Research Dimension: Personal identities: The narrative and imaginative self (part of VVC-2021 program)

Organisation profile

Layman's description

This research dimension revolves around the person (the individual, self or subject) and their identity and self-presentation. How can we interpret and explain the (apparently) growing attention to “the personal story,” the biographical or autobiographical perspective in historiography, literature and visual culture?

A personal identity comprises a self-understanding, on the basis of which a person imagines him/herself. An important function of this imagination is the narrative bringing together of events from the past, with a view to formulating a greater or more efficient coherence and meaning, and the interpretation of a person in her/his relationship to others in her/his proximity, society and the world. “Imagination” is used here in two different but interrelated ways: as mental imagery and as an artistic or literary self-representation. This forms the starting point for a number of conceptual and thematic research directions, in which cross-fertilization naturally occurs.