Seminar 1 Cultural narratives and forms of knowing

  • How can we understand relationships between culture, knowledge and learning?
  • What cultural narratives shape our ways of understanding those relationships?
  • How do class, ethnicity, gender and sexuality shape these narratives?

This seminar will be held on the 17th March 2011, 10.30am – 4.00pm at the Whitechapel Gallery in London.

The seminar will be chaired by Professor Jocey Quinn.

Professor Lorraine Code and Dr Maria Tamboukou will be presenting.

Practitioners participating in the event will include Marijke Steedman (Curator: Community Programme, Whitechapel Gallery) and practising artists Dr Mehri Honarbin-Holiday and Irene Runayker.

Click here for booking information.


Particularity, Epistemic Responsibility, and the Politics of Testimony

Lorraine Code, Distinguished Research Professor Emerita, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

In this paper I examine some implications of an injunction against uniqueness – and of a feminization of particularity – that has infused Anglo-American theories of knowledge, especially in the moral epistemology that informs social and political practices reliant, if tacitly, on knowing people well in their singularity. Working from a commitment to constructing knowledge that fosters democratic, respectful cohabitation which I articulate in my 2006 book Ecological Thinking, I follow these interwoven threads as they come together inform a renewed engagement with particularity, concerned with questions about how people can know and respond, responsibly, to diversity and Adifference@; can judge, responsibly, whose testimony merits a hearing; can understand and oppose practices of determining whose knowing is thwarted in structures of incomprehension and intransigence. I illustrate these issues with a narrative  which offers a point of entry into the area I want to investigate: a story that falls somewhere between philosophical anthropology-ethnography and precisely situated literary works, novels.


Am I that name? Doing multiplicities

Maria Tamboukou, Centre for Narrative Research, University of East London, UK

In this paper, I look back in an art/research experiment of convening an exhibition of eleven women artists and inviting them to a round-table discussion in the context of the annual conference of the British Sociological Association, held in April 2007 at the University of East London.  The artists who took part in this event had been previously interviewed for an AHRC funded project, entitled ‘In the fold between life and art, a genealogy of women artists’. The BSA exhibition gave the artists the opportunity to present their work to an academic audience but also to get to know each other; moreover the round table discussion created a forum for a narrative event, where all women were invited to recount the story of how they became artists. In looking back into this ‘event’ I want to explore questions around the possibilities and limitations of narratives as well as the ethics and politics of doing narrative research.

Am I that name


For further information on the seminar speakers, please click here.

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