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The Storytelling Animal

Author: Jonathan Gottschall
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Explores the latest beliefs about why people tell stories and what stories reveal about human nature, offering insights into such related topics as universal themes and what it means to have a storytelling brain.


The Return of the Storyteller in Contemporary Fiction

Author: Areti Dragas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
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Focusing on the figure of the storyteller, this study breaks new ground in the approach to reading contemporary literature by identifying a growing interest in storytelling. For the last thirty years contemporary fiction has been influenced by theoretical discourses, textuality and writing. Only since the rise of postcolonialism have academic critics been more overtly interested in stories, where high theory frameworks are less applicable. However, as we move through various contemporary contexts engaging with postcolonial identities and hybridity, to narratives of disability and evolutionary accounts of group and individual survival, a common feature of all is the centrality of story, which posits both the idea of survival and the passing on of traditions. This book closely examines this preoccupation with story and storytelling through a close reading of sixteen contemporary international novels written in English which are about actual 'storytellers', revealing how death of the author has given birth to the storyteller.


Narrative Networks

Author: Brian Alleyne
Publisher: SAGE
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"We are invited to think about the now ubiquitous everyday practices of interpreting and producing narratives across a range of modalities. The result is a text that inspires readers to think in new ways about narratives, invites them to analyse narrative texts available on the Web and, for those who wish, suggests how best to employ specialist software." - Ann Phoenix, Institute of Education, University of London "It’s high time we have a book like this. Brian Alleyne has managed to produce the best, clearest, and most comprehensive overview of narrative theory for social scientists I have yet to see. I wish I’d had access to a book like this when I was a student. It would have made my life so much easier. It will surely become the universally recognised go-to book on the subject." - David Graeber, London School of Economics & Political Science Narrative is a fundamental means whereby we make sense of our own lives and of the world around us. The stories we tell, and are being told, shape our identities, relationships and world-views. In a rapidly changing digital society where blogging and social networking have become fundamental communication channels, the platforms for the creation and exchange of all kinds of narratives have greatly expanded. This book responds to the dynamic production and consumption of stories of all kinds in popular and academic cultures. It offers a comprehensive discussion of the underlying philosophical and methodological issues of narrative and personal narrative research as well as applying these to the current digital landscape. The book provides practical guidance on data management and use of software for the narrative researcher. Illustrated with examples from a range of fields and disciplines as well as the author’s own work on hacking cultures and cultural activism, this title is a must for anyone wanting to learn about narrative approaches in social research and how to conduct successful narrative research in a digital age.


The Gift of Story

Author: Ralph Milton
Publisher: Wood Lake Publishing Inc.
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In this companion book, Milton shares insights about storytelling related to themes ranging from mythology and human identity, to social justice, changing from the inside out, tragedy, awe and mystery, hope and promise, and more. But the story is always central; the story is always “the thing.” The videos include key biblical stories about seminal biblical characters – Eden and Eve, Jonah, the prodigal, Mary and Elizabeth, the Ethiopian eunuch, Zacchaeus, Mary of Magdala, Sarah…and more. In The Gift of Story, Milton reflects on what stories mean to humans, “the story-telling animal,” how we can all tell stories to enrich our lives, and to rejoice in the complementary role that stories and the logic of science play. It’s a fun read full of lively, refreshing stories and insights. The Gift of Story picks up where Ralph Milton’s live StoryFest events leave off. Those events – led by gifted musicians, artists, and storytellers Linnea Good, Don McNair, Allison Rennie, Donald Schmidt, as well as Ralph Milton – were designed to provide a spiritual “shot in the arm, focusing on evocative Bible stories and personal faith experiences.”


History and Popular Memory

Author: Paul A Cohen
Publisher: Columbia University Press
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When people experience a traumatic event, such as war or the threat of annihilation, they often turn to history for stories that promise a positive outcome to their suffering. During World War II, the French took comfort in the story of Joan of Arc and her heroic efforts to rid France of foreign occupation. To bring the Joan narrative more into line with current circumstances, however, popular retellings modified the original story so that what people believed took place in the past was often quite different from what actually occurred. Paul A. Cohen identifies this interplay between story and history as a worldwide phenomenon, found in countries of radically different cultural, religious, and social character. He focuses here on Serbia, Israel, China, France, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain, all of which experienced severe crises in the twentieth century and, in response, appropriated age-old historical narratives that resonated with what was happening in the present to serve a unifying, restorative purpose. A central theme in the book is the distinction between popular memory and history. Although vitally important to historians, this distinction is routinely blurred in people's minds, and the historian's truth often cannot compete with the power of a compelling story from the past, even when it has been seriously distorted by myth or political manipulation. Cohen concludes by suggesting that the patterns of interaction he probes, given their near universality, may well be rooted in certain human propensities that transcend cultural difference.


Planning as Persuasive Storytelling

Author: James A. Throgmorton
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
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"Planning as Persuasive Storytelling is a revealing look at the world of political conflict surrounding the Commonwealth Edison Company's ambitious nuclear power plant construction program in northern Illinois during the 1980s. Examining the clash between the utility, consumer groups, community-based groups, the Illinois Commerce Commission, and the City of Chicago, Throgmorton argues that planning can best be thought of as a form of persuasive storytelling. A planner's task is to write future-oriented texts that employ language and figures of speech designed to construct constituencies that the planner's vision is both desirable and feasible. Though seeking to persuade, the planner must also remain open to transformation through honest engagement with contending stories. Juxtaposing stories about efforts to construct Chicago's electric future, Planning as Persuasive Storytelling suggests a shift in how we think about planning. In order to account for the fragmented and conflicted nature of contemporary American life and politics, that shift would be away from "science" and the "experts" and toward persuasive storytelling by diverse authors"--P. [4] of cover.


Computational Modeling of Narrative

Author: Inderjeet Mani
Publisher: Morgan & Claypool Publishers
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The field of narrative (or story) understanding and generation is one of the oldest in natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence (AI), which is hardly surprising, since storytelling is such a fundamental and familiar intellectual and social activity. In recent years, the demands of interactive entertainment and interest in the creation of engaging narratives with life-like characters have provided a fresh impetus to this field. This book provides an overview of the principal problems, approaches, and challenges faced today in modeling the narrative structure of stories. The book introduces classical narratological concepts from literary theory and their mapping to computational approaches. It demonstrates how research in AI and NLP has modeled character goals, causality, and time using formalisms from planning, case-based reasoning, and temporal reasoning, and discusses fundamental limitations in such approaches. It proposes new representations for embedded narratives and fictional entities, for assessing the pace of a narrative, and offers an empirical theory of audience response. These notions are incorporated into an annotation scheme called NarrativeML. The book identifies key issues that need to be addressed, including annotation methods for long literary narratives, the representation of modality and habituality, and characterizing the goals of narrators. It also suggests a future characterized by advanced text mining of narrative structure from large-scale corpora and the development of a variety of useful authoring aids. This is the first book to provide a systematic foundation that integrates together narratology, AI, and computational linguistics. It can serve as a narratology primer for computer scientists and an elucidation of computational narratology for literary theorists. It is written in a highly accessible manner and is intended for use by a broad scientific audience that includes linguists (computational and formal semanticists), AI researchers, cognitive scientists, computer scientists, game developers, and narrative theorists.


Learning Through Transmedia Storytelling

Author: Anders Gronstedt
Publisher: Association for Talent Development
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Transmedia storytelling, developing a narrative across multiple platforms to expand learning and engagement, works because it encourages learners to be resourceful, and is social, mobile, accessible, and re-playable. This Infoline will: Provide a framework for good storytelling techniques. Explain what transmedia storytelling is, and why and how it is effective. Help you find a practical and valuable “story structure” for learning design challenges. Describe the trainer’s role in transmedia storytelling. This Infoline comes with tips for designing transmedia learning based on the traditional storytelling framework, and provides examples of effective transmedia storytelling in the business and learning environments.


Narrative Politics

Author: Frederick W. Mayer
Publisher: Oxford University Press (UK)
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Narrative Politics explores two puzzles. The first has long preoccupied social scientists: How do individuals come together to act collectively in their common interest? The second is one that has long been ignored by social scientists: Why is it that those who promote collective action so often turn to stories? Why is it that when activists call for action, candidates solicit votes, organizers seek new members, generals rally their troops, or coaches motivate their players, there is so much story-telling? Frederick W. Mayer argues that answering these questions requires recognizing the power of story to overcome the main obstacles to collective action: to surmount the temptation to free ride, to coordinate group behavior, and to arrive at a common understanding of the collective interest. In this book, Mayer shows that humans are, if nothing else, a story-telling, story-consuming animal. We use stories to make sense of our experience and to imbue it with meaning-our self-narratives define our sense of identity and script our actions. Because we are constituted by narrative, we can be moved by the stories told to us by others. That is why leaders who call a community to action seek to frame their invocations in a story in which tragedy and triumph hang in the balance, in which taking part in the collective action becomes a moral imperative rather than a matter of calculated self-interest. Drawing on insights from neuroscience and behavioral economics, political science and sociology, history and cultural studies, literature and narrative theory, Narrative Politics sheds light on a wide range of political phenomena from social movements to electoral politics to offer lessons for how the power of story fosters collective action.


Ray Hicks and the Jack Tales

Author: Christine Pavesic
Publisher: iUniverse
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The Jack Tales derive from a Western European narrative cycle and are the oldest folktales to survive in the North American oral tradition. In the twenty-first century, the Jack Tales continue to retain their place at the forefront of Western Oral Tradition. Over the centuries the tales of Jack and his adventures have tended to absorb the interests and values of the culture in which they are operating. Ray Hicks and the Jack Tales: A Study of Appalachian History, Culture, and Philosophy, assesses folktales in the oral tradition and examines both the history and the cultural impact of them. It includes a survey of existing scholarship concerning orality and the European origins of the Jack Tales and then focuses upon a prominent Appalachian native recorder of the tales, Ray Hicks. His enthusiasm and skill as a storyteller has allowed Hicks to bring an ancient body of oral literature to all types of audiences. The way that Hicks has enhanced the Jack Tales through his manner of storytelling-the nature of his performance, his voice and mimicry, the stimulus of the audience and his response-is explored along with the setting of these tales-the Appalachian mountains.