PROFRES Autumn Seminar, Nord University

Week 43, 25th-28th October

Published Endret

Monday 25th October

1100-1130: Welcome, introduction, and seminar overview (Rom 1111)

                James McGuirk (Nord) and Birgitta Haga Gripsrud (UiS)

1130-1230: lunch

1230-1530: tekster i prosess (Works in progress) (Rom 2052, 2056, 2444, 2445, 3431, 3428.16)

1530-1540: break

1540-1630: “Kandidatens hjørne” (Candidate’s corner) (Rom A5 Petter Thomassen)

1800: PROFRES dinner Lyst På

Tuesday 26th October

Academic workshop 1: Research ethics and privacy policies

Description: The EU's new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has led to a number of changes in how researchers must safeguard personal data and information in research. In this workshop, we will focus on personal data in research, with a special focus on third parties (information about persons other than the researchers interviewee) and also how to obtain consent from third parties. We have invited an advisor from the Norwegian Centre for Research Data (NSD) to give a talk on this topic. After this introductory talk, the PhD students will discuss the theme in relation to their own project in groups, before we gather for a plenary discussion where also the advisor from NSD will participate.

0900-1000: Overview over privacy policies and their implications for research with NSD (Rom A6 Christian Fredriksen)

1000-1015: coffee break

1015-1100: discussion groups (Rom 1109, 2407, 2431, 2432, 2445, A6)

1115-1145: plenary gathering: Cathrine Fredriksen Moe (Rom A6 Christian Fredriksen)

1145-1230: lunch

Academic workshop 2: Research ethics and online data gathering

Description: After lunch, we will focus on ethical questions concerning online data collection. The use of the internet for data collection has become even more topical due to the ongoing pandemic.  Many find that using the internet for data collection e.g. conducting interviews digitally, or conducting research on social media can present both opportunities and challenges, including ethical challenges. Although there is a guide for Internet research, the guide does not provide a fixed answer to the different situations that researchers may encounter in their practices. Therefore, we want the workshop to contribute to fruitful reflections on research ethics around the use of the Internet/ICT in data collection. Professor Elisabeth Staksrud, Head of NESH will give a short introduction on the theme. Afterwards, students will have group work based on their own projects before we meet for a plenary discussion, where invited lecturers will also participate.

1230-1315: Introduction with Professor Elisabeth Staksrud (NESH) (Rom A6 Christian Fredriksen)

1315-1445: discussion groups (Rom 1109, 2407, 2431, 2432, 2445, A6)

1445-1500: coffee break

1500-1545: plenary discussion: Yan Zhao (Rom A6 Christian Fredriksen)

(We recommend that participants in this workshop watch the webinar «Engaged and ethical online research» in advance of the workshop. )

1800: Dinner at Hundholmen Brygghus

Wednesday 27th October

0900-1230: trip to Keiservarden

1330: meet up and pizza at Nord University (Rom A10 Pauline Skar)

PhD course (5 ECTS): PRO9018: The possibilities of using literature in professional practice and research

Description: The purpose of this PhD course is to explore the various possibilities that reading literature offers for professional practice and research in professional practice. While Humanists frequently argue for the benefits of Humanities disciplines in fostering empathy and critical thinking (Nussbaum, 2010; Frye, 1964; Kronman, 2007),  these benefits are rarely explored in any systematic way in regard to areas of welfare practice in which such capacities are most needed. And while research initiatives such as Medical Humanities (Charon, 2006, 2017; Jurecic, 2012; Frank, 2010) have gone a long way to addressing this lack, literature and the arts remain under-exploited resources for conceptualizing the complexities of professional practice and for developing research agendas therein. This course will specifically address the possible role and value of literature for professional practice and practice research.

1430-1500: Introduction with James McGuirk

1500-1630: Online seminar 1: Professor Raymond Mar (University of York) DIGITAL

1630-1700: coffee break

1700-1830: Online seminar 2: Professor Arthur Frank (University of Calgary) DIGITAL

Thursday 28th October

PhD course day 2

0930-1100: Online seminar 3: Professor Rita Felski (University of Virginia) (Rom A3 Matthias Bonsach Krogh) DIGITAL

1100-1115: coffee break

1115-1200: discussion groups (Room 1109, 2407, 2418, 2431, 2432)

1200-1245: lunch

1245-1415: Forelesning v/ Marco Demian Vitanza (norsk forfatter) (Rom A9 Erik Schytte)

1415-1430: coffee break

1430-1530: discussion groups (Rom A9, 1109, 3431, 3428.16)

1530-1600: seminar evaluation and concluding remarks (Rom A9)


Rita Felski is John Stewart Bryan Professor of English at the University of Virginia and Niels Bohr Professor at the University of Southern Denmark, and former editor of New Literary History. Her books include The Gender of Modernity (1995), Uses of Literature (2008), The Limits of Critique (2015) and Hooked: Art and Attachment (2020). She is currently writing a book on literary studies and the contemporary Frankfurt School.

Raymond Mar received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and is currently a Professor of Psychology at York University. He is the recipient of the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany), and the Tom Trabasso Award from the Society for Text and Discourse; . His lab investigates how imagined experiences might affect how we think, feel, and behave in the real-world, with a particular focus on how stories engage our imagination (e.g., novels, Netflix). He also has an interest in how to best teach research methods and statistics, having authored the 3rd Canadian Edition of “Methods in Behavioral Research” and created a set of tutorials to teach R to students (

Demian Vitanza (f. 1983) er norsk-italiensk forfatter og dramatiker. Han debuterte i 2011 som forfatter og har etter det gitt ut tre romaner og tre skuespill. Han er oversatt til sju språk og har vunnet flere priser, blant annet Ibsenprisen for "Tyngde" (2018) og Ungdommens kritikerpris for "Dette livet eller det neste" (2017). Vitanza har jobbet med fengselsinnsatte og papirløse flyktninger i mer sosiale og politiske prosjekter, og verkene hans handler ofte om å forsone seg med det fremmede og det ukjente.

Arthur W. Frank received his Ph.D. in sociology from Yale University and spent his entire career at the University of Calgary, Canada, where he is Professor Emeritus. He has been visiting professor at numerous universities, including several years as Professor II at VID Specialized University in Oslo. His recent work has included participation in the expert panel reporting to the Canadian Parliament on medical assistance in dying legislation, and collaboration in a major project at the University of Oslo on cancer survivorship. His main activity during the past year has been completing King Lear: Shakespeare’s Dark Consolations, to be published by Oxford University Press in 2022. Arthur Frank’s previous books include At the Will of the Body (1991/2003), The Wounded Storyteller (1995/2013), The Renewal of Generosity (2004), and Letting Stories Breathe (2010). Among various awards, he received the 2016 Lifetime Achievements Award from the Canadian Bioethics Society. He is an elected member of the Royal Society of Canada, and winner of their 2008 medal in bioethics.


Rita Felski: My talk draws out affinities between the ideas of Hartmut Rosa and two novels: Stoner by John Williams and Theory by Dionne Brand. Both novels capture moments when words crackle, reverberate, come alive; they speak to the transformative aspects of intellectual life, while also acknowledging the alienating aspects of academic institutions. The idea of resonance, I argue, can clarify the force of attachments to both literature and theory; it speaks to the phenomenology as well as sociology of our intellectual commitments.  

Raymond Mar: A great deal of research has expanded our understanding of the impact of reading literature, from enlarging our vocabularies to fostering complex social cognitive processes like inferring the mental states of others. This research draws upon a wide variety of methodological approaches, including neuroscience and neuroimaging, developmental psychology, and cognitive psychology. In this talk, I review the main findings from these diverse areas and highlight those most relevant to those in professional practice for welfare disciplines. I close with some conjecture on how literature might best inform practice, and research on practice, in terms of concrete application.

Demian Vitanza. Både litterære og akademiske anstrengelser handler om å undersøke menneskets vilkår, verden rundt oss og de fenomenene vi observerer. Men der akademia etterstreber viten, eller i det minste en dypere forståelse, kan litteraturen tidvis gå inn for det diametralt motsatte. Dette innlegget handler om hvordan det litterære blikket kan gi innsikter gjennom en utforskning av ikke-viten. Innlegget vil også se på språk som nøkkel til forståelse av psykologiske prosesser.

Arthur Frank Lecture #1. Can the Patient Speak?

My title recycles the title of an article I wrote in the early 1990s. The issues raised are, on one level, ill people’s need to tell their stories themselves, as a work of healing. On another level, the question involves what academic jargon calls epistemic privilege: who is entitled to speak with what authority, on what topics? My usage of patient is ironic: in medicine, patients are understood as those who at most ask questions. This lecture looks back to my work between about 1990 and 2010, as seen through three articles: “When Bodies Need Stories in Pictures”, “Asking the Right Question About Pain”, and “The Voices that Accompany Me”. I ask what each of these articles claims, for whom. The problem of how research can be an act of witness is central, as is the question of what is narrative research.

Lecture #2. People’s Need for Stories Not Our Own.

We humans experience particular stories as our own, expressing experiences we feel to be uniquely ours. But how much of any story is ever our own? That question links my earlier work, discussed in the first lecture, with this second lecture. My book Letting Stories Breathe (2010) emphasized people’s reliance on narrative resources: resources we need as building material to imagine and construct our stories, and resources we assume our listeners share to be able to understand our stories. In the last five years especially, my problem has shifted from trying to give people greater epistemic authority in telling their stories to giving people greater narrative resources with which to tell stories. But—some narrative resources become, by themselves, sources of consolation during suffering. What I call vulnerable reading is a project of asking how literary works can console. Vulnerable reading approaches works—in my case, Shakespeare—from the perspective of people whose lives are troubled. Vulnerable reading asks how the language, the stories, and their characters of the literary work can help.