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Storytelling and Ethics

Author: Hanna Meretoja
Publisher: Routledge
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In recent years there has been a huge amount of both popular and academic interest in storytelling as something that is an essential part of not only literature and art but also our everyday lives as well as our dreams, fantasies, aspirations, historical self-understanding, and political actions. The question of the ethics of storytelling always, inevitably, lurks behind these discussions, though most frequently it remains implicit rather than explicit. This volume explores the ethical potential and risks of storytelling from an interdisciplinary perspective. It stages a dialogue between contemporary literature and visual arts across media (film, photography, performative arts), interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives (debates in narrative studies, trauma studies, cultural memory studies, ethical criticism), and history (traumatic histories of violence, cultural history). The collection analyses ethical issues involved in different strategies employed in literature and art to narrate experiences that resist telling and imagining, such as traumatic historical events, including war and political conflicts. The chapters explore the multiple ways in which the ethics of storytelling relates to the contemporary arts as they work with, draw on, and contribute to historical imagination. The book foregrounds the connection between remembering and imagining and explores the ambiguous role of narrative in the configuration of selves, communities, and the relation to the non-human. While discussing the ethical aspects of storytelling, it also reflects on the relevance of artistic storytelling practices for our understanding of ethics. Making an original contribution to interdisciplinary narrative studies and narrative ethics, this book both articulates a complex understanding of how artistic storytelling practices enable critical distance from culturally dominant narrative practices, and analyzes the limitations and potential pitfalls of storytelling.


Attachment Place and Otherness in Nineteenth Century American Literature

Author: Jillmarie Murphy
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This interdisciplinary study examines the role interpersonal and place attachment bonds play in crafting a national identity in American literature. Although there have been numerous ecocritical studies of and psychoanalytic approaches to American literature, this study seeks to integrate the language of empirical science and the physical realities of place, while also investigating non-human agency and that which exists beyond the material realm. Murphy considers how writers in the early American Republic constructed modernity by restructuring representations of interpersonal and place attachments, which are subsequently reimagined, reconfigured, and sometimes even rejected by writers in the long nineteenth century. Within each narrative American perceptions of otherness are pathologized as a result of insecure human-to-human and human-to-place attachments, resulting in a restructuring of antiquated notions of difference. Throughout, Murphy argues that in order to understand fully the contextually varied framework of human bonding, it is important to emphasize America’s "attachment" to various constructions of otherness. Historically, people of color, women, ethnic groups, and lower class citizens have been relegated—socially, politically, and culturally—to a place of subordination. Refugees escaping the French and Haitian Revolutions to American cities encouraged writers to transform social, cultural, and political attachments in ways that the American Revolution did not. The United States has always been part of an extended global network that provides fertile ground from which to imagine a future American identity; this book thus gestures toward future readers, educators, and scholars who seek to explore new fields and new approaches to understand the underlying human motivations that continually inspire the American imagination.


Multilingual Currents in Literature Translation and Culture

Author: Rachael Gilmour
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At a time increasingly dominated by globalization, migration, and the clash between supranational and ultranational ideologies, the relationship between language and borders has become more complicated and, in many ways, more consequential than ever. This book shows how concepts of ‘language’ and ‘multilingualism’ look different when viewed from Belize, Lagos, or London, and asks how ideas about literature and literary form must be remade in a contemporary cultural marketplace that is both linguistically diverse and interconnected, even as it remains profoundly unequal. Bringing together scholars from the fields of literary studies, applied linguistics, publishing, and translation studies, the volume investigates how multilingual realities shape not only the practice of writing but also modes of literary and cultural production. Chapters explore examples of literary multilingualism and their relationship to the institutions of publishing, translation, and canon-formation. They consider how literature can be read in relation to other multilingual and translational forms of contemporary cultural circulation and what new interpretative strategies such developments demand. In tracing the multilingual currents running across a globalized world, this book will appeal to the growing international readership at the intersections of comparative literature, world literature, postcolonial studies, literary theory and criticism, and translation studies.


Latin American Gothic in Literature and Culture

Author: Sandra Casanova-Vizcaíno
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This book explores the Gothic mode as it appears in the literature, visual arts, and culture of different areas of Latin America. Focusing on works from authors in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, the Andes, Brazil, and the Southern Cone, the essays in this volume illuminate the existence of native representations of the Gothic, while also exploring the presence of universal archetypes of terror and horror. Through the analysis of global and local Gothic topics and themes, they evaluate the reality of a multifaceted territory marked by a shifting colonial and postcolonial relationship with Europe and the United States. The book asks questions such as: Is there such a thing as "Latin American Gothic" in the same sense that there is an "American Gothic" and "British Gothic"? What are the main elements that particularly characterize Latin American Gothic? How does Latin American Gothic function in the context of globalization? What do these elements represent in relation to specific national literatures? What is the relationship between the Gothic and the Postcolonial? What can Gothic criticism bring to the study of Latin American cultural manifestations and, conversely, what can these offer the Gothic? The analysis performed here reflects a body of criticism that understands the Gothic as a global phenomenon with specific manifestations in particular territories while also acknowledging the effects of "Globalgothic" on a transnational and transcultural level. Thus, the volume seeks to open new spaces and areas of scholarly research and academic discussion both regionally and globally with the presentation of a solid analysis of Latin American texts and other cultural phenomena which are manifestly related to the Gothic world.


Rewriting the American Soul

Author: Anna Thiemann
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Rewriting the American Soul focuses on the political implications of psychoanalytic and neurocognitive approaches to trauma in literature, their impact on cultural representations of collective trauma in the United States, and their subversive appropriation in pre- and post-9/11 fiction. Anna Thiemann connects cutting edge trauma theory with the historical context from which it emerged and shows that contemporary novels encourage us to reflect critically on the cultural meanings and political uses of trauma. In doing so, it contributes to a new generation of trauma scholarship that challenges the dominant paradigm in literary and cultural studies. Moreover, the book intervenes in current debates about the relationship between literature and neuroscience insisting that the so-called neuronovel scrutinizes scientific developments and their political ramifications rather than adopting and translating them into aesthetic practices.


The Ethics of Storytelling

Author: Hanna Meretoja
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Against the backdrop of the polarized debate on the ethical significance of storytelling, Hanna Meretoja's The Ethics of Storytelling: Narrative Hermeneutics, History, and the Possible develops a nuanced framework for exploring the ethical complexity of the roles narratives play in our lives.Focusing on how narratives enlarge and diminish the spaces of possibilities in which we act, think, and re-imagine the world together with others, this book proposes a theoretical-analytical framework for engaging with both the ethical potential and risks of storytelling. Further, it elaborates anarrative hermeneutics that treats narratives as culturally mediated practices of (re)interpreting experiences and articulates how narratives can be oppressive, empowering, or both. It also argues that the relationship between narrative unconscious and narrative imagination shapes our sense of thepossible.In her book, Meretoja develops a hermeneutic narrative ethics that differentiates between six dimensions of the ethical potential of storytelling: the power of narratives to cultivate our sense of the possible; to contribute to individual and cultural self-understanding; to enable understandingother lives non-subsumptively in their singularity; to transform the narrative in-betweens that bind people together; to develop our perspective-awareness and capacity for perspective-taking; and to function as a form of ethical inquiry. This book addresses our implication in violent histories andargues that it is as dialogic storytellers, fundamentally vulnerable and dependent on one another, that we become who we are: both as individuals and communities.The Ethics of Storytelling seamlessly incorporates narrative ethics, literary narrative studies, narrative psychology, narrative philosophy, and cultural memory studies. It contributes to contemporary interdisciplinary narrative studies by developing narrative hermeneutics as a philosophicallyrigorous, historically sensitive, and analytically subtle approach to the ethical stakes of the debate on the narrative dimension of human existence.


Forthcoming Books

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For en varm, humoristisk og fremsynet indisk familie ændres hele livsindholdet i løbet af få timer, da en engelsk kusine ankommer til det lille samfund i 1960'ernes politiske og alligevel sansemættede atmosfære


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