The Use of Collage in Autoethnography




collage, autoethnography, researcher identity, visual research methods


In this critical reflection, I will explore my use of collage in critical autoethnography. This reflection was prompted by my participation in a seminar that took place in June 2022, entitled ‘Being a Researcher’. This seminar was co-organised by the Non-Traditional Research Methods Network (NTRM), of which I am one of three founder members, and the Society for Research in Higher Education (SRHE). I reflect upon two properties of collage. I suggest that embodiment in the process of making collage, enables researchers to draw upon embodied and affective ways of understanding the world. Furthermore, I propose that the constructive and deconstructive properties of collage enable a critical engagement with one’s personal narratives in autoethnography. I conclude that the literally messy aspects of collage pose questions about tidy and messy ways of knowing, and in so doing raise questions what it means to be a researcher in practice.


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Author Biography

Harriet Richmond, Leadership and Management Development (LMD), University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

Dr Harriet Richmond is the Organisation Development Consultant at the University of Warwick, with responsibility for staff researcher development. Prior to joining the University, Harriet was the Subject Leader for Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour within the Faculty of Business and Law at the University of Northampton. Harriet received a PhD in Drama from the University of Birmingham, UK in 2019. Her thesis examines the relationship between theatre design education, design and scenography practice and emergent professional identities of theatre designers by reconstructing the curriculum and pedagogy of the Motley Theatre Design Course, using novel research methods. Harriet’s research interests include education, organisational development and the formation and development of professional identities using creative research methods, in particular visual autoethnography. Harriet is a founder member of the 'Non-Traditional Research Methods Network' (NTRM).

A collage image by the author featuring flowers and a squirrel






Critical Reflections