Workshop by Molly Andrews, Cigdem Esin, Aura Lounasmaa and Corinne Squire, Centre for Narrative Research (University of East London).
Narratives are a primary tool by which individuals recognise and affirm themselves as members of a collective, thereby often acting as a catalyst for the raising of political consciousness. In this workshop, viewing narratives as social acts, we will explore the function of narratives for (the) individual and/or collective storytellers, the conditions of possibility for narratives to be constituted and performed, the ways in which narratives constitute meaning linking the past, present and the future, and the relationality in narratives through which individuals shape the conditions of their lives.
The workshop will raise questions about how stories' stylistic structures relate to social change: in particular, certain forms of metaphor and other rhetorical tropes that can work to support social change, the peculiar dynamics surrounding research that is on overtly political, the coalescence of place, time, subjectivity and the social in narratives and the ethical complexity of working with personal-political narratives.
The workshop leaders will use examples from political speeches, community stories of living with HIV, and other forms of political talks as well as examples from their own research on political narratives in various socio-political contexts.
Molly Andrews (see picture below) is Professor of Political Psychology, and co-director of the Centre for Narrative Research at the University of East London, London. Her research interests include the psychological basis of political commitment; the psychological challenges posed by societies in times of acute political change; the psychology of patriotism; the politics of remembering and its relationship to told and untold stories; gender and aging; and counter narratives. Her monograph Shaping History: Narratives of Political Change (Cambridge University Press, 2007) won the 2008 Outstanding Book Award of the American Educational Research Association, Narrative and Research Special Interest Group. Her latest monograph is Narrative Imagination and Everyday Life (2014).
Cigdem Esin (see picture below) is Senior Lecturer in Psychosocial Studies, co-director of the Centre for Narrative Research and member of the academic team running Open Learning Initiative for Refugees and Asylum Seekers at UEL. Her research interests are in narrative methodologies, interconnections between grand narratives and individual stories, migrant and refugee narratives in transcultural, multilingual contexts and visual storytelling. She is the author of ‘Telling stories in the pictures: Constituting and processual and relational narratives in research with young British Muslim women in East London’ Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research and ‘Narrative Analysis: the Constructionist Approach’ in Sage Handbook of Qualitative Data Analysis, together with Corinne Squire.
Aura Lounasmaa (see picture below) is a lecturer in the Social Sciences, teaching on the foundations programme and in Psychosocial Studies at the University of East London. She coordinates the Erasmus+ funded Open Learning Initiative course for refugees and asylum seekers. She was also a member of teaching staff on award-winning Life Stories in the Jungle short course in the Calais refugee camp. Aura's PhD research is on Moroccan women's NGO activism. In it she examined the activism and discursive strategies of rights-based and faith-based women's organisations in Morocco. Her current research interests include ethics and methodologies of refugee activism and education.
Corinne Squire (see picture below) is Professor of Social Sciences and Co-Director of the Centre for Narrative Research at the University of East London. Her research interests include HIV and citizenship, narrative theory and methods, and popular culture and subjectivities. Her books include What is narrative research? (with Davis, Esin, Andrews, Harrison, Hyden L-C and Hyden M, Bloomsbury 2016), Doing narrative research (with Andrews and Tamboukou, edition 2, Sage 2013) and Living with HIV and ARVs: Three letter lives (Palgrave, 2013).