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240507 VO Working with Narratives: Methodological and Theoretical Approaches (P2) (2021S)


The lecturer can invite students to a grade-relevant discussion about partial achievements. Partial achievements that are obtained by fraud or plagiarized result in the non-evaluation of the course (entry 'X' in certificate). The plagiarism software 'Turnitin' will be used for courses with continuous assessment.


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first serve).


Language: English

Examination dates


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

The course will be digital.

Monday 15.03. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Monday 12.04. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Monday 19.04. 11:30 - 14:45 Digital
Monday 26.04. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Monday 03.05. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Monday 10.05. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Monday 17.05. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Monday 31.05. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Monday 14.06. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Monday 21.06. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

Narratives are central in the work of anthropologists. Anthropologists do not only encounter narratives but also elicit, study and (co-)create narratives, whether through ethnographic observation, by conducting interviews or through their analysis and writing of ethnographic accounts. The centrality of narratives in anthropological work asks for a closer methodological inquiry, as offered in this lecture series.

Methodological considerations will include discussions of interdisciplinary approaches such as linguistic anthropology and oral history and will investigate different methodological frameworks (such as narrative interview or conversation analysis) as well as recent ethnographic interventions like memory-guided city walks and digital and visual narrative approaches. Moreover, we will critically discuss different theoretical approaches to narrative in anthropology and neighbouring disciplines (i.e. phenomenological, evolutionary, historical approaches). Themes such as narrative and identity, narrative and temporality, or ethnography, voice and the role of the anthropologist, will be explored in different ethnographic contexts (families, migration, refuge, development, city planning, place-making).

The lecture consists of an input lecture on the core topics (supported by ethnographic and descriptive examples) and the discussion of compulsory readings. The lecture will be online throughout, using a video-conference platform (Zoom) together with the learning platform Moodle. Exact exams modalities and compulsory literature will be announced in due time and will be uploaded on Moodle. The texts below are key reference texts, they are not identical with the compulsory readings.

Assessment and permitted materials

Written exam at the end of the semester.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

For a positive evaluation 60 points or more of the 100 points need to be reached.

Examination topics

Content of the lecture series, including compulsory readings.

Reading list

Key texts:
Bruner, Jerome. 1986. Actual minds, possible worlds. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Falconi, Elisabeth & Kathryn Graber. 2019. Storytelling as narrative practice: Ethnographic approaches to the tales we tell. Brill.
Goffman, Erving. 1959. The presentation of self in everyday life. New York: Anchor Books, Doubleday.
Linde, Charlotte. 1993. Life stories: the creation of coherence. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Fr 30.04.2021 10:08