Dr Cigdem Esin
Cigdem Esin is senior lecturer in Psychosocial Studies and co-director of the Centre for Narrative Research. Her research interests are in narrative methodologies, interconnections between gender, power and politics, migrant and refugee narratives and visual storytelling.
Cigdem Esin is a senior lecturer in Psychosocial Studies and co-director of the Centre for Narrative Research. Her research interests are in interactions between individual stories and grand socio-cultural narratives within historically specific contexts, narrative methodologies, migrant and refugee narratives and visual storytelling. She has listened to and analysed narratives of mostly women in various research projects on gender, employment, women's movements and organisations, sexual health of young people and sexuality. She worked in a feminist information and communication centre before she pursued her passion for research.
Cigdem's current research focuses on the personal narratives of immigrant academics in London. In this work, she analyses the political shifts and narrative positioning in the individual narratives of international academics, using a Foucauldian approach to narratives to explore the power relations surrounding skilled immigration and politics of belonging in the UK. Her recent research examined how sexual narratives of educated young women and their mothers were interconnected with macro narratives of gender and sexuality in Turkey.
Cigdem's work on visual narratives explores the possibilities that visual storytelling and multimodal narratives could offer for an in-depth understanding of life stories within multilayered, transcultural and multilingual contexts. She recently worked with a small group of young British-Muslim women in East London as part of this ongoing methodological project. She also ran an impact project in the Calais refugee camp, together with Aura Lounasmaa and Corinne Squire. In this project, she facilitated visual storytelling workshops in which she worked with the residents of the camp. Cigdem is a member of the academic team running OLIve (Open Learning Initiative for refugees and Asylum Seekers) at UEL.
I have been running ‘Creating multimodal narratives with refugees’ projects together with Corinne Squire and Aura Lounasmaa. The initial project was supported by the UEL’s impact fund. It involved photography and visual storytelling workshops with the residents of the Calais refugee camp. The project continues as part of OLIve (Open Learning Initiative for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) at UEL.
I am a member of MigART, together with Corinne Squire. This is a network of researchers using creative and collaborative methods in migration research.
I organise the annual graduate conference 'To Think is To Experiment' at CNR. Postgraduate students and early career researchers from various institutions and countries participate into this event. https://www.uel.ac.uk/schools/social-sciences/our-research-and-engagement/research/centre-for-narrative-research/to-think-is-to-experiment
I am a member of The Network for Pluralism in Qualitative Research (N-PQR). This Network extends the work of the Pluralism in Qualitative Research (PQR) project, developed by Dr Nollaig Frost at Birkbeck, University of London (2006). I contributed to this project as a data analyst.
Selected Conference Presentations
- ‘Creative spaces of resistance in narratives by refugees’, together with Aura Lounasmaa in Narrative and Memory: Ethics, Aesthetics, Politics” Fiction and Facts in Narratives of Political Conflict (Symposium in Narrative and Memory: Ethics, Aesthetics, Politics network), Norway https://narrativeandmemory.com/kristiansand-2018/
- 'We were both immigrants but in a different way': An analysis of narratives of Turkish and Iranian academic migrants living in London, presented at International Society for Political Psychology Annual Conference, July 2016.
- ‘Understanding life stories in a transnational context through a multimodal narrative approach’ presented at UEL Social Sciences Conference, London, November 2015.
- 'Looking into the moments of resistance in sexual narratives', presented at BSA conference, Glasgow, April 2015.
- 'Telling stories in the picture', presented at Narrative Matters, Paris, June 2014.
- 'Space in the picture: Reflections on research with youth in East London' (together with Corinne Squire), presented at Radical Space, London, October 2013.
- 'Narratives of Re-politicing Selves', presented at Narrative Matters: Life and Narrative, Paris, June 2012.
- 'Disciplined Negotiations: Listening to Sexual Stories of Educated Women in Ankara’, Invited Seminar, Hacettepe University, Women’s Research and Implementation Centre, Ankara, April 2011
- 'Visual Autobiographies from East London and their destinations' together with Corinne Squire, presented at The Travelling Concept of Narrative II, International and Interdisciplinary Symposium, London, November 2010.
- Disciplined Femininities, Sexual Armours: Telling Stories beyond Modernist National Narratives presented at ISA World Congress of Sociology, Gothenburg, July 2010.
- 'Uncovering the Layers: Analysing the Sexual Narratives of Women in Turkey' presented at Narrative Research Workshop organised by Linkoping University in Linkoping, June 2009.
- 'Technologies of Gender in the Sexuality Narratives of Well-Educated Young Women in Turkey' presented at Gender 2007-East Meets West Conference, York, July 2007.
- 'The Unbearable Heaviness of Contexts and Conversations: Working with Sexuality Narratives of Women in Turkey' presented at BSA 2007 Annual Conference, London, April 2007.
- 'I’m not a ‘good girl’ anymore': Self-construction in the sexuality stories of young women in Turkey” invited paper to be presented at New Femininities - An International Conference, Postgraduate Forum, London, January 2007.
Esin, C. and Lounasmaa, A. (forthcoming) ‘Ethical complexities: working with refugees and refugee narratives in Calais Jungle’
Esin, C. and Fathi, M. (forthcoming) ‘Belonging and Social Class in the Personal Narratives of Educated Migrants from Turkey and Iran in London’
‘Telling Stories in Pictures: Constituting Processual and Relational Narratives in Research With Young British Muslim Women in East London’ (2017) Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum:Qualitative Social Research, 18(1), Art. 15, http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/2774
Narrative Analysis: the Constructionist Approach (2014) together with Mastoureh Fathi and Corinne Squire in Sage Handbook of Qualitative Data Analysis, Uwe Flick (ed)
What is Narrative Research (2014) together with Squire, C., Andrews, M., Harrison, B., Hyden, M., Hyden, L.C. and Davis, M., Bloomsbury Academic: London.
Guest editor of special section, 'Narratives of Translation within Research Practice' (2013) in Narrative Works
‘Visual autobiographies in East London: Narratives of still images, interpersonal exchanges, and intrapersonal dialogues’ (2013) Forum: Qualitative Social Research together with Corinne Squire http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1971
'You Are Here': Visual Autobiographies, Cultural-Spatial Positioning, and Resources for Urban Living (2013) Sociological Research Online together with Corinne Squire and Chila Burman http://www.socresonline.org.uk/18/3/1.html
Esin, C. (2011) ‘Narrative Analysis Approaches’ in N. Frost (Ed.) Qualitative Research Methods in Psychology: Combining Core Approaches, Open University Press: Buckingham.
Esin, C. (2011) Review of Southeast Asian Lives: Personal Lives and Historical Experience 2007 by Roxana Waterson (ed.), Asian Journal of Social Sciences.
Esin, C. (2011) Review of Shifting Polarized Positions: A Narrative Approach in Teacher Education 2009 by Xin Li, Carola Conle and Freema Elbaz Luwisch, Gender and Education, 23 (3).
Frost, N., Holt, A., Shelbourne, P., Esin, C., Nolas, S-M., Mehdizadeh, L. and Brooks-Gordon, B. (2011) ‘Collective Findings, Individual Interpretations: An Illustration of a Pluralistic Approach to Qualitative Data Analysis’, Qualitative Research in Psychology, Vol. 8, Issue. 1.pp. 93-113.
Frost, N., Nolas, S-M., Brooks-Gordon, B., Esin, C., Holt, A., Shelbourne, P., and Mehdizadeh, L. (2010) 'Pluralism in Qualitative Research: the impact of different researchers and qualitative approaches on the analysis of qualitative data'. Qualitative Research Vol.10, No. 4. pp.1.-20.
Esin. C. 2007 Review of Venus on Wheels: Two Decades of Dialogue on Disability, Biography, and Being Female in America 2000 by Gelya Frank, Feminist Review. Vol 85. pp.131-33.
Esin, C. & Kurt, A.S. 2006. 'Multiple Ways of ‘Giving Back’ among Immigrant Women in the UK' Research Report in A. Rindoks and E. Vonk (eds.) Migrant Women’s Philanthropic Practices from the Diaspora, Amsterdam. pp.35-46.
Aslan, D. Ozvaris, S. and Esin, C. 2003. 'Gender and Health Status of Women in Turkey/Turkiye'de Toplumsal Cinsiyet and Saglik Durumu'. Kadin/Woman 2000.
Akin, A., Esin. C. and Celik K. 2003. 'Kadinin Saglik Hakki ve Dunya Saglik Orgutu'nun Avrupa'da Kadin Sagligi'nin Iyilestirilmesine Yonelik Stratejik Eylem Plani' in A. Akin (ed) Toplumsal Cinsiyet, Saglik ve Kadin (Gender, Health and Women). Hacettepe University Publications: Ankara.
- 'Creating multimodal narratives in the Calais camp' project (together with Aura Lounasmaa and Corinne Squire). University of East London's Impact Fund. April-July 2016.
- NCRM International Visitor Exchange Scheme (IVES) (CNR project, together with Corinne Squire and Molly Andrews). November 2016.
Narrative MethodologiesInterconnections between gender, power and politics
Visual Storytelling, Multimodal Narratives
Migrant and Refugee Narratives
Life Stories in Transnational, Multilingual ContextsNarratives of translation within research practice
Cigdem teaches in Psychosocial Theory and Practice BA Programme.
PS 5001 Research and Reflective Practice
PS 5005 Psychosocial Approaches to Constructions of Difference
PS 6000 Dissertation Module
She supervises PhD students, is Deputy Chair of the School Research Degrees Sub-Committee and a member of School Research Ethics Committee.
Current PhD Students
Bayan Karimi, 'The (gendered) experiences of Kurdish women activists in Kurdish Movement(s) in Iran-1979-1999'.
Masiha Vaala, 'Sites, Places and Spaces in Re(imaging): Iranian Youth and Traumas of the Past'.
Psychosocial Theory and Practice
Psychosocial Studies DL MA Programme