography through its inception as a mode of resistance to conventional ethnographic writing practices and silent authorship to its introduction as a narrative identity and covering term. Autoethnography has become a genus for many diverse species of first-person, vulnerable writing that calls attention to subjectivity, emotionality, and contingency and brings readers into “feeling” contact with the suffering of others. We emphasize the importance of the community spirit fostered by the first decade of the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, which embraced, promoted, and gave special attention to autoethnographic writing and performance, thereby strengthening the standing of autoethnography in the human sciences. The Congress provides a model of solidarity and a sense of shared values and purposes emblematic of meaningful communities.
- © 2016 International Institute for Qualitative Research, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign