Welcome to the Narrative Network website. The Narrative Network is a network for academics at the University of Melbourne interested in narrative research, founded by Ashley Barnwell and Signe Ravn. Here you can find information about the network, our activities and our members and our popular podcast series, Narrative Now.
Stayed tuned for details on our End of Year event!
The Indigenous Narrative Paradox in Colonial Archives
September 14, 2022 Past Events
December 2, 2020 Past Events
Telling Other People’s Stories: Critique of Empathy
June 10, 2020 Past Events
The Promise & Perils of Narrative
November 3, 2019 Past Events
Narrative Research/Research Narratives
April 8, 2019 Past Events
October 24, 2018 Past Events
Launch & Maria Tamboukou
April 9, 2018 Past Events
October 20, 2017 Past Events
How Do We Work with Narrative Analysis?
November 3, 2016 Past Events
The Narrative Network draws members from the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Arts and beyond. It currently has around 70 members with diverse interests in narrative research.
Want to join the network?
If you are a University of Melbourne staff member or student and wish to join the Narrative Network, you can sign up to the mailing list here.
- Anne McLaren (Asia Institute)
- Alison Horbury (School of Culture & Communication)
- Allison Creed (Faculty of Arts)
- Andrea Cook (Melbourne School of Design)
- Andrea Jia (MSD)
- Anne Farrelly (Melbourne Graduate School of Education)
- Ashley Barnwell (School of Social & Political Sciences)
- Amy Vanderharst (SSPS)
- Alison Young (SSPS)
- Ara Keys (Durham University, UK)
- Bina Fernandez (SSPS)
- Brenda Laskey (School of Languages & Linguistics)
- Marty Bortz (Melbourne School of Government)
- Carole Hinchcliffe (Melbourne Law School)
- Carla Pascoe-Leahy (SHAPS)
- Caroline Tully (SHAPS)
- Claire Tanner (School of Biomedical Sciences)
- Claire Loughnan (SSPS)
- Dave McDonald (SSPS)
- David Goodman (SHAPS)
- Diana Johns (SSPS)
- Diana Langmead (MSD)
- Elena Balcaite (SPSS)
- Elaine Pratley (SSPS)
- Erin Scudder (SCC)
- Erin Fitz-Henry (SSPS)
- Hamza Jehangir (SCC)
- Hayley Singer (SCC)
- Helen Morgan
- Hernán Cuervo (MGSE)
- Imogen Carr (School of Geography)
- Jennifer Andersen (MGSE)
- Julie McLeod (MGSE)
- Jack Tan
- Janne Morton (SLL)
- Jennifer Balint (SSPS)
- Jessica Gerrard (MGSE)
- Joanne Higginson (SHAPS)
- John Quay (MGSE)
- Julia Cook (MGSE)
- Julia Hurst (SHAPS)
- Julie Fedor (SHAPS)
- Jens Zin (SSPS)
- Karen Farquharson (SSPS)
- Liz Dean (SSPS)
- Mitchell Harrop
- Mitch Goodwin (Arts)
- Monica Minnegal (SSPS)
- Nicole Davis (SHAPS/MGSE)
- Nikki Henningham (SHAPS)
- Odette Kelada (SCC)
- Rachel Thompson (University of Sussex)
- Rachael Diprose (SSPS)
- Radha O’Meara (SCC)
- Rebecca Bunn (MLS)
- Rebecca Croser (MLS)
- Rebecca Defina (MSD)
- Rowland Mosbergen (Melbourne Data Analytics Platform)
- Sara Meger (SSPS)
- Sarah Maddison (SSPS)
- Signe Ravn (SSPS)
- Tamas Wells (SSPS)
- Veronique Duché (SLL)
- Wajeehah Aayeshah (Arts)
Narrative Network members work across a diverse range of fields. Here you will find a few featured projects from our members.
Details of further projects are forthcoming, so check back at a later date for more.
The Narrative Network has friends in Australia and around the world. Some of these friends have been previous guests at our events and work in research centres or with projects on narrative.
Maria Tamboukou, Centre for Narrative Research, University of East London, UK
Jennifer Mason, Morgan Centre, Manchester University, UK
Rachel Thomson, Sussex University, UK
Maria Mäkelä, Director, Narrare: Centre for Interdisciplinary Narrative Studies, Tampere University, Finland (AB)
Julie McLeod, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, Australia
Alistair Thomson, School of History, Monash University
Kate Douglas, Centre for Life Narrative, Flinders
How the Narrative Network got started …
Signe and Ash both started working at the University of Melbourne in 2015 and, in the process of learning about their colleagues’ research, they discovered that many scholars were interested in narrative but that a forum for sharing these interests did not yet exist. In 2016 they organised an event to bring researchers together to talk about how they do narrative research in different disciplines. That was the beginning and, today, the Narrative Network comprises 70+ members from across the Faculty of Arts and beyond. After a series of smaller events, in 2018 the Network was officially launched by author and academic Tony Birch at a fancy reception at the Arts West Research Lounge. Since then, the Narrative Network has hosted two events per year, including members’ work-in-progress presentations and guest talks from scholars and artists.
The Narrative Network welcomes new members and is happy to facilitate contract research.
Meet the conveners
Signe Ravn is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her research centres on the sociology of youth, with a particular focus on risk, gender and processes of marginalisation, and she is particularly interested in how young people in complex and disadvantaged situations navigate their present and imagine their future. She also contributes to qualitative methodological advancement, especially in relation to visual and creative methods. From 2017–2020 she is an ARC DECRA fellow, researching the everyday lives and imagined futures of young girls who have left the mainstream school system before finishing Year 12 in Victoria, Australia. This is a qualitative, longitudinal research project that explores micro-processes of marginalisation, temporality and subjectivity with a particular focus on relations to place and belonging. Signe has published her research in a number of journals such as Sociology, Current Sociology, and British Journal of Sociology of Education, and has recently published the co-authored book Youth, Risk, Routine: A New Perspective on Risk-taking in Young Lives (with Tea Bengtsson; Routledge, 2019) and co-edited two books. At the moment she is co-editing the book Youth beyond the City (with David Farrugia, Bristol University Press).
Recent publications on narrative:
Editorial for Special Issue of International Journal of Social Research Methodology on Narrative sense-making and Prospective Social Action:
Andersen, D., Ravn, S. & Thomson, R. (2020) Narrative sense-making and prospective social action: methodological challenges and new directions, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 23(4), 367–375, DOI: 10.1080/13645579.2020.1723204
Ravn, S. (2019) Imagining futures, imagining selves: A narrative approach to ‘risk’ in young men’s lives. Current Sociology, 67(7), 1039–1055. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011392119857453
Ashley Barnwell is Senior Research Fellow in Sociology at the University of Melbourne. She is interested in sociological aspects of emotions, memory, and narrative, and the role of life writing, personal archives, and literature in sociological research. From 2019–2022, she will be an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow working on the project ‘Family Secrets, National Silences: Intergenerational Memory in Settler Colonial Australia’. This project aims to investigate the inherited family secrets, stories, and memories that inform Australian’s understandings of colonial history. Ashley is co-author of Reckoning with the Past: Family Historiographies in Postcolonial Australian Literature (with Joseph Cummins, Routledge 2018) and co-editor of Research Methodologies for Auto/Biography Studies (with Kate Douglas, Routledge 2019). She was the 2014 Seymour Scholar for Biography and a 2019 Research Fellow at the National Library of Australia. She has also been a Visiting Scholar at The Morgan Centre for Research into Everyday Lives, University of Manchester, at the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, and at the National Centre for Biography, ANU.
Recent publications on narrative:
Douglas, K. and Barnwell, A. (eds) (2019) Research Methodologies for Autobiography Studies. Auto/Biography Series, Routledge.
Barnwell, A. (2017) ‘Identity Hoaxes and the Complicity of Social Authorship’, in Life and Narrative: The Risks and Responsibilities of Storying Experience, B. Schiff and S. Patron (Eds.), Oxford University Press, pp. 99–118.
Narrative Now is a podcast series that is produced by the Narrative Network in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne. It is hosted by Ashley Barnwell and Signe Ravn. The podcast covers both ‘how-to’ episodes focusing on different approaches to working with narrative and storytelling, and ‘what’s new’ episodes that dive into new trends in narrative research.
Check out our latest episode and subscribe to the series wherever you find your podcasts.
Episode Nine: Indigenous Narratives in Colonial Archives with Rose Barrowcliffe
Episode Eight: Narrative research meets creative writing with Barbara Barbosa Neves and Josephine Wilson
Episode Seven: The ‘Dangers of Narrative’ with Maria Mäkelä and Samuli Björninen
Episode Six: Delving into ‘deep stories’ with Arlie Hochschild
Episode Five: Talking ‘Turning Points’ and Trans Memoir with Yves Rees
Episode Four: Telling Stories Now & Then with Ken Plummer
Episode Three: How to put yourself in the story
Episode Two: Collective narratives
Episode One: How to story a book with Rachel Thomson
Episode 0: Introduction