The 2022 conference will concentrate on encounters with the others in the context of adult education in its broadest sense. We aim to encourage submissions focusing on moving into different physical, cultural, political, psychological, and ecological spaces. As we enter new spaces and encounter the other, questions can be asked about relationships between the vulnerable and the powerful, those who are valued and respected and those marginalized and stories that represent the past and present. Clearly this can focus on traditional educational spaces along with historic and current experiences of colonialism and imperialism, human incursions into the non-human world and the experience of migrants seeking safer worlds. The importance of rich contextual biographical and narrative research will be evidenced in the nuance and meaning that can emerge from thoughtful and relational methodologies.
Our worlds are complex. Stories can sustain our understanding of the individual (micro) level, and or of relationships in families, workplaces, communities, organizations (the meso level); and of the big processes of change in history, in the larger society, and even the whole planet (macro level); including the virtual world. So, ‘living’ may be understood within complex interactions with others, with diverse processes, systems and in our encounters with the physical as well as virtual world. This is the complexity of life and living that the Life History and Biography Network seeks to investigate, which is a question too about the vitality of the network itself. How much, in other words, does the Network enliven and enrich the educational, social, political and relational imagination of those who participate?
In order to make a proposal, and bring your contribution to the conference, you may wish to consider:
• The emergent philosophical and theoretical themes that inform different perspectives on stories, and of methodological stances.
• The interactions between research, practice, and policy, by presenting pieces of research that have been influenced by a need and/or are aimed at shaping policy and practice – or any mix of these.
• The multiplicity of philosophical, political, theoretical and methodological stances in biographical research, alongside values, assumptions and practices.
We are particularly interested in the role of research as a response to adult lifelong learning opportunities and experiences, alongside the difference that our work can make.
We also hope the conference will integrate the community of researchers of life history and biography after such difficult experiences of social isolation and provide a space that will allow us to reflect on the consequences for human flourishing.