Carolyn Ellis

Distinguished Professor Emerita



Office: CIS 3033


Carolyn Ellis is distinguished university professor emerita of communication and sociology at the University of South Florida (USF). She has established an international reputation for her contributions to the narrative study of human life.  Having published extensively in qualitative methods, storytelling, emotions, and loss and trauma, she integrates ethnographic, literary, and evocative writing in short stories, research articles, and documentaries to portray and make sense of lived experience in cultural context.  She is best known as an originator and developer of autoethnography, a reflexive approach to research, writing, and storytelling that connects the autobiographical and personal to the cultural, social, and political. Seeking to do research that has the possibility of improving human lives and enhancing social justice, she currently is engaged with survivors of the Holocaust in collaborative and compassionate interviews guided by a relational ethics of care.  Her most recent books are Evocative Autoethnography: Writing Lives and Telling Stories (with Arthur Bochner, Routledge, 2016) and Final Negotiations: A Story of Love, Loss, and Chronic Illness, Expanded and Revised (Temple University Press, 2018).


Qualitative Methods, Emotions, Autoethnography, Holocaust Studies