Writing Home: Storytelling, Place and the (Re)Creation of Self in the Supermodernity

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingConference proceeding


To narrativize the events of one’s life is to produce a sense of a coherent, continuous self through place and time. In the age of supermodernity, as we move toward a fully globalised world, discrete places begin to lose their integrity and become nodes in a global network operating in a universal global present (see Marc Augé’s Non-places: An Introduction to Supermodernity, 2009; Manuel Castells’ The Rise of the Network Society, 1997). The places traditional societies inhabited conferred an obvious and stable identity upon its permanent inhabitants, the transitory non-places of supermodernity do not. As such, the supermodern passenger is particularly susceptible to a state of dysnarrativa (the inability to construct a self-narrative) and so identity loss. Floating populations at both ends of the economic spectrum, from international financiers to foreign domestic workers and migrant labourers, are particularly susceptible: though the former have access to the fruits of globalism sufficient to assuage most resultant traumas, while the latter not. Building on the tradition of life-writing therapy exemplified by J.M. Pennebaker (1997, 2000), my current research seeks to understand how composing the events of one’s life in written stories might help re-emplace and re-narrativize the most vulnerable of supermodernity’s mobile populations, fortifying their sense of self, mental well-being and belonging – even to transitory abodes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBringing Creative Writing into the Community = 將創意寫作帶入社區
Subtitle of host publicationAn International Symposium
Place of PublicationHong Kong
PublisherDepartment of Humanities and Creative Writing, Hong Kong Baptist University
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2022
EventBringing Creative Writing into the Community = 將創意寫作帶入社區線上國際研討會: An International Symposium, 2022 - Online, Hong Kong
Duration: 5 Dec 20226 Dec 2022


SymposiumBringing Creative Writing into the Community = 將創意寫作帶入社區線上國際研討會
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
Internet address

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Arts and Humanities(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • creative writing
  • Place
  • supermodernity


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