I went up a mountain and came down a hill. Datawalking as a counter to disembodied research during a pandemic

Lucie Beattie*

*Corresponding author for this work

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This presentation will share research findings derived from autoethnographic data derived from my PhD study which looks at the interaction between teaching, research and public engagement in STEM education. I will look at the use of embodied movement as part of an autoethnographic research method that was expedited by the COVID19 pandemic as a daily walk during lockdown was permitted within government guidelines for the purpose of exercise. This started out as a lonely walk up a steep drover’s road in one of the most remote parts of North-West Scotland. However, as this process became more embedded into my daily life, I realised that not only did it feed my wellbeing, but it also provided a fertile space to reflect on my research work. Datawalking (van Es and de Lange, 2020) is a pragmatic approach to gather sensory-immersive data, which Amoroso (2021) posits as a counter to epistemic injustice. I will share how this method enhanced my wellbeing as a solo researcher who was disembodied from the academic community as a distance PhD student during the COVID19 pandemic and countered feelings of self-doubt and isolation typically experienced by PhD students (Boncori and Smith, 2019).

Amoroso, L. (2021) Walking as a Way of Knowing: An Autoethnography of Embodied Inquiry. PhD, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon.
Boncori, I. and Smith, C. (2019) 'Negotiating the doctorate as an academic professional: identity work and sensemaking through authoethnographic methods', Teaching in Higher Education, 25(3), pp. 271-285. van Es, K. and de Lange, M. (2020) 'Data with its boots on the ground: Datawalking as research method', European Journal of Communication, 35(3), pp. 278-289.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2022
Event9th International Conference of Autoethnography: Right/Write to Roam - Waterside, Bristol Harbour - and online, Bristol, United Kingdom
Duration: 18 Jul 202219 Jul 2022


Conference9th International Conference of Autoethnography
Abbreviated titleICAE 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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