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Winterschool 2019 Uses and Abuses of Storytelling

WINTER school “Uses and abuses of storytelling”

27 NOVEMBER – 29 november 2019

Story Lab & TWente Graduate School, University of TWente

The Winter School is meant for PhD students, postdoc and experienced researchers who want to improve their competence in doing and understanding narrative research. Experience with qualitative research is recommended (for required entry levels please contact Anneke Sools).

Learning goals

At the end of the course, the participant is able to

  • Apply story line analysis to own data;
  • Critically reflect on the uses and abuses of storytelling in science and society
  • Critically reflect on reporting narrative research. 


The theme of this year’s Winter School on narrative analysis is the uses and abuses of storytelling in science and society. In an age of fake news, public questioning of the credibility of scientific findings, and ever pervasive social media in all spheres of life, there is a need to develop ‘narrative savviness’. This entails knowledge about how narrative works and the work that stories do as well as the capacity to resist the temptations of persuasive yet harmful narratives.

The first day of the Winter School offers an introduction to narrative analysis. Anneke Sools will give an introduction of story line analysis for novice and more experienced narrative researchers. In an interactive workshop, participants will work together on an example text to gain hands-on experience with story line analysis. They will also apply the method to their own data. On the second day, two experienced researchers will give inspirational, interactional lectures on their applied narratological work on the uses and abuses of storytelling: Sjoerd-Jeroen Moenander and Maria Mäkelä. The third day consists of group presentations of story line analyses performed on data brought by participants; UT lecturers Sools and Westerhof will give feedback on these analyses that are prepared at the end of day 1 and day 2. Finally, in an interactive workshop, Gerben Westerhof will guide discussion on how results of narrative analyses are reported in the scientific domain. The participants have to prepare themselves by studying reader texts and doing homework assignments. 


Boerderij Bosch

Campuslaan 15

7522 NC Enschede

Tel: (053) 489  4071


Practical issues

Daniëlle Boelen & Marieke Smellink

Secretariat Psychology, Health and Technology

+31.53.489. 9180; +31.53.489.4470


Anneke Sools & Gerben Westerhof

Story Lab

+31.53.489.6314; +31.53.489.6074;



Costs are 350 euro (including lunches, coffee/tea breaks and reader, excluding dinner and stay).

Only PhD students of the University of Twente are free of charge.

Pleas click here for the registration form.



Maria Mäkelä is Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature and Director of Narrare: Centre for Interdisciplinary Narrative Studies at Tampere University, Finland. In 2018, she was Visiting Professor at the Centre for Fictionality Studies, Aarhus University. In 2019, she is President of the International Society for the Study of Narrative. She is co-editor of Narrative, Interrupted (De Gruyter, 2012) and Narrative Theory, Literature, and New Media (Routledge, 2015). She has published on consciousness, voice, and realism across media, the literary tradition of adultery, authorial ethos, and critical applications of postclassical narratologies. She is heading three research projects that deal with the contemporary instrumentalization of narratives.

Sjoerd-Jeroen Moenandar is an assistant professor at the Minorities and Multilingualism programme of the University of Groningen. In recent research, he explores the possibility of an  applied narratology: using insights from the academic study of narrative to analyse the role of storytelling and life writing in e.g. education and developing narrative methods for improving storytelling practices. Publications on this topic include Stories of Becoming: The Use of Storytelling in Education, Counselling and Research (co-edited with Lynn Wood, 2017) and a special issue (11:1) on narrative resistance of the Global Media Journal/Australian Edition (co-edited with Hart Cohen and Rachel Morley, 2017).

Gerben Westerhof is professor in Narrative Psychology and Technology at the University of Twente. His research focuses on how life stories contribute to identity development and mental health across the lifespan with a focus on later life.

Anneke Sools is assistant professor in Narrative Psychology at the University of Twente. Her research focuses on methodological innovations in story line analysis as well as on the use of narrative accounts of imagined futures to foster creativity and possibility-thinking in the face of uncertainty and change.


Wednesday 27 November

09.30   Welcome with coffee

10.00   Story Lab @UTwente (Gerben Westerhof)

10.15   Introduction to Narrative Analysis (Anneke Sools)

12.00   Lunch

13.00   Pitches of participants

14.30   Coffee and tea break

15.00   Workshop Story Line Analysis (Anneke Sools) 

16.00   Storyline analysis of participant’s own data

17.30   Leisure Time

18.30   Dinner (costs not included) with Playbacktheater (free of charge)

Thursday 28 November

09.00   Interactive lecture Sjoerd-Jeroen Moenander including coffee and tea breaks

12.00   Lunch

12.30   Interactive lecture Maria Mäkelä including coffee and tea breaks

15.30   Continue storyline analysis on own data, preparing presentations

17.30   Leisure Time

18.30   Dinner with lecturers (costs not included)

Friday 29 November

09.00   Group Presentations with feedback from lecturers

10.30   Coffee and Tea Break

11.00   Group presentations with feedback from lecturers

12.30   Lunch

13.30   Workshop Reporting Narrative Research (Gerben Westerhof)

15.30   Evaluation

15.45   Coffee and Tea Break

16.00   Optional: consultation hour on individual research (Anneke Sools and Gerben Westerhof)

17.00   End of day 3