Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research

Researching Lives Conference, University of Sussex, 10 June 2006

The Researching Lives: Multi Disciplinary Approaches in Life History Research, Auto/biography and Narrative Research conference was held on Saturday 10 June 2006 at the University of Sussex in Brighton. This conference was organised by:

  • Centre for Biography and Education (Southampton University)
  • Centre for German-Jewish Studies (University of Sussex)
  • Centre for International Studies in Diversity & Participation (Canterbury Christ Church University)
  • Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research (University of Sussex)
  • Centre for Narrative Research (University of East London)

Details of the abstracts that were presented at the conference: abstracts [PDF 161.67KB]

Details of the programme that was held at the conference: programme [PDF 15.53KB]


Centre for Biography and Education (Southampton University)

Director: Michael Erben mde@soton.ac.uk
Deputy Director: Gill Clarke gmc@soton.ac.uk

The Centre for Biography and Education was established in 1995 to develop teaching and research in the area of Biographical Studies as they relate to Education and to provide a focus for research into Biographical Studies across the University. Biographical Studies are well established parts of the MA(Ed) programme and the EdD programme at the University. Our concern is with the studied use and collection of life histories. Specifically we are interested in the nature and meaning of individual lives or groups of lives within their social context. In doing so we engage in forms of narrative analysis which recognise the centrality of narrative in culture and cognition and the importance of imagination as a methodological tool for biographical research. Members of the Centre are currently engaged in a project within the BSA Auto/Biography study group (convened by Michael Erben) examining the potential of literature and art to further sociological accounts of relationships between the development of personal identity and the influence of socio-historical forces. Further information about the A/B group can be found on the BSA website, viz http://www.britsoc.co.uk/specialisms/autobiography.htm. A research seminar programme is run by the Centre in the School of Education. The Annual Conference was held (in conjunction with the British Sociological Association) at the University of Leicester from 13-15 July 2006. Additional one-day Conferences and workshops are held throughout the year in conjunction with the London Institute of Education and the University of Southampton.

Centre for German-Jewish Studies (University of Sussex)

Director: Chana Moshenska: c.moshenska@sussex.ac.uk

The Centre for German-Jewish Studies was established in 1994 to study the contribution made by German-speaking Jewish communities to modern European civilisation. The Centre organises public events and seminars, and provides educational materials and undergraduate and postgraduate courses designed to educate a new generation of teachers and researchers in a dimension of our European heritage that is in danger of disappearing. This task is essential if we are to understand the creative potential of multi-cultural societies as well as the catastrophic consequences of racism. The Centre houses a unique and growing collection of family papers from German-speaking Jewish refugees, as well as the Arnold Daghani art collection.

Centre for International Studies in Diversity & Participation (Canterbury Christ Church University)

Co-Directors: Tony Booth and Linden West (lrw4@canterbury.ac.uk)

The Centre for International Studies of Diversity and Participation provides a welcoming and supportive forum to discuss and develop research, writing, teaching and ideas presented in a variety of media, about inclusion, exclusion, participation, equity, diversity, and life-long learning. It encourages dialogues across the University, involving staff and students, colleagues and friends within surrounding communities and through national and international collaborations. It is committed to the integration of scholarship with social issues of national and international importance.

Centre for Life History Research (University of Sussex)

Joint Directors: Claire Langhamer : c.l.langhamer@sussex.ac.uk & Al Thomson : a.s.thomson@sussex.ac.uk

The Centre for Life History Research was established in 1999 to provide an institutional focus for life history teaching and research at the University of Sussex and in the Sussex region. We define 'life history research' as an inter-disciplinary cluster of approaches that use life stories -whether written, oral or in other forms - as a primary source for social, cultural and historical research, and which seek to elucidate the relation between the individual and society, the local and the national, the past and present and the public and private experience. The Centre has built upon the pioneering life history teaching programme offered by the University's Centre for Continuing Education: short training courses, an undergraduate Certificate in Life History Work, the MA in Life History Research: Oral History and Life Story Documents, and an active research student programme. A key asset is the unique and prestigious Mass-Observation Archive which is based at the University and provides an international research resource and the base for an ongoing research project involving autobiographical writing. The Centre also has close links with a range of oral history and community history projects based in the Sussex region and beyond. We run at least one conference a year and a regular Tuesday lunchtime life history seminar series: for details see: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/clhlwr/1-2.html

Centre for Narrative Research (University of East London)

Co-directors: Molly Andrews m.andrews@uel.ac.uk, Corinne Squire c.squire@uel.ac.uk, Maria Tamboukou m.tamboukou@uel.ac.uk
Research Officer: Cigdem Esin c.esin@uel.ac.uk

The Centre for Narrative Research (CNR) supports research on spoken, written and visual narratives. It is committed to interdisciplinarity, and draws from psychological, sociological, anthropological and cultural studies research traditions. CNR provides a forum for researchers in applied policy settings, as well as for academics, and has many links with narrative researchers and groups worldwide. The Centre runs a research seminar series; a postgraduate seminar series; a yearly graduate research conference, 'to think is to experiment;' collaborative seminars with other institutions; a book series in association with Palgrave Press; and annual workshops. An MA in Narrative Research is associated with the Centre, at the University of East London. CNR arranges short, targetted workshop-type courses for graduate professionals in specific fields. For more information about CNR, visit our website: www.uel.ac.uk/cnr/index.htm