Storytelling: Practices, methodologies and epistemologies (PHD803)
Drawing on feminist, decolonial, Indigenous, and posthuman approaches to knowledge production, this PhD course explores stories-as-knowledge. The course offers an in-depth study of storytelling as both knowledge-creation, methodology and practice. Our aim is to offer a tool-kit for PhD students working with stories and storytelling in different ways, either as empirical material (texts, artifacts, visual culture, discourses etc) or as methodologies (interviews, focus groups etc), combining epistemological knowledges with methodological practice.
Course description for study year 2023-2024. Please note that changes may occur.
Semester tution start
Number of semesters
Language of instruction
Telling - and creating - stories is a longstanding tradition for knowledge transfer and knowledge production. Stories are used to preserve traditions, communicate social codes and ethics, disseminate knowledges and experiences, signal group belonging, and last, but not least, to entertain. In this course, we take as our starting point that stories and storytelling practices are never neutral (Haraway 1989, Anzaldúa & Moraga 1981; hooks 1982; Kovach 2010; Tuhiwai-Smith 2012), but rather offer analytical entry points for exploring structural inequalities, power relations and the building blocks of societies, identities, norms and ideologies. What or who is the story about? Who or what gets to tell or illustrate the story, and who is the (intended) audience? How are knowledge(s) and knowledge regimes and systems constructed, maintained, and negotiated through storytelling practices? What kinds of storytelling and stories are possible, and what kinds of storytelling and stories are marginalised or even silenced?
Drawing on feminist, decolonial, Indigenous, and posthuman approaches to knowledge production, this course explores stories-as-knowledge. The course offers an in-depth study of storytelling as a concept, and its genealogies and practices. Our aim is to offer a tool-kit for PhD students working with stories and storytelling in different ways, either as empirical material (texts, artifacts, visual culture, discourses etc) or as methodologies (interviews, focus groups etc), combining epistemological knowledges with methodological practice. In the framework of this course, a significant part of the academic writing and knowledge production will arise from storytelling as practice, epistemology, and methodology. Participants will be asked to present their PhD-projects and engage with their own storytelling practices in their respective material.
- Gain an advanced understanding of storytelling as a methodological tool and epistemological framework
- Acquire knowledge about the contributions from different theoretical traditions, such as feminist philosophy of science, Indigenous studies, decolonial studies, posthumanities and trauma studies.
- Acquire knowledge about the underpinnings and scientific genealogies of theories and methods of storytelling
- Acquire knowledge about central discussions and concepts concerning storytelling
Students should be able to:
- Analyse and critically discuss storytelling as methodological and epistemological frameworks
- Discuss storytelling in relation to the politics of location for knowledge production and citational practices
- Analyse and critically discuss the politics of storytelling and assess its potentiality for rethinking knowledge regimes.
- Identify and make use of the storytelling practices and situated knowledges at stake in their respective theses.
- Identify contemporary debates about storytelling and storytelling practices and concepts
Students are expected to be able to:
- Apply storytelling as an epistemological and methodological framework in professional and educational situations, as well as in their everyday lives
- Recognize storytelling practices in theoretical landscapes and contemporary debates
- Relate storytelling practices to contemporary issues of green transitions and the UN sustainability goals
Required prerequisite knowledge
|Form of assessment||Weight||Duration||Marks||Aid|
|Term paper||1/1||30 Days||Passed / Not Passed||All|
The course will be evaluated as Pass/Fail. This module requires that the participants hand in an essay after the course. The essay will be read by the course facilitators, who will provide feedback on the essay. To pass, it is also required to attend the course in full, participate in the writing exercises, group work and plenary discussions throughout the course. The participants must also produce written materials during the days of attendance.
PhD candidates taking this course must attend a three-day study programme. This course requires active participation, and students will be asked to present their doctoral project and produce short, written texts during the course. The produced material will be used as a basis for group work and plenary sessions.
The recommended number of participants: 15-20. The course requires at least 10 participants.
Course teacher:Ellen Marie Jensen
Course coordinator:Astrid Johanne Nyland
Course teacher:Ingvil Førland Hellstrand
Method of work
The course consists of a combination of lectures, plenary sessions, workshops, excursions, group work and individual work - adapted to different modes of study. All students are expected to read the course literature before the start of the course, and participate in group discussions, thereby developing analytical reflections in a productive environment with fellow PhD-students.
All participants will be asked to present their PhD project and work-in-progress in group and plenary-sessions, and produce short, written texts during the course. The produced material will be used as a basis for group work and plenary sessions, and our aim is that these materials can be adapted to the respective PhD projects after the course .
The course coordinator will facilitate a digital learning platform (Canvas). The working language for this course is English.