Chris J. Patti
Qualitative Methods ([Auto]ethnography, Rhetorical Criticism, Life History Interviewing), Storytelling, Compassionate Interpersonal Communication
B.A. and M.A. Speech Communication (California State University, Long Beach)
Advisor : Carolyn Ellis
I’m a McKnight Doctoral Fellow interested in existential, mythic, and humanist exigencies—specifically, “making sense” of life in the face of inherent suffering. I have a background in Rhetorical Criticism emphasizing postmodern, feminist, Burkean, and Jungian perspectives. My current work explores storytelling with ethnographic and literary approaches, highlighting the axiology (values, ethics, and aesthetics) of considering, contextualizing, and representing individual and collective experiences.
I came to my current trajectory through ethnographic work with cancer support groups in Long Beach, California. There, I collaborated with support group members to create a performance, comprised of their verbatim voices. This play was performed for the support group and local community.
My dissertation is about collaborative storytelling with Holocaust survivors in the Tampa Bay area. I hope to cultivate new ways to listen and collaborate with survivors, in the twilight of being able to speak with those who experienced first hand the atrocities. Along with conducting interviews for USF’s Holocaust and Genocide Studies Center and the Florida Holocaust Museum’s oral history project, I interview four survivors and their families in repeated, dialogic, and conversational ways. My goal is to listen and represent more empathically, richly, and reflexively survivors’ experiences and our experiences working together. While the stories we create are unique and individual, they also speak collectively to issues such as living meaningful, compassionate lives in the post-Holocaust world.
Informing my academic quest, I enjoy mindfulness and Buddhist philosophy, playing bass guitar and singing in “Mr. Radar,” and skateboarding with my French bulldog, Bodhi.
- Patti, C. J. (forthcoming). Sharing “a big kettle of soup”: Compassionate listening with a Holocaust survivor. In S. High (Ed.), Beyond testimony and trauma: Oral history in the aftermath of mass violence. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.
- Patti, C. J. & Ellis, C. (2012). Brave new ethnographic worlds: Cultivating awareness and crafting stories of the first day. In Scarduzio, Eger, and Tracy, Qualitative research methods: Collecting evidence, crafting analysis, and communicating impact, instructor’s manual. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.
- Patti, C. J. (2012). Split shadows: Myths of a lost father and son. J. Wyatt & T. Adams (Eds). (Special issue on father-son relationships). Qualitative Inquiry, 18, 153-161.
- Patti, C. J. (2009). Musical artefacts of my father’s death: Autoethnography, music, and aesthetic representation. In B. Bartleet & C. Ellis (Eds.), Music autoethnography: Making autoethnography sing / making music personal (pp. 57-72). Australia: Australian Academic Press.