What is the Stories of Change Research Network?

Stories of Change is a research network in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta. We are a constellation of award-winning researchers across the humanities, social sciences and fine arts at the University of Alberta, whose intellectual projects are moved forward by stories. In particular, we are interested in the interface between stories of individual lives and large-scale changes.

Stories are how people make sense out of change. Large or sudden transformations become meaningful as we tell ourselves and each other stories about our individual experiences. The power of individual stories is evident in phenomena as diverse as the Fort MacMurray fire or the #MeToo movement, where individual stories about survival,danger and justice drove broader systemic and collective responses. We work with different kinds of stories – fiction, autobiography, song, testimony, oral history, memoir, personal narrative.

Stories also create social bonds. Through creating, revising and sharing stories, we come to understand our experiences as both unique and not-unique. We situate ourselves within the big stories of our culture and find our place in time and space.

Are you interested in research connected to stories, or to stories as research?