« We had the dream: Narrating a life of activism in hindsight » with Molly Andrews

The LIVE-AR team is launching a series of monthly seminars on Activists pathways and political crises. The first session will take place on 24th October 2023, from 2pm to 4pm (Paris time) and will be devoted to the research of Molly Andrews (University College London/UK), who will present a lecture (in English) entitled « We had the dream: Narrating a life of activism in hindsight« .

It will take place on Zoom and in English only.

Session summary

The presentation will discuss research Molly Andrews have been conducting with East German activists who helped to spearhead the peaceful revolution of 1989. In a longitudinal study which has lasted more than thirty years, she will examine how activists perceive their political engagement over time, their enduring commitment to work for particular kinds of social change, and how this maps on to their own biographical development. In a series of in-depth interviews, activists explore the contradictory tugs and pulls in their lives, what it means to be an aging activist, and how how they look back on the revolutionary moment of Autumn 1989. The paper will focus on exploring life course development in the context of political transformation, and the dynamic complexity of meaning-making and political engagement over time.

Speaker’s biography

Molly Andrews is Honorary Professor of Political Psychology at the Social Research Institute, University College London, and the co-director of the Association of Narrative Research and Practice. She currently holds a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship for her project “A multidisciplinary exploration of personal narratives and scholarship.” She has been a Writing Fellow at the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Studies (2022), and in 2019-2020, she was the Jane and Aatos Professor in Studies on Contemporary Society at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. Her books include Lifetimes of Commitment: Aging, Politics, Psychology and Shaping History: Narratives of Political Change (both Cambridge University Press), and Narrative Imagination and Everyday Life (Oxford University Press). She serves on the Editorial Board of six journals which are published in four countries, and her publications have appeared in Chinese, German, Swedish, Spanish, French, Czech, German, Norweigian and Finnish.

For further information about the seminar and to register (in order to receive the Zoom link), please email the LIVE-AR project team (erclivear@ird.fr).

next seminars

11/06/2024 : Amany Mohamed Hamed Moussa (Bergen University), « Activism Across Time and Place: A Study of Syrian Activists’ Trajectories in Berlin and Oslo », via Zoom, from 2pm to 4pm (Paris time). In English.