14 September 2018

PhD Course: Methodologies of Researching and Narrating Storied Lives

University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Theology/Centre of African Studies invites you to attend their PhD course on Narrative Inquiry from 22-24 October 2018

 ‘‘Narrative inquiry [is] the study of experience as story” (Clandinin and Rosiek, 2007)

“Narrative inquiry begins and ends with a respect for ordinary lived experience […] the focus of narrative inquiry is not only valorizing individuals’ experience but is also an exploration of the social, cultural, familial, linguistic and institutional narratives within which individuals’ experiences were, and are, constituted, shaped, expressed and enacted.  Understood in this way, narrative inquiries begin and end in the storied lives of people involved.” (Clandinin, 2013)

 Course description and aim:

This PhD course is open to a wide range of PhD students. The course is aimed at introducing participants to the use of Narrative Inquiry as a research approach and the methods used within it. This approach has relevance and application across a wide range of disciplines ranging from cultural studies to African studies, to education, theology, anthropology, sociology, social medicine, psychotherapy, and so on.  In exploring the concepts of Narrative Inquiry, participants will engage in ways of deepening their research through observational practice, multiple interpretation and creative approaches towards written representations of research findings. They will develop an understanding of how stories are constructed, received and positioned in an academic context and how writing can be employed as a method of inquiry. The course, which will be run partly in a participative workshop-style, includes the application of the methodology through requiring the production of a short narrative text for feedback. 

Students attending the course can expect to:

  • Develop an awareness and understanding of Narrative Inquiry methods
  • Be able to apply at least one Narrative Inquiry method to their own research context
  • Explore ways of deepening research practice, analysis and presentation
  • Develop the skill of writing as inquiry, a methodology whereby writing methods explore issues within the research rather than reporting or ‘writing up’
  • Be able to use Narrative Inquiry alongside other research methods to enhance creative and individual academic contribution
  • Enjoy working together in a creative and supportive environment


Date and time: 22-24 October 2018 (with prior reading preparation and submission of text following the course)

ECTS: 3 ECTS with paper presentation

(3 days x 7 hours (21 hrs); advance preparation 4 days x 7 hrs (28 hrs) + production of a text: 5 days x 7 hrs (35 hrs) = 84 hrs/28 = 3 ECTS)

Registration: Interested PhD students should apply by sending an email to both Amanda Hammar (aha@teol.ku.dk) and Jane Reece (janereece@hotmail.com). Registration deadline is 21 September. Please include your name, institutional affiliation and a statement of interest in the topic.

Course preparation requirements: In addition to submitting the statement of interest with the course application, students are required to complete the recommended readings from the prescribed literature list and be familiar with the key terms and concepts under discussion prior to the course.

Course capacity: Maximum 15 -20 participants 

Course format:  The course will consist of a 3-day participative workshop during which Narrative Inquiry approaches will be considered critically to form the basis of discussions and group work. Particular attention will be given to Writing as Inquiry as a methodology, and Day 3 will include an introduction to the the written work exercise for post-course submission. Following the workshop, participants will be required to produce a narrative text for submission as a condition for completion of the course. Each participant will receive feedback on this work.

Venue: Faculty of Theology, South Campus, University of Copenhagen, Karen Blixen Plads 16, 2300 Copenhagen S. (Specific rooms to be confirmed.)

Course organisation: The course convener is Associate Professor Amanda Hammar, Director of the Centre of African Studies, University of Copenhagen.  The course instruction will be by a specialist scholar in Narrative Inquiry, Dr Jane Reece (University of Bristol/ Independent Scholar).

The PhD course in Narrative Inquiry was first held in 2016 and due to the very positive feedback received, it is now being repeated.