I'm Director of the Centre for Narrative and Auto/Biographical Studies (NABS). NABS is a research-oriented virtual Centre (http://www.sps.ed.ac.uk/NABS/ ) and runs a programme of workshops, seminars and conferences. The ESRC-funded seminars on Narrative Studies it hosted have resulted in special issues of three journals - Qualitative Research, Sociological Research Online, and Life Writing. I'm presently supervising a number of PhD students whose research is on narrative and auto/biographical topics and welcome inquiries from people who are interested in researching at PhD level in this area.
I have been awarded a three year ESRC Professorial Fellowship, which runs from January 2013 to end December 2016. As well as acting in an ambassadorial role for Sociology internationally, there is a strong research component as well - 'Whites Writing Whiteness - Domestic Figurations & Representations of Whiteness in South Africa 1770s - 1970s'. The project is Qualitative Longitudinal Research (QLR) based, a historical sociology investigation of large number of archive collections containing up to six or seven generations of letter-writing. In addition to the Fellowship, there is a Research Associate and a PhD student working on the project - the PhD topic is on 'Diamonds and Gold'! I hold Visiting Professorial posts at the Universities of Pretoria and Johannesburg and am interested in supervising students on any aspect of South African society, present as well as past.
The recently finished ESRC project I was PI of has researched and also published the c4800 archived letters of the feminist writer and social theorist Olive Schreiner. Please see the project website at www.oliveschreinerletters.ed.ac.uk for more information, while the Olive Schreiner Letters Online can be found at www.oliveschreiner.org
My other current research is 'The Domestication of Death' project, carried out with Prof Sue Wise from Lancaster University. It has a number of complementary facets - (1). re-theorising the sequestration argument propounded by Giddens and others; (2) researching representations of 'the ineffable', death itself; (3) exploring the role of domestic figuration in managing dying and death; (4) carrying out a number of case studies from the 1840s to the 2010s. More information will be found on the project website at http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/apsocsci/activities/936/ Proposals for PhD research or postdoctoral work on any aspect of the DOD project are welcomed.
Main research interests
Feminist theory. Sociological theory, presently in particular regarding the work of Norbert Elias. Historical sociology, both South Africa 1770s to the 1970s and also theory. Cultural sociology. Lives, letters & narrative inquiry. Death and its domestication.
(2012) 'Simone de Beauvoir: The Useless Mouths' Translated with an editorial introduction by Liz Stanley & Catherine Naji, in (ed) Margaret A Simons & Mary-Beth Timmerman The Useless Mouths and Other Writings, volume 4 of Simone de Beauvoir: Literary Writings USA: Illinois University Press.
(2009) Mourning Becomes… Post/Memory and the Concentration Camps of the South African War Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press.
(2006) Mourning Becomes… Post/Memory and the Concentration Camps of the South African War Manchester: Manchester University Press; USA: Rutgers University Press.
(2002) Imperialism, Labour and the New Woman: Olive Schreiner's Social Theory Durham, UK: sociologypress.
Special Issues of Journals
'Narratives, selves and life writings: dialogues, exchanges and commentaries' Special issue of Life Writing 7: 3 (March 2010), edited by Liz Stanley.
'Big structures, large processes, huge comparisons: Narratives and stories from minor to major (in honour of Charles Tilly) special issue of Sociological Research Online 14: 5 (November 2009), edited by Liz Stanley
'Narrative Methodologies: Subjects, Silences, Re-Readings and Analyses' special issue of Qualitative Research 8: 3 (September 2008), edited by Liz Stanley & Bogusia Temple.
Articles & chapters 2008 - 2012
(2012 in press) '"I just express my views & leave them to work": Olive Schreiner as a feminist protagonist in a masculine political landscape with figures and letters' Gender and History (with Helen Dampier)
(2012 in press) 'The epistolary pact, letterness and the Schreiner epistolarium' a/b: Auto/Biographical Studies (with Helen Dampier, & Andrea Salter)
(2012 in press) 'Olive Schreiner, Epistolary Practices and Microhistories: A Cultural Entrepreneur in a Historical Landscape' J. Cultural & Social History (with Helen Dampier, and Andrea Salter)
(2012 in press) 'The work of making and the work it does: Cultural sociology and 'bringing-into-being'': the cultural assemblage of the Olive Schreiner letters' Cultural Sociology (with Andrea Salter & Helen Dampier)
(2011) 'The domestication of death: The sequestration thesis and domestic figuration' Sociology 45,6, 947-62 (with Sue Wise)
(2011) 'The Epistolary Gift: The Editorial Third Party, Counter-Epistolaria: Rethinking the Epistolarium' Life Writing 8:3, pp.137-54.
(2011) 'The ESRC's 2010 Framework for Research Excellence: Fit For Purpose?' (with Sue Wise) Sociological Research Online 15, 4, 12 http://www.socresonline.org.uk/15/4/12.html
(2011) 'Towards the epistolarium: Issues in researching and publishing the Olive Schreiner epistolarium' (with Helen Dampier) African Research and Documentation: Journal of the SCOLMA 113: 27-32.
(2011) 'Olive Schreiner, 'A Returned South African', Her Letters, Her Essays, Her Fiction, Her Politics, Her Life: The Epistolarium Revisited' in (ed, Liz Stanley pp.19 - 44 'Olive Schreiner & Company: Schreiner's Letters and 'Drinking In the External World'' Olive Schreiner Letters Project Working Paper on Letters, Letterness & Epistolary Networks no.3, University of Edinburgh, pp.19-44 http://www.oliveschreinerletters.ed.ac.uk/OSandCompany2011PDF.pdf
(2010) 'Olive Schreiner globalising social inquiry: a feminist analytics of globalization' (with Helen Dampier and Andrea Salter) Sociological Review 58,4: 656-79.
(2010) '"Men selling their souls & the future - & fate watching themâââ€š¬ - Olive Schreiner on Union' Quarterly Bulletin of the National Library of South Africa 64, 3: 121-36 (with Helen Dampier)
(2010) 'To the letter: Thomas & Znaniecki's The Polish Peasant… and writing a life, sociologically speaking' Life Writing 7:2, 137-51.
(2009) 'The number of the South African War (1899-1902) concentration camp dead: Standard stories, superior stories and a forgotten proto-nationalist research investigation' Sociological Research Online 14: 5 http://www.socresonline.org.uk/14/5/13 (with Helen Dampier)
(2009) '"Her letters cut are generally nothing of interest" ¬ The heterotopic persona of Olive Schreiner and the alterity-persona of Cronwright-Schreiner English in Africa 36, 2: 7-30 (with Andrea Salter).
(2009) 'Rethinking 'current crisis' arguments: Gouldner and the legacy of critical sociology' (with Robert Hollands) Sociological Research Online 14:1 http://www.socresonline.org.uk/14/1/1.html
(2008) 'It has always known and we have always been 'other' - Knowing capitalism and the 'coming crisis' of sociology confront the concentration system and Mass-Observation' Sociological Review 56:4, 535-51.
(2008) 'Madness to the method? Using a narrative methodology to analyse large-scale complex social phenomena' Qualitative Research 8: 3, 435-47.
(2008) 'Parallel narratives: Photographs in Boer women's wartime testimonies' in (eds) David Robinson et al Narratives and Fiction Huddersfield, UK: University of Huddersfield Press: 9-24 (with Helen Dampier).
(2008) '"She wrote Peter Halket": Fictive and factive devices in Olive Schreiner's letters and Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland' in (eds) David Robinson et al Narratives and Fiction Huddersfield, UK: University of Huddersfield Press: 61-71 (with Helen Dampier).
(2008) 'Feminist methodology matters! in (eds) Diane Richardson & Vicki Robinson (3rd edition) Gender and Women's Studies Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan pp.221-43 (with S. Wise).
Topics interested in supervising
I've supervised over 70 PhDs to successful conclusion and welcome inquiries and proposals for doctoral research in relation to any area of sociologial research that connects with one or more of my research interests & related publications: Historical sociology - any aspect of theory and research. Feminist theory, in particular the work of Simone de Beauvoir & Olive Schreiner, & also regarding its contemporary developments. South Africa, both the post-1994 transition period and any aspect of its past, including in relation to imperialism & colonialism. Narrative theory & methodology.
This page was last published on 19 October 2012