Relational Inquiry as Poetic Engagement

Relational research is processual, becoming a form of mutual inquiry that develops step by step with the participants, becoming co-teachers, co-learners, co-researchers. In my collaboration with community Elders, we began by walking with them, inviting them as ‘Senior Faculty’ to make visible what matters to them and to engage moment by moment in a multi-voiced dialog with medical professionals as residents sought their advice and wisdom. Through poetic reflection we notice what we are ‘struck by’, articulate it in dialogue which makes visible what matters, which then can be carried across in other practices. Such exemplars are touchstones of engagement that invite us to recall the lived experience of an event.

Arlene Katz, Ed.D.

Arlene Katz, Ed.D., is a Taos Associate and Lecturer in Global Health and Social Medicine at HMS. She emphasizes the importance of hearing the ‘voice’ of the community and has collaborated with community elders and professionals to develop a unique program to address ageism by creating a ‘Council of Elders’ making visible the lived experience of aging, one of participatory ethnographic research projects involving the development of ‘resourceful communities’. A published poet and photographer, she integrates social and cultural poetics making visible the moral dimensions of care and social suffering. For more information, visit Arlene’s Associate page.

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