New Directions in Biographical Research

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 10:45-12:15
Location: Seminarraum Geschichte 1 (Main Building)
RC38 Biography and Society (host committee)

Language: English

In the last twenty years, biographical research has not only become an established field within social scientific inquiry, but it has also begun to expand its scope to include innovative approaches to biographical analysis. These innovations have opened up new areas of inquiry, produced interventions in traditional methodologies, and initiated new controversies and debates. 
For example, biographical analysis has moved beyond disciplinary borders to explore research perspectives drawn from ethnographical research, art research, and discourse analysis, just to name a few. 
The increasing transnationalisation of people’s biographies has compelled biographical researchers to reflect on how constructions of “normal biographies” can no longer be embedded in a nation-state framework given the realities of many people’s lives in a globalizing world. The importance of embodiment in the construction of biographies and their visual dimensions call out for the enhancement of narrative with non-narrative methodologies. And finally, the increasing use of art, popular culture, and social media to think about people’s lives and life histories suggests that biographical researchers need to expand their methodologies in creative and unexpected directions.
In this invited panel session, several well-known advocates of new approaches to biographical analysis will provide programmatic statements about what is missing in biographical research today and how they would like to see it develop in the future. It is our intention to initiate a lively discussion with the audience.  
Speakers: Phil Langer, Irini Siouti, Kathy Davis, Roswitha Breckner, Maggie O’Neill.

Session Organizer:
Kathy DAVIS, VU University, Netherlands
Lena INOWLOCKI, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Germany
Phil C. LANGER, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universit├Ąt Frankfurt, Germany, Irini SIOUTI, University of Vienna, Austria, Kathy DAVIS, VU University, Netherlands, Roswitha BRECKNER, University of Vienna, Austria and Elisabeth TUIDER, University of Kassel, Germany