Stories at work, working with stories
Alf Arvidsson (Umeå University)
Line Esborg (University of Oslo)
Aula 8 (Andrés S. Suárez)
Monday 15 April, 9:00-10:45, 11:15-13:00 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

Narratives and storytelling projects have become an important tool in public life, for causes such as empowerment, democratization, heritage, identity politics. What happens when methods and concepts from ethnology and folklore are put to work in new contexts with or without academic frameworks?

Long abstract:

"The narrative turn" in public life, mass media and social sciences has resulted in a broad variety of storytelling projects, public programs, courses, festivals etcetera, often motivated with reference to inclusion, democratization, self-presentation, personal and collective development and empowerment, This can mean new opportunities, new applications and new challenges to ethnology and folklore studies, disciplines where listening to stories being told and discussing the meanings and social effects of storytelling have de facto been intrinsic from the start, whether narratives have been the pronounced study object or not. Our skills and knowledge of ethnographic fieldwork, traditional narrative practices, collective symbols and cultural analysis are strong resources but what happens in meetings in new contexts? What are the implications for methodology, pedagogy, positioning in society, and the reproduction of academic professionality, when new forms of dialogue and de-centered research change the patterns of interaction with the public?

We welcome abstracts dealing with topics such as but not restricted to:

• storytelling as documentation, exhibition and dialogue strategies of museums

• intangible cultural heritage work as a production of narratives

• biographical storytelling projects

• storytelling in refugee integration projects

• the presence of voices of indigenous peoples in storytelling projects

• emancipatory writing/storytelling courses

• narrative strategies in identity politics

within and without academic frameworks.