Narritive Matters 2004  Narrative Matters 2004


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McGill Journal of Education

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Delegates' Comments

Call for Proposals

Keynote Speakers

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Preliminary Program

Pre-Conference Workshops


Planning Committee

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Travel and Accommodations

What's New

Narrative Matters 2002
   Delegates' Comments







Pre-Conference Workshops
Thursday, May 20, 2004

9:00 am - 12:00 noon
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm


NARRATIVE ANALYSIS: How to work with narrative data

- with Michael Bamberg, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Clark University

The aim of this workshop is to learn how to work with narrative data. The focus will be on narratives in interaction, and their use in ‘Identity Work’. This workshop targets researchers in the social sciences who are interested in the analysis of particular social (and personal) phenomena; who are using stories and story-telling as tools to analyze these phenomena; and who approach social phenomena as experiential and cultural phenomena through the lens of personal experience and identity-formation (development). The focus is on the analysis of narratives as ‘ordering devices’ for the world that is depicted within the story (characters in the ‘there + then’); the world of the interaction (characters in the ‘here + now’); and the formation of a sense of self (and identity). This one-day workshop will give a broad 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 . The workshop will start with an analysis of a brief film-clip from the presenter’s all-time favorite movie “Stand by Me”. For more information on how to prepare for the workshop, go to

Michael Bamberg, Professor of Psychology at Clark University, is the editor of Narrative Inquiry. Throughout his distinguished career, he has been a Research Fellow at Massey University in New Zealand, Lecturer at Tongji University in Shanghai, China, and Research Associate with the Max Planck Institute in Nijmegen, Netherlands. He has received numerous awards for his research, including the National Academy of Education Spencer Fellowship and invited teaching appointments at the John F. Kennedy Institute in Berlin and the International Graduate School of Language and Communication, University of Southern Denmark. Besides his work with Narrative Inquiry, he has written nearly 60 articles or book chapters, and authored, co-authored, or edited six books on such topics as narrative identity, narrative development, narrative analysis, and the acquisition of narratives in the process of learning language.


(NOTE: This may be taken as a half-day workshop, AM only, OR a full-day workshop.)

- with Judith Myers Avis, PhD Professor, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON

Narrative therapy involves, in essence, a change in world view. This one-day workshop (or half-day, for participants wishing to take the morning session only) will introduce participants to narrative ideas and practice, or deepen understanding (especially in the afternoon session) for those who have already encountered these ideas. It will provide a framework for understanding the text analogy of therapy, for thinking in terms of our own and our clients’ stories, and for developing narrative questions. Topics to be addressed include the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings and basic components of narrative work; the text analogy for therapy; developing a map for working narratively; steps for deconstructing dominant stories and for reconstructing alternative ones; the processes of authoring, re-authoring, externalizing, and reflecting; thickening descriptions of people’s lives; creating audiences for alternative stories; the power of protest; and working with cultural, gender, and therapeutic narratives. The workshop will include lecture, discussion, experiential exercises and demonstration, and is suitable for both beginning and advanced therapists.

Judith Myers Avis is a professor and former director of the Couple and Family Therapy graduate program at the University of Guelph, in Ontario, Canada. Her research, teaching and clinical work focus on gender discourses in family therapy theory, training, supervision, and practice. She specializes in the development of gender sensitive, narrative approaches to therapy, supervision, and training, with particular emphasis on their application in thearpy with women, men, and couples, in situations of family violence and abuse, and with adult survivors of childhood sexual trauma. Her work integrates narrative, feminist, systems, trauma, and spiritual perspectives. She teaches extensively and internationally on these subjects and is the author of a book and of over 40 journal articles and book chapters. She has served on the editorial boards of four family therapy journals and currently serves on the board of the Journal of Feminist Family Therapy. She has been the recipient of several other awards, honours, and distinctions, including the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Award for Significant Contributions to Family Therapy, the Millennium Psychotherapy Conference Award for Significant Contributions to the Field of Psychotherapy, and the position of 2003 Honorary Fellow at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

(9 am - 12 noon; repeated 2 - 5 pm)

THE CURRICULUM OF LIFE: Narrative in teaching-learning experiences

- with Dolores Furlong, PhD Professor of Nursing, Univ of New Brunswick

Genetic codes are transmitted not only biologically but biographically, autobiographically, and culturally as well, passed on from generation to generation through a legacy of stories. As “educators” in the broadest sense, are we aware of the legacy of stories that is encoded in ourselves, influencing both our own lives and the lives of those around us? While educational processes primarily focus on teaching and learning the content of a subject or a discipline, little attention is paid to the “curriculum” that is embodied in the teachers and students themselves, and through which the content must invariably be processed. What happens, then, when this content encounters the curriculum of life that the teacher or learner brings? The activities in this workshop are designed to engage participants in reflecting on stories of teaching-learning experiences that have shaped the curriculum of their own lives.

Dolores Furlong is Professor of Nursing at the University of New Brunswick, and former Assistant Dean of Renaissance Interdisciplinary Leadership College, also at UNB. A native of Newfoundland, where the oral tradition still holds strong, she earned a PhD from the University of Toronto, where she drew upon the philosopher, Martin Buber’s, concept of “I and Thou” to develop her concept of the curriculum of life. Besides narrative, she has an ongoing interest in spirituality across cultures. She is Principal Co-organizer of Narrative Matters 2002 and 2004.

STORYTELLING ON THE STREET: Journalism as literature

- with Philip Lee, MA Director of Journalism, St. Thomas University

They write like the wind. They love to work under pressure. The best journalists create literature on the run. This workshop will explore the high pressure world of these master story tellers, and reflect on the connection between art, imagination, and stories that are true.

Philip Lee is the Director of Journalism at St. Thomas University. His most recent book, “Frank: The Life and Politics of Frank McKenna”, was a Canadian bestseller. He is an award-winning journalist who has written for a variety of newspapers, including most recently The Ottawa Citizen. He has been editor-in-chief of the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal and was a founding editor of The New Brunswick Reader magazine.

DRUMMING & STORYTELLING: The Heartbeat and Breath of First Nations

- with Carlos Elder-Gomes, MA

This interactive workshop will demonstrate how drumming, chanting, singing, storytelling and dance are an expression of the Heartbeat and Breath of the Nations and the spiritual connection to Mother Earth, the Universe and all that is Divine.

Carlos Gomes, or “Ala-ahuapa” (the bearer of the gift of water), is a Brazilian aboriginal who has lived in Canada since 1960. He worked for about 30 years in Human Rights, employment equity, designated groups, multiculturalism, and Aboriginal affairs. Trained by his Grandmother and other Elders as a counsellor and healer, he maintained his values and practiced his ceremonies and rituals, while learning the ways of the Wabanaki and other Aboriginal peoples of North America. He and his wife Jo-Anne are parents to a total of 9 children.

FROM SCRIPT TO SCREEN: A Hands-on 1-2-3 of Visual Narrative

- with Roger Moore, PhD Professor of Romance Languages, St. Thomas U
and Tony Merzetti, MBA Exec Dir, New Brunswick Filmmaker’s Co-op

This is a hands-on, small group workshop in which participants will read part of a short story, choose a short scene, write their own script based on that scene, select their own cast, rehearse the scene, video tape the rehearsals, review the video tapes and set up a story board for a genuine film shoot. All this will be done in the space of the three hour workshop, with the assistance of Tony Merzetti and Roger Moore, who wrote, produced, directed, and edited the award winning short film Birthday Suit (2003). There will be close contact between facilitators and participants throughout the workshop and there will be a genuine transfer of substantial knowledge in the area of basic film-making. NOTE: This workshop will provide the practical experience while a symposium called “Visual Narrative: From Birthday Suit (The Story) to Birthday Suit (The Film)” during the main conference by the same presenters will deal more with the theory of film-making. Participants are encouraged to attend both sessions.

Tony Merzetti has been the Executive Director of the NB Filmmakers' Co-operative since 1986. He has worked on the creative and technical aspects of over 100 film and video productions and he currently lectures in filmmaking at the University of New Brunswick. Roger Moore is a 3M Teaching Fellow (Spanish, St. Thomas University); he combines university teaching with creative work in film, multi-media, poetry, digital photography, and web-page building.

“HAVE I GOT A STORY FOR YOU!:” Stories in the Health Care Community

- with Linda Clarke, MA Program in Narrative Medicine, Dalhousie University

In this interactive workshop, participants will be introduced to story and storytelling within the health care community. The opportunity to explore personal narratives and narratives of health care will provide insight into the potential for connection, insight, empathy, connection and healing that is embodied in the narratives of health care. A number of things happen when a person takes part in this process: there is an opportunity to view things with a different lens than the one usually used in the health care setting; and one learns the importance of listening to the story of another. Additionally, storytelling is about community and relationship. Telling a story brings those who tell it and those who receive it into a relationship and, in so doing, strengthens the community in which that relationship is based.

Linda Clarke, MA, is a writer and performance artist with a special interest in the oral tradition of storytelling, with particular attention given to the personal narrative. One of the major focuses of her work is narrative in the health care community where she has worked with a broad spectrum of health care professionals, students, patients and community members. Linda has worked with narrative in health care for more than a decade and is currently the Facilitator of the Program in Narrative Medicine, at Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine.