About us

In the Narrative Practices Lab, we are interested in what stories do – how they can impact our lives, how we can use them, and what they mean to us. We want to think about their possibilities, but also the ways that stories can harm or hurt us.

Theoretical Directions

The Narrative Practices Lab will bring together a diverse group of collaborators to explore and develop innovative methodologies and long-term, interdisciplinary, critical approaches to narrative and health, drawing on disciplines that range from Education Studies to Mad Studies, from Medical Sociology to Decolonial Theory, and from Affect Theory to Digital Healthcare.    

Our researchers will approach narrative both as an imaginative, figurative space and as something with practical, material impacts on peoples’ everyday lives, their wellbeing and care. We will engage with calls for increased clarity and improved scalability in narrative methods, demands for more rigorous accounts of benefits and shared methodologies for practice, and attend to the role of stories and storytelling in navigating between cognitive, medical, social, and cultural facets of lived experience.   

The Lab will function as an interdisciplinary research-practice hub which focuses on the pluralist, political and aesthetic complexities of storytelling and engages critically with its function and effects in diverse contexts.   

We look forward to developing a wide program of work, beginning with the following priority areas:

  1. Creating spaces for new forms of narrative and storytelling about mental health in collaboration with user-led groups and survivor activism.
     
  2. Building methodological expertise and fostering developments in relation to current modes of narrative and storytelling, with a focus on decolonial narrative practice, working with the Black Health and Humanities Network.
     
  3. Looking at questions concerned with evidence and scale, including the curation of and learning with and through narratives in collaboration with Patient Voices.