Updated Book Cover Poetic Inquiry

About the book

Poetic Inquiry for the Human and Social Sciences: Voices from the South and North enriches human and social science research by introducing new voices, insights, and epistemologies. Poetic inquiry, or poetry as research, is a literary and performance arts-based approach. It combines the arts and humanities with scientific inquiry to enhance social research. By challenging conventional epistemological traditions that assert a detached stance of the known from the knower, poetic inquiry proposes a method of decolonising knowledge production. This book expands on ground-breaking work done in the Global North on transdisciplinary poetic inquiry scholarship by bringing it into conversation with knowledge from the Global South. It allows for South-North leadership and places unique scholarly contributions from the South at the centre of transnational discussions. In exploring and advancing poetic inquiry in the Global South, part of the book’s decolonising agenda is to challenge and expand the definition of poetic inquiry and recognise the contributions from diverse traditions and social practices. The peer-reviewed chapters are written by new and established scholars in various knowledge fields worldwide. The chapters’ scholarly contributions are complemented by an original poetry sequence interwoven through the book. Critically, Voices and Silences shows how poetry can engender innovative research that addresses pressing social justice issues, such as inclusion and decolonisation.

Poetic Inquiry will interest researchers and academics who seek to advance social research by adopting new epistemologies and approaches that integrate the value of the Global South’s contributions and foster expanded South-North collaborations.

Product information

Format : 168mm x 235mm
Pages : 352
ISBN 13 : 978-0-7969-2656-2
Publish Year : March 2024
Rights : World Rights


List of Tables and Figures



Introduction: Growing Poetic Inquiry in the Human and Social Sciences

Kathleen Pithouse-Morgan and Heidi van Rooyen

Poets’ Prelude

Raphael d'Abdon and Celeste Nazeli Snowber


was i there?

Rapahel d’Abdon


Celeste Nazeli Snowber

Interlude: Voices and Silences

Yvonne Sliep and Raphael d’Abdon

Chapter 1. Giving Voice through Love: An Autoethnographic Poetic Inquiry

Angela Hough and Heidi van Rooyen

Chapter 2. “We will not be silenced”: Using poetic performance to mobilize the stories of African/African descendant women living with HIV who work in Canadian HIV service work

Lori A. Chambers, Esther Gzuha, Gladys Kwaramba, Rose-Ann Bailey, Chantal Mukandoli, Valérie Pierre-Pierre, Janice Snagg, Michelle Sumner-Williams, Paulina Tshuma, Dakarayi Chigugudhlo, Carlos Idibouo,, Marvelous Muchenje, Precious Maseko, Lena Soje, Muna Aden, Keresa Arnold, Winnie Murombedzi, Angele Bassolé, Haoua Inoua and Fanta Ongoiba

Chapter 3. What I Know now that I wish I had Known when I was Younger: Older Women’s Relationship Advice as Skinny Poetry

Sandra L. Faulkner and Wendy K. Watson

Chapter 4. Historical Trauma and Resilience: Finding Poetics to Amplify Aboriginal Young People’s Voices

Reakeeta Smallwood

Chapter 5. Unsilencing: Poetic Inquiry as an Act of Resistance in the University of Calabar, Nigeria

Alexander Essien Timothy and Anne McCrary Sullivan


Recipes in the Body

Celeste Nazeli Snowber

rigorous nonsense

Raphael d'Abdon

Interlude: Poetic Pathways

Marí Peté and Duduzile S Ndlovu

Chapter 6. Heartful Resonance: Belonging/Becoming into the Poetic

Sarah K. MacKenzie-Dawson

Chapter 7. Poetic Inquiry as Knowing through Embodied Practice

Sandra L. Faulkner

Chapter 8. Eclipsing the Self: Using Erasure Poetry to see Behind the Edited Me

Cecile Badenhorst and Heather McLeod

Chapter 9. Knowing Our Worth: Writing Poetry from Interviews to Propose New Modes of Value for Feminist Creative Practice

Emilie Collyer

Chapter 10. Intersections of Silence and (In)visibility - Hyper (In)Visibility: Poems

Kimberley Dark


giant footprints

Raphael d’ Abdon


Celeste Nazeli Snowber

Interlude: Poetic Practices

Angela Hough, Marí Peté and Dudu Nldovu

Chapter 11. Inquiring with Actor Network Theory and Poetic Inquiry to Understand University Lecturers’ Agency in Relation to Technology

Mari Peté

Chapter 12. One in a Group: Dialogic Poetic Inquiry into Silence and Invisibility in the Academy

Nicole Brown, Áine McAllister, Mandy Haggith, Margaret Buchanan, Emily Sikora Katt, Erin Kuri, Victoria Lin Peterson-Hilleque, Jenny Van der Aa, and Laura Warner

Chapter 13. Poetic Professional Learning Reflections: Stand in the Midst, Breathe

Kathleen Pithouse-Morgan

Chapter 14. Levelling the field in PhD super-vision. A polyvocal journey of poemish inquiry

Yvonne Sliep, Lynn Norton, Thirusha Naidu, and Nosipho Makhakhe

Chapter 15. Collaborative Word-Play: Making Meaning through Reciprocal Poetic Inquiry

Tanya van der Walt and Tamar Meskin

Chapter 16. The Captured-Uncaptured: Learning about Millennial History Teachers’ Engagement with Post-Apartheid South Africa through Poetic Inquiry

Fezeka Cynthia Gxwayibeni and Tamuka Marshall Maposa

Outro: Poetic Inquiry in the Social and Human Sciences: A Call to Action Poetry/Poetic Inquiry/Art: A Call to Action

Heidi van Rooyen and Kathleen Pithouse-Morgan

About the authors


About the Editors

Heidi van Rooyen is the Group Executive of the Impact Centre at the Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa. Heidi is a social scientist and clinical psychologist holding an honorary professorship from the University of the Witwatersrand. She is an internationally recognised and accomplished scholar. Her research addresses risks and vulnerabilities for HIV and COVID and the contexts that shape this risk, the influence of sexual orientation and gender identity as social determinants of health and the use of poetry in/for/as research. Heidi has been writing poetry for more than a decade and has been instrumental in bringing this approach to diverse audiences in South Africa. Her poems appear in national and international publications, and she has performed at several poetry festivals.

Kathleen Pithouse-Morgan is a Professor of Education at the University of Nottingham's School of Education and an honorary Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's School of Education. Her professional learning scholarship focuses on understanding and supporting teachers as self-directed and self-developing learners.

Through the self-reflexive methodologies of self-study research, narrative inquiry, and autoethnography, her work documents and theorises how teachers gain vital insights into their professional selves and practices – with critical implications for personal-professional growth and social transformation. Her innovative conceptualisation of “poetic professional learning” is a noteworthy research outcome.

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