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Migration as Survival

Withheld Stories and the Limits of Ethnographic Knowability

Gerhild Perl

How to write about survival? How to tell survival? By exploring manifold reasons to withhold a story, I shed light on the limits of ethnographic knowledge production and the politics of storytelling that mobilize one story and silence another. Through engaging with the fragmented narrative of a Moroccan survivor of a shipwreck in Spanish waters in 2003, I reconceptualize the movement called “migration as survival” by theorizing it as an ethnographic concept. I explore the different temporalities of survival as living through a life-threatening event and as living on in an unjust world. These interrelated temporalities of survival are embedded in the afterlife of the historical time of al-Andalus and the resurgent fear of the Muslim “Other.” By suggesting an existentially informed political understanding of the survival story, I show how the singularity of the survivor is inscribed in a regime of mobility that constrains people and their stories.

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Topographies of the Possible

Creating Situations and Spaces of a City's Counter-narrative

Laila Huber

This article explores the creation of new structures of participation and counter imaginaries within the city between the poles of arts and politics. On the basis of two case studies, one situated in the non-institutionalised artistic field and one in the non-institutionalised political field, I will explore narratives of a 'topography of the possible' in the city of Salzburg. Aiming to outline collage pieces of a topography of the possible and of counter-narrative in and of the city – the city is looked at in terms of collage, understood as overlapping layers of the three spatial dimensions materiality (physical space), sociability (social space) and the imaginary (symbolic space). These are understood as differing but interrelated spatial dimensions, each one unfolding forms of collective appropriation of a city. The focus lies on the creation of social relations and collective imaginaries on the micro-level of cultural and political self-organised initiatives, looked at under terms of narration and storytelling. My ethnographic project asks for the creative potentiality of a city and for the creative power of social relations and collective imaginaries.

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The Life of the Death of 'The Fighting Fairy Woman of Bodmin'

Storytelling around the Museum of Witchcraft

Helen Cornish

The skeleton of Joan Wytte, or the Fighting Fairy Woman of Bodmin, was displayed in the Museum of Witchcraft in Cornwall in the UK for several decades until her eventual burial in nearby woodland in the autumn of 1999. Her story has been deployed as a critical historical source and a demonstrable link between Cornwall and magical histories. It is well established that the past is recorded and represented through narratives, artefacts and events in multiple and diverse ways, and museums are often idealised sites for historical knowledge. Historicity is contingent on current needs and agendas, and often contested. Through retelling over time certain elements are highlighted or downplayed. Since the burial, the life and death of Joan Wytte has become vividly invested with new meanings as her story becomes incorporated into the landscapes of folklore, Cornish histories and magical practices.

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Patrick Keating

In this article, I offer a response to Todd Berliner’s splendid book Hollywood Aesthetic. Although the book is an innovative and well-crafted contribution to the study of Hollywood cinema, I argue that it underestimates the extent to which unity and coherence contribute to the aesthetic value of a film.

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'I Listen to the Soundtrack and I'm Back There in the Day'

Impacts of Performing Memory in Northern Ireland

Magdalena Weiglhofer

This article addresses the function of public presentations of personal memory in a post-conflict context and explores whether they may contribute to a preservation of that conflict. In particular, it examines the reception of performed memories of violence and its aftermath by audiences who have lived through similar experiences. To do this, it will discuss observations from empirical research on a verbatim theatre production in Northern Ireland, Heroes with Their Hands in the Air, that used interviews with relatives of those killed or wounded in an incident that came to be known as 'Bloody Sunday'. Drawing on the responses to the stories portrayed, it argues that, although such performative re-enactment of memory may contribute to an affirmation of collective identity and thus to preserving boundaries, it allows a community of memory to examine past events of suffering and explore impacts that reach into the present.

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Christine Moderbacher

More than a year aft er the Brussels district Molenbeek came to international attention as “ISIS’s European capital,” an unplanned encounter during a visit at my former field site leads to a conversation about the struggles and concerns that people are facing in this much-talked-about place. The discussion on a small restaurant terrace wanders off into disappointments and adjustments during research and life and is marked by a shared feeling of uncertainty that mirrors the atmosphere of a city that has seldom been portrayed beyond ephemeral media descriptions.

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Frederick Luis Aldama

This article at once celebrates and puts at cautionary arm's length the tremendous advances made in the cognitive and neurosciences as research that can deepen our understanding of creating and consuming of literature, films, comic books. After providing an overview of recent insights by scholars with one foot in the humanities and the other in the cognitive and neurosciences, the article reflects on some key precepts that might be useful in our continued shaping of a humanities and cognitive based research program. For instance, the article explores the way authors, film directors, and artists generally not only construct artifacts that elicit positive emotions but also negative emotions. It also proposes a model for understanding how the “aesthetic” is a relation and not a property nor an essence of the object (a film) nor something to be found in the subject (us viewing the film).

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The Medium Is the Message

Olivier Schrauwen’s Arsène Schrauwen beyond Expectations of Autobiography, Colonial History and the Graphic Novel

Benoît Crucifix and Gert Meesters

alternative small-press scene explains his privileging of the short form and his ‘nonnovelistic’ approach to comics storytelling. His first work of novelistic Figure 1 Olivier Schrauwen, Arsène Schrauwen , first two self-published volumes, printed on a

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Jablonka’s History

Literature and the Search for Truth

Sarah Fishman

story-telling, the exploration of internal realities, to fiction, left history with a less engaging approach. Objective history seeks to answer important questions about the past, rather than simply elaborating events and great men. It is analytical

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Graphic Shorthand

From Caricature to Narratology in Twentieth-Century Bande dessinée and Comics

Harry Morgan

The initial aim of this article is to examine semiotic and narratological aspects of the graphic definition of character and caricature, as found in the image-based storytelling of the twentieth century. Our analysis will focus on North American newspaper strips and comic books - e.g. works by Jack Kirby - and French-language bande dessinée (particularly Alain Saint-Ogan and Jean-Claude Forest). We will see that, as a result of precise technical constraints, such as hand-drawn style [autographie] and swiftness of creation [rapidité d'exécution], caricature comes to play a very specific role in the artistic definition of character.