‘Narrative technologies’ at the BSA, 2015

Narrative technologies of intimacy in transition

This was an excellent and well-attended event. We’re including here the overview, and the powerpoints from the different sessions. Thanks to everyone who attended and presented!  (Unfortunately, Joe Winter, originally on the panel, was unable to be there).
Mark Davis and Corinne Squire


This panel addresses transition and related questions of progression and regression in connection with narrative technologies of intimacy – interpersonal stories about previously ‘private’ issues, and various forms of online, ‘personal’ narratives – that are now being deployed to negotiate the fields of gender, sexuality, and parenting.  We thus focus on how technologies of personal lives, in reinventing themselves, both reproduce and depart from earlier modes of governing subjects. These processes have regressive as well as progressive aspects; they position personal lives and the technologies that perform them as socially transitional, often precarious.   In this panel, we turn to narratives, technologies that perform intimacy at a number of levels, to understand better the technologies of intimacy in transition. Papers address stories about the previously privatised field of sexuality among Turkish women, and the stories’ relation to ‘modernity’; Moroccan women’s groups’ use of the internet as a technology of modernity, and how such online presence supports narrative identities; women’s deployment of the ‘anecdote’, both personal and highly worked, within blogs on mothering and feeding families, to explore problematic aspects of family lives; and mothers’ negotiation of parenting through the contested, co-constructed narratives of the Mumsnet web forum. The panel examines how these new narrative intimacy technologies produce, in the contemporary socioeconomic context, ‘transitional’ spaces, less of regression or progress, more of uncertainty and collectivity.

This panel is linked with another which addresses new diagnostic, pharmaceutical and digital technologies now being deployed to control the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Esin final

Lounasmaa final

Elliott et al. final


Published by corinnesquire

Corinne Squire is Professor of Social Sciences and Co-Director, Centre for Narrative Research, at University of East London

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