Hopp til hovedinnhold

Storytelling: Practices, methodologies and epistemologies PHD803

Course description for study year 2021-2022. Please note that changes may occur.





Vekting (SP)


Semester undervisningsstart


Antall semestre






Learning outcome


Students should: 

  • 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

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, visual culture, 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.

Required prerequisite knowledge
Participants must be enrolled in a PhD programme.
Eksamen / vurdering
Vurderingsform Vekting Varighet Karakter Hjelpemiddel
Term paper 1/1 30 Days Pass - Fail All

Assessment will be conducted according to the regulations set forth by the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Coursework requirements

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(s)
Course teacher: Ellen Marie Jensen
Course teacher: Astrid Johanne Nyland
Course coordinator: Ingvil Førland Hellstrand
Method of work
The course consists of a combination of lectures, plenary sessions, workshops, 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 and thereby develop analytical reflections in a productive environment with fellow PhD-students. The course coordinator will facilitate a digital learning platform (Canvas). The working language for this course is English.
Open for
The course is open to interested PhD candidates at the University of Stavanger and other universities. Single Course Admission to PhD-Courses.
The syllabus can be found in Leganto