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Nova Southeastern University

3301 College Avenue, Fort Lauderdale Fl, 33314



Patricia Leavy, Ph.D., is an independent scholar and bestselling author (formerly Associate Professor of Sociology, Chair of Sociology & Criminology, and Founding Director of Gender Studies at Stonehill College in Massachusetts). She has published over twenty-five books, earning commercial and critical success in both fiction and nonfiction, and her work has been translated into numerous languages. Her recent titles include Research Design, Handbook of Arts-Based Research, Method Meets Art, Fiction as Research Practice, The Oxford Handbook  of Methods for Public Scholarship, The Oxford Handbook of Qualitative Research, and the novels Spark, Blue, American Circumstance, and Low-Fat Love. She is also series creator and editor for eight book series with Oxford University Press and Brill/Sense, cofounder and co-editor-in-chief of Art/Research International: A Transdisciplinary Journal, and a blogger. In addition to receiving numerous accolades for her books, she has received career awards from the New England Sociological Association, the American Creativity Association, the American Educational Research Association, the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, and the National Art Education Association. In 2016 Mogul, a global women’s empowerment network, named her an “Influencer.” In 2018, she was honored by the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the State University of New York at New Paltz established the “Patricia Leavy Award for Art and Social Justice.” Her website is www.patricialeavy.com.  

Conference Presentation

“Creating Research in New Shapes: Practical Advice for Popularizing and Publishing Qualitative Research”


Researchers often use the language of form or format to talk about the structure of research reports, but Leavy suggests contemporary qualitative researchers turn to the word shape instead. The word “shape” speaks to the form of our work but also the way that the form shapes the content and how that content is received by audiences. Therefore, Leavy suggests we think about representing research finding in terms of “shapes.” In order to address different issues successfully and communicate effectively with diverse audiences, we need to be able to think, see, and build in different shapes and ultimately to produce knowledge in different shapes—transdisciplinary, collaborative, artistic, digital, popular shapes. In this presentation Leavy reviews the different “shapes” research may take, including “news style” (e.g., blogs, op-eds) and “arts-based” (e.g., novels, plays). Leavy demonstrates how to make the most out of your research by considering audiences both inside and outside of the academy, creating multiple outcomes from projects, and considering strategies for reaching relevant stakeholders. The presentation includes ample practical advice for publishing your work— from how to locate and address editors to writing strong queries and book proposals to negotiating book contracts.

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