Storytelling, Self, Society

Articles

Vol. 12, No. 1, Spring

The Curators of Cultural Tradition: Storytelling Activities of the National Library of Trinidad and Tobago
At an event celebrating the oral and folklore traditions of Trinidad and Tobago in commemoration of National Tourism Month, (then/former) deputy director of the National Library Authority and Information System (NALIS), expressed the following sentiment...
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Storytelling in Libraries
Storytelling in libraries has a long and varied history, from the first coordinator of storytelling at the New York Public Library at the turn of the twentieth century to contemporary teens telling personal stories at the Chicago Public Library to American...
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Storytelling, Oral History, and Building the Library Community
Oral history is a method for gathering, preserving, and interpreting data through interviews that highlight individual voices in the recounting of past events and ^memories. Storytelling is "the interactive art of using words and actions to reveal the...
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On Magical Tales, Edited by Carolyne Larrington and Diane Purkiss
On Magical Tales, edited by Carolyne Larrington and Diane Purkiss Magical Tales: Myth, Legend, and Enchantment in Children's Books, edited by Carolyne Larrington and Diane Purkiss. Oxford: Bodleian, 2013. 188 pp., ISBN 978-1-85124-264-1. Pap."Magic is...
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From Theory to Practice: Read/Leer ; Bilingual Storytelling in the Public Library
Storytelling has always been an integral part of human experience. In the United States, as the public library as an institution has evolved, so have the methods with which librarians share stories with their youngest patrons. Libraries share stories...
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"Stories: A List of Stories to Tell and to Read Aloud": The History of the New York Public Library's Storytelling List
In 1906, Anne Carroll Moore was appointed the first superintendent of Work with Children at the New York Public Library. At Moore's invitation, librarian Anna Cogswell Tyler, who had been Moore's assistant when she was the children's librarian at the...
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Storytelling in Public Libraries: The Women, the Mission, the Stories
Storytelling in Public LibrariesThe tradition of oral storytelling in public libraries in the United States is more than a century old. Building on the popularity of storytelling in kindergartens and settlement houses, storytelling moved easily into...
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With Our Own Words: Librarians' Perceptions of the Values of Storytelling in Libraries
Storytelling as an element of programming in American public libraries began in the late nineteenth century as children's librarianship began to take root and children's spaces in public libraries became more prevalent. Much of the library literature,...
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Vol. 11, No. 2, Fall

The Symbolic Meaning of Biblical Names as a Narrative Tool: Moses, Abraham, and David
The importance of names in the Jewish tradition is emphasized by the use of the word HaShem, which means "the Name," as one of the most common ways in which to refer to God. While humans have a name, God, as all that exists, possesses the name. Another...
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Crossing Borders: A Multimodal Perspective on Storytelling
IntroductionIn recent years, oral storytelling performance has enjoyed a revival in contemporary society and has been used in applied fields such as education, business, health care, and law (Sobol 122). Within the school context, studies have shown...
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Storytelling in 3D: Interrogating Engagement with Oral Storytelling in the School Classroom
IntroductionWhat is a practising storyteller to do when the story being told to a kindergarten audience of three- and four-year-olds is interrupted by the facility director, who states that the story "isn't being told in the right way"? This surprising...
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“There’s a Crocodile!”: Training Preschool Teachers to Engage Children through Interactive Oral Storytelling
Maria, a preschool teacher, "put the book down," as she had learned to do, and began telling the children the story Ruby in Her Own Time (Emmett), encouraging them to repeat phrases and copy motions. She invited the children to imagine being a duck hatching...
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“Who Am I without My Story?”: Uncertainties of Identity (Presentation) in Performed Autobiographical Storytelling
Story, Memory, and IdentityTelling stories is the most common mode of human communication. People are storytellers-and engaging in narrative goes back to the very beginnings of civilization. Yet a story is not merely a chronicle of what happened in the...
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Research Ethics: A Family Story
"Okay, we're on air," I say, leaning over the audio recorder to make sure my voice can be heard. Two participants sit across from me on a worn, brown, J leather couch. Rather than relax into the familiar embrace of the furniture, I teeter on the edge....
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“Journeys East O’ the Sun and West O’ the Moon”: What Does a Storyteller’s Life, Performance Style, and Signature Story Tell Us?
In 1944 a group of children's librarians [...] listened to a small, quiet, unassuming woman tell "East of the Sun and West of the Moon." The story came alive as this master storyteller used only her lovely voice, perfect timing, and unobtrusive, spontaneous...
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Deconstructing the Magic Spell: The Recent Fairy Tale Scholarship of Jack Zipes
Fairy tale scholarship is not for kids-nor for the faint of heart. Jack Zipes, professor emeritus of German and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota and a longtime board member of this journal, in the course of four of his latest books,...
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Vol. 11, No. 1, 2015

The Life of a Story: Upper Karoo, South Africa, and Newark, New Jersey: A Conversation between a Folklorist and a Storyteller
The Spanish folklorist José Manuel de Prada-Samper and I have been in conversation about stories and storytelling for many years. Recently, while working with descendants of Bushmen who had been considered no longer present in the Karoo of South Africa,1...
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Never Forget: March of the Living and Place-Based Holocaust Storytelling
As twenty-first-century Jewish educators, we have repeatedly seen Jewish teens look upon the systematic murder of six million of their people by Nazi Germany-a historical event that occurred more than seventy years ago-almost as they would another one...
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The Personal and the Political: Roslyn Bresnick-Perry, 1922-2015
Storyteller Roslyn Bresnick-Perry was a warmhearted woman of clear, unabashed political, social, and personal beliefs, and her death on August 7, 2015, has left a rent in the weave of our storytelling universe. In her long life, Roz was many things....
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On Why Stories Matter
On Why Stories Matter by Clare Hemmings Karen J. Leader Why Stories Matter: The Political Grammar of Feminist Theory, by Clare Hemmings. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011. 288 pp. ISBN 0822349167."People talk about narratives, but people tell stories"...
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On Radical Homemakers
On Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes Zulfiya Tursunova and Chantal Shivanna Ramraj Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture, by Shannon Hayes. Richmondville, NY: Left to Write Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-9794391-1-7.In Radical...
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Storytelling and Politics
The true tale of the hunt will never be told until it is the lion who does the telling.(African proverb)In his book Great Political Wit, former U.S. senator Bob Dole relates what he calls one of former U.S. president Ronald Reagan's favorite stories,...
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Rumor Has a Hundred Tongues: Narrative in an Age of Disintermediation
A dozen years ago I finished a book entitled The Power and the Story: How the Crafted Presidential Narrative Has Determined Political Success from George Washington to George W Bush. The book's thesis was set forth in the second paragraph:The essence...
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The Master-Slave Dialectic in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"
To know who we are, where we are, and where we are going, we need stories and storytellers to attain self-consciousness-but not just ordinary stories and storytellers. We need storytellers who are consciousness raisers and stories that are consciousness...
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The Folklore Fundamentalist: Notes on the Politics of Storytelling
When Francis Harwood, an anthropologist, asked a Sioux elder why people tell stories, he answered: "In order to become human beings." She asked, "Aren't we human beings already?" He smiled. "Not everyone makes it."(as told by Laura Simms)"Why were human...
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Characters in Political Storytelling
IntroductionMany of the stories that are most effective in politics are not told. Instead, they are alluded to. A politician might refer to "the Horatio Alger story," assuming that his audience knows that his point is about the importance of pulling...
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The Call to Action of Stories: An Interview with Paul Rogat Loeb
Caren Neile: Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. I was interested in speaking with you for this special issue on political storytelling in large part owing to the chapter in Soul of a Citizen entitled "The Call of Stories." How do you define...
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How Stories Argue: The Deep Roots of Storytelling in Political Rhetoric
It was said in the old days that every year Thor made a circle around Middle Earth, beating back the enemies of order. Thor got older every year, and the circle occupied by gods and men grew smaller. The wisdom god, 'Woden,' went out to the king of the...
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Peacebuilding and Reconciliation through Storytelling in Northern Ireland and the Border Counties of the Republic of Ireland
We all live for stories [...] because without stories the stuff that happens would float around in some glob and none of it would mean anything.(Banaszynski 14)IntroductionIn the summer of 2010, one of us (Byrne) interviewed thirteen development officers...
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Vol. 10, No. 2, Fall

Can You Describe the Experience?
Like Klonipin. [Laughing.] That's exactly what it would feel like. No really, it was just, it absolutely, it was the best.-Kate, physical therapistIt was definitely a whoa experience. The description would be one that I would liken to meditating or taking...
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Positive Parenting: An Ethnographic Study of Storytelling for Socialization of Children in Ethiopia
IntroductionStorytelling is a positive way of communication with children. My children listen to me when I tell them folktales, but they do not give their attention to my words when I speak to them in ordinary ways. I train them by saying, "Give honor...
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Testing a Digital Storytelling Intervention to Reduce Stress in Adolescent Females
Jenny's StoryAfter three tumultuous years in middle school, Jenny finally began high school. Unfortunately, she found the same feelings surfaced that she had in middle school. She did not belong. She felt fat. In every class, she sat in the back corner,...
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Beyond the Interview: A Historian's Journey into Community Storytelling
On June 27, 1959, before 50,000 excited onlookers, 30 tons of dynamite blew two holes through the largest steel-celled coffer dam ever built. The structure had held back the raging current of the St. Lawrence River for the last five years. Its breach...
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Shape-Shifter in the Green: Performing Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Who, namely, was that weird, imperious being, qualified to challenge, test, unmask, and pass sentence? The Green Knight who could tuck his head under his arm and appear with it in place again, whose wife was the fairest temptress in the world, and whose...
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On Theatrical Storytelling
On Theatrical StorytellingDebra Ehrhardt's Jamaica, Farewell, Empire Stage, Fort Lauderdale, October 9, 2014But I'm sad to say I'm on my wayWon't be back for many a dayMy heart is down, my head is turning aroundI had to leave a little girl in Kingston...
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On Rossi's Goddesses (Collected Works of Joseph Campbell)
On Rossi's Goddesses (Collected Works of Joseph Campbell) Goddesses: Mysteries of the Feminine Divine. In the Collected Works of Joseph Campbell, edited by Safron Elsabeth Rossi. Novato, CA: New World Library, 2013. 304 pp. ISBN: 1608681823. Cloth $24.05.The...
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On Telling Tales and the Art of Storytelling
On Telling Tales and The Art of Storytelling Telling Tales, by Emily S. Chasse. New York: Neal-Shuman, 2009. 269 pp. ISBN: 15555706452. Paper $77.00.The Art of Storytelling: Telling Truths through Telling Stories, by Amy E. Spaulding. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow...
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Vol. 10, No. 1, Spring

The New Ethnography: Goodall, Trujillo, and the Necessity of Storytelling
The disciplines and subdisciplines flowing into the emergent field of storytelling studies are distributed so broadly as to defy enumeration. Ten years ago, in the inaugural issue of this journal, the editors cited theology, psychology, medicine, communication,...
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The New Ethnography: Goodall, Trujillo, and the Necessity of Storytelling
In the latter half of 2012 the communication discipline lost two pioneering scholars when H. L. "Bud" Goodall, Jr., and Nick Trujillo died within months of each other. That comes across as blunt, but we want to honor both men, who tended toward existential...
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From Cooperstown to Carmel: A Wingman's Stories of Nick Trujillo, or "Playing Catch with Nick Trujillo"
Those of you who know me, know that I was close to both Nick Trujillo and Bud Goodall. We were pals and kindred spirits on several levels. At various points in our academic careers we all rode the wave of the culture metaphor to help us understand organizations....
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Rockin' the Ethnographic Mystery
IntersectionsWe meet at an intersection. This is not your typical American intersection, with its gloppy heart-burning fast-food delicacies served side by side with blended clean-burning gasoline and cheap plastic wallet-burning tourist souvenirs. No,...
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Five Lessons from My Mentor
Life stories express our sense of self: who we are and how we got that way.-Charlotte Linde, Life Stories 3(Why) Stories Matter, Part 1The appreciation of stories reaches within and beyond the walls of academe (Boch- ner, Ellis, and Tillmann-Healy; Coles;...
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What Would Nick T. Do? Lessons from a Mentor
What is a teacher? I'll tell you: it isn't someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give of her best in order to discover what she already knows.-Paulo Coelho, The Witch of PortobelloOctober 7, 2012Nick and I ( Jillian)...
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Leaving Cancerland: Following Bud at the End of Life
Many have written about illness and the end of life. Couser and Frank have both shown how life writing can be a form of reclamation for wounded storytell- ers-a strategy for regaining control over the narrative of one's life, asserting agency over the...
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With Heart: Compassionate Interviewing and Storytelling with Holocaust Survivors
Love is a power greater than death, just like the songs and stories told.-Bruce Springsteen, "Terry's Song"In this article, we show the compassionate interviewing and storytelling that took place through sharing conversations with two Holocaust survivors....
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Rosa and Ted Hicks, 1931-2014 and 1954-2014
For nearly seven decades, a pilgrim parade of visitors rattled up the gravel road to the Hicks family home place at the top of Beech Mountain in Western North Carolina to draw from the perpetual wellspring of tales that flowed from the mouth of Ray Hicks,...
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Minton Sparks at the Cumberland Mountain Storytelling Festival, Palace Theater, Crossville, Tennessee, November 1, 2013
Minton Sparks takes the stage of the Palace Theater in Crossville, Tennessee, like an avenging angel of the order of rural Southern womanhood. Carpetbag dress and sensible heels, bone leather purse broad and deep enough to carry a family Bible and a...
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On Gottschall's the Storytelling Animal
On Gottschall's The Storytelling AnimalThe Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human, by Jonathan Gottschall. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012. 248 pp. ISBN 978- 0-547-39140-3.Jonathan Gottschall divides his book into nine chapters with catchy...
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On Brown's Ghosts along the Mississippi River
On Brown's Ghosts along the Mississippi RiverGhosts along the Mississippi River, by Alan Brown. University of Mississippi Press, 2011, 238 pp. ISBN 978-1-61703-144-1.Alan Brown, professor of English at the University of West Alabama, is the author of...
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Vol. 9, No. 2, Fall

Savitri's Stories and Girl Power: Rhetorical Approaches to Feminism(s) in Indian American Ethnic Schools
Scholars in both the disciplines of folklore and rhetoric have shown interest in exploring the connections between social change and storytelling (Bauman). In the discipline of folklore, scholarly conversations concerning such intersections were initiated...
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Storytelling, Myth, and the Afghanistan Wars in Spozhmai Zaryab's Anti-War Short Stories
Spozhmai Zaryab and Her Narrative WorksBorn in 1955 in Kabul and holding a BA in French language from Kabul University and an MA and a PhD in comparative literature from Montpellier University in France, Spozhmai Zaryab is one of Afghanistan's major...
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Verbal and Acrobatic Strategies in Senegalese Wolof Wrestling
Senegalese Wolof wrestling is a largely untapped resource of narratives in which individuals who claim the title of champions of their profession praise themselves in terms that reveal their extraordinary verbal dexterity and physical prowess. Drawing...
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Transnational Perspectives on the Irish Foundation Myth
IntroductionThe town of Woodstock, Illinois, is perhaps most famous for being the shooting location of Bill Murray's 1993 film, Groundhog Day. Too distant from Chicago to be called a suburb, yet too populous to be called truly rural, Woodstock is instead...
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The Role of Storytelling at the Intersection of Transformative Conflict Resolution and Peace Education
I have worked as a peace educator for more than twenty-five years, teaching high school and university students, developing and writing curricula, and adminis- tering international internships and practicums. At the same time, I have served as a group...
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Our Stories, Our Companions: A Conversation with Arthur W. Frank
Arthur W. Frank is professor of sociology at the University of Calgary. His publications include The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness and Ethics and The Renewal of Generosity: Illness, Medicine, and How to Live, both published by the University of...
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Remembering Dov Noy (1920-2013)
One of the twentieth century's most important masters of Jewish folklore-who can be credited with collecting, preserving, and publishing Jewish folktales more than anyone else-has recently died: Professor Dov Noy. He left this world on September 29,...
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Changing Normal: The Storyteller as Culture Bearer, Researcher, and Change Agent
In Changing Skins: Folktales about Gender, Identity and Humanity, Milbre Burch challenges the binary construction of gender, advocating for gender fluidity in the place of gender dichotomy. Performed during the 2013 National Storytelling Festival in...
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On Simms' Our Secret Territory
On Simms' Our Secret TerritoryOur Secret Territory: The Essence of Storytelling, by Laura Simms. Boulder, CO: Sentient Publications, 2011. 186 pp. ISBN 978-1-59181-172-5.In the years that I have taught storytelling studies to undergraduates, I have more...
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Vol. 9, No. 1, Spring

Diane Wolkstein Skipped in Her Sleep: In the Footsteps of a Public Intellectual
We know we're here. We know one day we won't be here. But as for the time in between? How much do we dare to create our own lives?(Wolkstein, Esther's Story xii)To begin to understand the impact of the storyteller/scholar Diane Wolkstein, it is instructive...
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The Use of Stories in Education
The Use of Stories in Education Charles, Veronika Martenova. Fairy Tales in the Classroom: Teaching Stu- dents to Write Stories with Meaning Through Traditional Tales. Brighton, MA: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2009. Paperback, $34.95.Using her own journey...
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Liberating Voices
Liberating Voices Troubling Violence: A Performance Project, by M. Heather Carver and Elaine J. Lawless. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2009. Hard- back $50.00; paperback $25.00.For those who are skeptical about the therapeutic and influential...
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Toward a Methodology of Storytelling Performance Criticism
There is perhaps no other artistic endeavor for which the project of criticism is as fraught, and thus as necessary, as storytelling. In our field, issues of community commingle with those of class against the twin backdrops of Western critical theory...
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Karen Finley's "The Jackie Look"
Karen Finley's "The Jackie Look"In Karen Finley's latest solo piece, "The Jackie Look," performed at the Laurie Beechman Theater in New York City from January through March 2010, the woman once described in the Village Voice as "a raw quaking id taking...
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Storytelling and Narrative Ethnography: The Pioneering Work of Bud Goodall and Nick Trujillo
In the latter half of 2012, academia lost two pioneering scholars, Bud Goodall and Nick Trujillo. Whether called narrative ethnographers, new ethnographers, or autoethnographers, Goodall and Trujillo were at heart storytellers. They told stories: about...
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Autobiographical Remembering and Storytelling in Context and History
Agroup of cognitive psychologists (e.g., Brown and Lee) have argued that personal memory and knowledge of the collective past (e.g., war, genocide, civil uprisings, and natural disasters) become entwined in people's memories only when public events have...
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The Eff Ects of Story Performance on Fifth-Grade Students' Comprehension of Narrative Texts
BackgroundSince the early 1970s, storytelling, as a creative art form and teaching/learn- ing strategy, has experienced a slow, steady renaissance (Haven and Ducey; Roney, "A Case for Storytelling"). This reawakening has led some theorists and researchers...
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If I Had Three Wishes: The Educational and Social/Emotional Benefits of Oral Storytelling
IntroductionHumans have been telling stories almost since the beginning of human language (Agosto, "Storytelling"). In modern times we tell tales for many reasons: for entertainment, for strengthening community and cultural bonds, to teach lessons, to...
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Learning to Listen to an All-Day Talker
IntroductionAs an emerging oral tradition scholar who has also been a professional story- teller for over thirty years, I recently revisited an oral performance by the late Ray Hicks (1922-2003) of Beech Mountain, North Carolina. Because of my involvement...
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