The Centre for Transformative Narrative Inquiry at Maynooth University explores the role of narrative inquiry in creating a transformative space of learning. It is an interdisciplinary research group drawn from the Departments of Education and Adult and Community Education. Narrative Inquiry is concerned with researching lives and the stories people tell about them. Narrative methods have claimed an increasing place in academic research and are alive and well (if sometimes marginalised and contested) in various academic disciplines such as literature, history, sociology, anthropology, social policy and education as well as feminist and minority studies.Narrative Inquiry Stories have become the focus for interest in many sectors of the academic world and particularly in the area of research (Speedy 2008). They are valued not just for themselves but, among other things, as a rich social repository constituting windows on how individuals and groups experience themselves, attribute meaning to events and make sense of their world. As such they are a valuable research tool. By emphasising certain facts and by ignoring others, stories both reveal and conceal a wealth of information which relates to how individuals, organisations and societies construct their identity, as well as how they perceive and deal with threat, power, conflict and marginalisation. The central preoccupations of the emerging discipline are informed by phenomenology’s emphasis on seeking to understand lived experience.

Photo: 'Spaces In-Between. Our Imperfect Responses to Conflict (Artist Eva Lindroos)

A student's art-making from Creative Narrative Inquiry PhD Supervision Session