Department of Sociology and Social Work

Event by Department of Sociology and Social Work

Invitation to PhD course on

Invitation to PhD course on "Researching Memories and Narratives – Intersectional and transnational perspectives"

Many PhD students use sources that in one way or another contain narratives. This can be in interviews (with children, young people or adults; social movement activists; political leaders; etc.), as well as political documents and newspaper articles, digital narratives on social media, or archival data. We can also find narratives in art, museum exhibitions, films and TV-series. Narratives are a way of making sense of the world around us.


25.04.2022 kl. 08.00 - 27.04.2022 kl. 17.00


Narratives are located at different analytical levels:  from the macro level related to for instance migration and gender regimes and the constructions of national identities and belonging; over the meso level focusing on organizations, voluntary associations and social movements to the the micro level anchored in personal experiences, peoples everyday life and life courses. However most importantly, the narrative perspective is an analytical tool that can create interconnection between these levels. This means that although focus is on individual people’s life stories these stories are also sources of knowledge about collective memories and major social changes.

Narratives produce meaning, articulate intentions and legitimize actions. The choice of different elements in a particular narrative reveals much about the teller of the narrative.  This includes that not everything is tellable – or possible to tell. Narratives are a form of communication and there are power relations at play between those who tell and those who listen, read or watch. This makes that the context in which for example autobiographical narratives are told by an interviewee to an interviewer can potentially include elements that can be difficult to tell. Here we can think of narratives about sexual violence or racism, bullying or other narratives that concern inequalities and injustices. Another example concerns collective narratives by social movement activists and the ways in which these are marginalized in the public sphere or on the political agendas of politicians or other powerful actors. Also in this case is not everything tellable. Individual and collective narratives relate to each other and narratives can be hegemonic, counter-hegemonic and/or marginalized in narrative struggles.   

Power relations in narrative struggles are especially important when considering narratives about memories of inequalities and in injustices relating to sexism, racism and other forms of discrimination. Recent mobilizations such as those relating to Black Lives Matter or #MeToo have for example raised political and social concerns over memories of colonialism, racism and sexism. Recent research in amongst others gender studies, memory studies, political science and sociology have pointed out the importance of intersectional and transnational approaches to the study of narratives of memories. 

The objective of the course is to give the PhD students skills in using different analytical approaches and methods to narrative analyses, including biographical narrative methods and strategic narrative methods (in the study of political communication), as well as in using intersectional and transnational approaches. Another aim is to provide knowledge in theories on memories, in specific as this concerns recent research on transnational memory politics and the nexus between memories and activism.


  • Ann Dorte Christensen, Professor, Department of Sociology and Social Work, Aalborg University
  • Pauline Stoltz, Lektor, Department of Politics and Society, Aalborg University


  • Keynote: Professor Ann Phoenix (University College London)
  • Keynote: Professor Anna Reading (King’s College London)
  • Lecture: Professor Ann Dorte Christensen (AAU)
  • Lecture: Associate Professor Pauline Stoltz (AAU)


2 ECTS points for participation in the course.
4 ECTS points for participation with a written paper

Registration deadline

1st March 2022.  If you want to submit a paper abstract, it must be included in the registration (max 300 words).


Participants who want to receive 4 ECTS are requested to submit a paper of approximately 8-10 pages, in which they present and discuss narrative elements relevant for their PhD project. This should include reflections about the challenges and ambitions that relate to the analysis or general use of a narrative approach.

Paper deadline

4th April 2022. If you want to submit a paper abstract, than this must be included in the registration (max 300 words)

Classes will consist of lectures and keynotes which will address the readings of the PhD course. The teachers will combine this with dialogues in plenum. Participants who have handed in papers will receive feedback on these from lecturers and keynotes. The course covers three days, which each will have their own theme.

Further information and registration


Department of Sociology and Social Work & Department of Politics and Society, Aalborg University

Department of Sociology and Social Work • Fibigerstraede 13 • 9220  Aalborg East  • Phone: +45 9940 8310 • Email:
Vat no.: 5798000420649 • P numbers; Aalborg: 1012066143, Copenhagen: 1018019139