Contact us

Thomas Coram Research Unit
Institute of Education
27 -28 Woburn Square
London WC1H 0AA

Tel: +44 (0)20 7612 6921

Join our mailing list

If you would like to receive details of our upcoming events and news by email, please email

Welcome to the website of the NOVELLA research project

NOVELLA conducts research concerned with the everyday practices of families. These are frequently taken for granted, but people's habits and their relation to society are often negotiated within families. Novella's research considers what people do and what they say they do, as this can tell us about their identities, values and possible future actions.

NOVELLA is funded by the ESRC, National Centre for Research Methods. It is a collaboration between the Institute of Education, the Centre for Narrative Research at the University of East London and the Young Lives research programme at Oxford University. NOVELLA is also in association with the University of Sussex.


30th April 2014  To thiNk is TO Experiment Postgraduate Research Day 2014
To 'Think is to Experiment' has been an intellectual and narrative space for postgraduate researchers from various disciplines in different stages of their research. Over the past years, the event has hosted stimulating presentations and intense conversations on the multiplicities in narrative-based research, approaches and experiences.

6th May 2014  Environment as a way into exploring children's narratives of self and space
In this presentation, Catherine will draw upon my analysis of data generated with 11-12 year old children and their families living in different socioeconomic and environmental contexts in Andhra Pradesh, India and the UK to consider how children understand and talk about their environments and themselves as present and future inhabitants of these environments.

13th May 2014  TCRU/NOVELLA - Negotiating social relationships in the transition to veganism
Drawing upon interviews with 40 vegans in three UK cities: Manchester, Lancaster and Glasgow, it explores the meanings of veganism and animal consumption with a specific interest in how eating practices perform allied practices and identities of social life.

30th May 2014  Living with the cuts: Policy, politics and everyday lives in the recession
This day conference brings together academics, policymakers, practitioners, and community researchers, to discuss the issues and levels of analysis that need to be taken into account when studying the cuts, and to explore the human effects and socio-political significance of living in recession.

17th June 2014  Exploring narratives of refugees and Christian social activists
Mary Sutton, University of East London. Part of the Centre for Narrative Research & NOVELLA Graduate Seminar in Narrative Research series. All welcome, especially graduate students.

7th July 2014  NOVELLA Conference
This is a one day conference at St Catherine's College Oxford to discuss NOVELLA's methods and showcase the findings and their implications for family identities, practices and policies on environment, food, parenting, food blogs and qualitative 'paradata'. The keynote address will be given by the leading international scholar on narrative analysis, Professor Cathy Riessman. There will be opportunities for both methodological and substantive discussion.

Full list of our events

Featured articles
Parenting identities and practices by Heather Elliott, Julia Brannen and Ann Phoenix
Family lives and the environment: Narratives across countries by Janet Boddy