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Author Bio

Laura L. Ellingson, Ph.D., is the Patrick A. Donohoe, S.J. Professor of Communication at Santa Clara University and a Distinguished Scholar of the National Communication Association.


Her passion for methodological innovation infuses her research and writing. In addition to over 50 journal articles and chapters in edited collections, she is the author or co-author of six books, including an ethnographic study of communication in a geriatric oncology program (Communicating in the Clinic, 2005) and two co-authored books (with Dr. Patty Sotirin) on aunts, nieces, and nephews in extended and chosen families (Aunting, 2010) and of aunts' representation in popular culture (Where the Aunts Are, 2013). Laura enlarges possibilities for methodological innovation through the development of a crystallization framework for qualitative research (Engaging Crystallization in Qualitative Research, 2009), articulation of embodied research strategies (Embodiment in Qualitative Research, 2017), and reimagining of data collection practices as lively data engagement (with Dr. Patty Sotirin; Making Data in Qualitative Research: Engagements, Ethics, and Entanglements, 2020). She teaches courses on qualitative methods, health and sexuality, and gender and communication.


Currently, she is writing a memoir of her own 30+ years of living with late effects of cancer treatment, which are chronic illnesses and conditions caused by chemotherapy, radiation, surgeries, and medications used to treat cancer. The book weaves her post-cancer adventures--the good, the bad, and the complicated--with current medical and social research about the ways in which late effects inevitably shape the lives of long-term cancer survivors.