About

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.