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May 11th Symposium on Storytelling and Ethics

This symposium will mark the UK launch of six new books. From war photography to literature, to everyday lived experience, to Holocaust testimony, each of these books deals with questions of the relationship between ethics and storytelling, be it in real or fictional contexts. Analyzing how narratives enlarge or diminish the spaces of possibilities in which we act, think, and re-imagine the world together with others, these books explore the ethical potential and risks of storytelling.

The six new books which will be the focus of the symposium are:

Jakob Lothe, ed. (2017) Time’s Witnesses: Women’s voices from the Holocaust (Fledgling Press).
In Time’s Witnesses: Women’s Voices from the Holocaust you meet ten Jewish women, four from Norway and six from other countries, who all have first-hand experience of the Nazi prison camps.

Hanna Meretoja (2018) The Ethics of Storytelling: Narrative Hermeneutics, History, and the Possible (Oxford University Press).

Against the backdrop of the polarized debate on the ethical significance of storytelling, Hanna Meretoja’s The Ethics of Storytelling: Narrative Hermeneutics, History, and the Possible develops a nuanced framework for exploring the ethical complexity of the roles narratives play in our lives.

Hanna Meretoja & Colin Davis, eds (2018) Storytelling and Ethics: Literature, Visual Arts and the Power of Narrative (Routledge)

In recent years there has been a huge amount of both popular and academic interest in storytelling as something that is an essential part of not only literature and art but also our everyday lives as well as our dreams, fantasies, aspirations, historical…

Louie Palu (2017) Front Towards Enemy (Yoffy Press)

One of the highlights at the Click Photography Festival was the opening keynote lecture by Canadian documentary photographer and filmmaker, Louie Palu.Louie is a rare combination of artist and war photographer, able to stand present for horrific human events and then synthesize those moments into something artful, poetic, and powerful.

Brian Schiff (2017) A New Narrative for Psychology (Oxford University Press).
How can a narrative perspective help us advance our understanding of the fundamental problems of human psychology and better appreciate persons in diverse social and cultural contexts?

Brian Schiff, A. Elizabeth McKim & Sylvie Patron, eds (2017) Life and Narrative: The Risks and Responsibilities of Storying Experience (Oxford University Press).

The challenge of life and literary narrative is the central and perennial mystery of how people encounter, manage, and inhabit a self and a world of their own – and others’ – creations.

This symposium is being co-organised by the Centre for Narrative Research (University of East London), 

SELMA: Centre for the Study of Storytelling, Experientiality and Memory (University of Turku)

George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights and Conflict Prevention (American University of Paris).


Research Events ( Summer 2018) 

31 May – 1 June 2018

Home Matters: Meanings metaphors and practices, Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland.  

‘Where the Meanings Are – ‘ Home in refugee writing and state practices’ by Corinne Squire

2 July 2018 

Narrative Matters pre-conference workshop, University of Twente

‘Narratives, Agency and Social Change: analysis across disciplines’ by Molly Andrews, Cigdem Esin, Aura Lounasmaa, Corinne Squire

2-5 July 2018

Conference Narrative Matters 2018


Narrative bordering: stories tracing and traducing the margins of ‘ refugee’, within camps and states, with Cigdem Esin, Aura Lounasmaa and Corinne Squire

Negotiating narrative interdisciplinarity and modality in reflections on biomedicine, with Mark Davis, Sharon Gallagher, Sanny Mulubale and Corinne Squire:

Expectation, Experience and Master/Counter Narratives, with

Molly Andrews, Mari Hatavara, Matti Hyvarinen, Maria Laakso, Ann Phoenix, Per Krogh Hansen

Narrative Otherness with Molly Andrews, Mark Freeman and Ruthellen Josselson

29 July - 5 August 2018

Imaginaries and Memories of Forced Migration: Gender and Nonviolent Struggle Symposium in Narrative and Memory: Ethics, Aesthetics, Politics network) Färö Island, Sweden

Keynote by Molly Andrews

CNR’s postgraduate seminar series

6 March

Emily LeRoux-Rutledge, University of Surrey: Public narratives as symbolic resources for gender and development:  A case study of women and community radio in South Sudan

8 May 

Claire Feeley, University of Central Lancashire: Practising ‘outside of the box’ whilst within ‘the system’. A feminist narrative inquiry of NHS midwives facilitating and supporting women’s unconventional birth choices in the UK.

Research Events (Autumn & Winter 2017) 

CNR-TCRU Postgraduate Narrative Research Seminars, 2017-2018
Organised by the Centre for Narrative Research (CNR), University of East London
and the Thomas Coram Research Unit (TCRU), UCL Institute of Education

All seminars take place at the Thomas Coram Research Unit, 27-28 Woburn Square,
London WC1H 0AA, from 5 -6.30pm.

November 14 - Amneris Puscasu, Thomas Coram Research Institute, UCL Institute of Education: Intergenerational narratives and academic engagement of early adolescents

December 5 - Sandra Lyndon, University of Chichester: Practitioners’ narratives of poverty in the early years.