Contact us

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Kingston University
Penrhyn Road
Kingston upon Thames
Surrey KT1 2EE

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 9000

Life Narrative Research Group (LNR) - Projects

LNR actively seek to supervise research students in all areas of life narrative production and scholarship and provide a base for research projects conducted by existing Kingston staff, externally funded research fellows, visiting fellows and professors, Writers, Filmmakers, and Artists in residence.

Expressive writing workshops in Iraq

The cruelty of war stretches far beyond the battlefield. Many women who have suffered sexual violence in Iraq now find that the process of seeking justice through the legal system inflicts new trauma on them as they are forced to relive their experiences. But thanks to research at Kingston University, they are now able to tell their stories in ways that avoid further harm, and even help alleviate their suffering, through expressive life writing.

Expressive writing is a particular type of coping strategy often used for survivors of trauma, in which they write out their thoughts and feelings about a stressful or traumatic experience in various ways. Research with victims of traumatic experience in non-conflict settings and with combat veterans has demonstrated that the process of writing down these reflections helps survivors 'detach' from negative experiences by turning them into tangible, shareable stories, thus increasing their sense of well-being.

The Expressive Life Writing Project led by Kingston University's Dr Meg Jensen, in collaboration with Dr Siobhan Campbell at Open University, is working with a local human rights group, the INMAA, to offer bespoke expressive writing and telling opportunities to women victims of violence and trauma in Kirkuk Governorate. The project will also interrogate current best practice guidelines on the documentation and investigation of such rights violations and suggest adaptations to existing protocols for the interviewing process.

Find out more about the expressive writing workshops in Iraq.

Expressive writing for countering extremism

Dr Meg Jensen and Dr Siobhan Campbell (Open University) received 10,000 from the UK Cabinet Office to prepare materials and deliver training in expressive writing methodologies (which Jensen and Campbell have previously pioneered in support the recovery of women victims of sexual violence in Iraq) for use in interventions with young people at risk of radicalisation.

A film produced as part of the training can be viewed online.

You can contact LNR by using the details provided at the top of this page.

Military Research Network

Drawing on research by Professor Rachel Cusk, Dr. Meg Jensen and Professor Vesna Goldsworthy into the interface between testimony, trauma literature, autobiographical fiction and recovery from trauma and related disorders, the MWN created and sustains partnerships with organisations working with veteran soldiers, sailors and airmen and their families.

LNR Group

Contact LNR

Dr Meg Jensen
Life Narrative Research Group
Kingston University
Penrhyn Road
Kingston upon Thames

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 2282