Workshops in

Narrative Analysis

NEW: August 13-Aug 20, 2006, International Discourse Studies Summer School, Aalborg, Denmark Workshop Information (updated July 14th, 2006)

RECENT: Narrative & Biography workshop at Clark University (March 18-20, 2005) - Instructors: Wolfram Fischer + Martina Goblirsch (Universität Kassel)

 Xi'An workshop (IACCP. July 30-August 1, 2004)


With Fall 2002 I have started to offer workshops in ‘Narrative Analysis’.

The aim of these workshops is to learn how to work with narrative data.

My focus will be on narratives in interaction, and their use in ‘Identity Work’.

ü     Four-Hour Workshop

ü     One-Day Workshop

ü     Two-Days Workshop



 This workshop targets students in the social sciences

o       who are interested in the analysis of particular social (and personal) phenomena

o       who are using stories and story-telling as tools to analyze these social phenomena

o       who approach social phenomena as experiential and cultural phenomena through the lens of personal experience and identity-formation (development)


The workshop’s focus is on the analysis of narratives as ‘ordering devices’ for

o       the world that is depicted within the story (characters in the ‘there + then’)

o       the world of the interaction (characters in the ‘here + now’)

o       the formation of a sense of self (and identity)  

Each workshop will start with an analysis of a brief film-clip from my all-time favorite movie Stand by Me -- material on that clip and my thoughts can be found at


The workshop is offered in three different formats:

o       a four-hour workshop gives a brief theoretical introduction and analyses two narrative settings – using video material on the topics of ‘adolescence’ and ‘gender’

o       a one-day workshop gives a broader theoretical introduction, with three examples on issues of ‘adolescence’ and ‘gender’ and a second unit  in which the projects of the participants will be discussed

o       a two-days workshop in addition will allow more detailed work with data from participants’ own research projects (these data need to be distributed beforehand among the participants)

In terms of the overall approach, it should be noted that narratives will be analyzed as ‘interactively achieved’, i.e., the analysis will not only focus on how the content and structure of the narratives point to what is of interest to us as researchers, but also how the telling of the narratives is embedded in the communicative situation, and how what the interactants are accomplishing in that situation points to how they want to be understood. For instance, if the narratives are part of a group discussion or a one-on-one interview, the interactional and institutional aspects of this setting are relevant parts of the analysis. Thus, potential participants should keep in mind that this workshop focuses on the narrative process - the narrative telling - and not only on 'story analysis'. --- It should also be mentioned, as another caveat, that this is not meant to be a workshop or training session in biographical (interpretive) methodology: Within the theoretical framework of this workshop, as an attempt to link socio-linguistic and ethnomethodological methods, ‘life’ is treated in the same way as any other experiential and culturally relevant phenomenon, i.e., it is not in any way treated as privileged over other narrativized phenomena.  


Introductory readings to prepare for the workshop:

---- Eliciting narrative data:


---- Different approaches to Narrative Analysis:


---- Doing Narrative Analysis:


Dates of past workshop presentations:

Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan - coordinated  by Professors Scott Saft <>  and Aug Nishizaka <

Friday, October 18, 2002  - Japan Women's University, Tokyo, Japan - coordinated by Professor Sachiko Ide <> and Chikako Sakurai <>  

Monday, March 3, 2003 - Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland - coordinated by Dr. Jean Quigley <>

Saturday, December 13, 2003 - Swarthmore College, PA - coordinated by Professors Jeanne Marecek <> and Ageliki Nicolopoulou <> webcourse

Friday, January 30, 2004 - U Texas @ Austin - coordinated by Professor Jürgen Streeck <>


One-Day workshop: Thursday, May 20, 2004 - Pre-Conference Workshop (Narrative Matters 2004), Fredericton, NB, Canada - conference coordinator: Professor William L. Randall <> More information about the Fredericton workshop

1.5-Day workshop: July 31-Aug 1, 2004 - IACCP Pre-Conference Workshop, Xi'an, P. R. of China, conference coordinator: Professor Zheng Gang <> <LINK TO Xian COURSE MATERIAL>