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Isabelle Hertner and Alister Miskimmon

This article outlines how Germany has sought to project a strategic narrative of the Eurozone crisis. Germany has been placed center stage in the Eurozone crisis, and as a consequence, the German government's crisis narrative matters for the future of the common currency. We highlight how the German government has sought to narrate a story of the cause of the Eurozone crisis and present policy solutions to influence policy decisions within the EU and maintain domestic political support. This focus on the public communication of the crisis is central to understanding the development of Germany's policy as it was negotiated with EU partners, the U.S. and international financial institutions. We draw on speeches and interviews by Chancellor Angela Merkel and two of her senior cabinet ministers delivered at key moments of the Eurozone crisis between May 2010 and June 2012. The article argues that while Merkel and her governments have been able to shore up domestic support for her Eurozone policies, she has struggled to find a coherent strategic narrative that is both consistent with German domestic preferences and historical memory, and with those of other Eurozone members.

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Leslie Paul Thiele and Marshall Young

Practical judgment can be developed from a wide variety of life experiences upon one condition: the experiences in question are made meaningful through stories. By placing lived experience in narrative form one gains a flexible guide for action. Calculative analysis may usefully supplement, but cannot supplant, narrative knowledge for the decision-maker grappling with the ‘wicked problems’ of social and political life. There is no obvious, or perhaps even feasible, way to determine what constitutes the kind of story that will improve practical judgment and allow for better decisions. It is less the content of stories that requires attention than the process of narrative inquiry, interaction and understanding.

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Majed Aladylah

It is important to stress that Arab women writers have produced a new kaleidoscope of narrative fiction in English. They focus on a variety of representations with respect to identity, dislocation, cultural hybridity and belonging. Moreover they have tried to construct a stable subjectivity and a space of belonging. These narratives are now dispersed and relocated by Arab women diasporic novelists such as Hala Alyan. This article will examine Hala Alyan’s 2017 novel, Salt Houses. This debut novel has amalgamated different narrative experimentations and techniques, and how polyphonic spaces have dislocated the conventional act of narration and relocated it in tandem with the non-homogeneity of the Arab world itself.

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Christian Gudehus

This article is based on the findings of an empirical study that is being conducted in Austria, Poland, and Germany. The material consists of a total of sixty group discussions with families, people of different age groups, as well as individuals dealing professionally with history and memory, including historians, teachers, politicians, journalists, displaced persons, and Jewish communities. Even if there are differences within every country, one clearly can observe dominant country-specific ways of speaking about the past. The German discourse could be described as a meta-narrative. Germans do not speak mainly about the past itself, but rather about how it should or should not be represented. The narrations are highly skeptical and unheroic. By contrast, the Polish discourse is almost devoid of skeptical narratives. Notions such as “historical truth,” “national pride” and “national history” were dominant in the discussions. The article concludes by noting that even though the modes of narrating the past are different in Germany and Poland, its function remains untouched: the past is always a resource for the construction of coherence and meaning.

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The Shadows of Knowability

Reading between Opaque Narrative and Transparent Text

Younes Saramifar

The torch of ember and its puzzling knowability are my exemplars, serving to open the binary of opacity and transparency in narrativity. I highlight inadequacies in the binary of opacity and transparency by examining the works of Peter Lamarque and Clare Birchall on matters of narrative and secrecy. I will try to see how one can think about opacity/transparency through the lenses of speculative realism and object-oriented philosophy. I do so by drawing examples from memories of the Iran-Iraq war (1980–1989) and explaining how the language of remembering becomes the realm of a tension between presence and absentia, between the unsaid within the said. I explore how memory-as-narrative and narrative-as-memory sustain the potentiality that eludes Orwellian newspeak.

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James E. Cutting, Catalina Iricinschi and Kaitlin L. Brunick

This article presents a new method to create maps that chart changes across a cinematic narrative. These are unlike narrative spaces previously discussed in the literature—they are abstract, holistic, dynamic representations based on objective criteria. The analysis considers three films (All About Eve, Inception, and MASH) by counting the co-occurrences of main characters within scenes, and 12 Angry Men by counting their co-occurrences within shots. The technique used combines the statistical methods of correlation, multidimensional scaling, and Procrustes analysis. It then plots the trajectories of characters across these spaces in All About Eve and Inception, regions for characters in Inception and MASH, and compares the physical arrangement of jurors with their dramatic roles in 12 Angry Men. These maps depict the changing structures in the visual narrative. Finally, through consideration of statistical learning, the article explores the plausibility that these maps mimic relations in the minds of film viewers.

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Tehmina Pirzada

In this article I focus on the graphic narratives Gogi (1970–the present) by Nigar Nazar and Haroon Rashid’s Burka Avenger (2013–the present) in particular to examine the empowering portrayal of Muslim girlhood that these works offer in addition to advocating for the rights of Muslim girls. I emphasize that graphic narratives have become a powerful medium that represents the resistance of Muslim girlhood both in the context of local patriarchies and as a tool to challenge the stereotypical representation of Muslim identities globally. By focusing on the depiction of the girl protagonists in these graphic narratives, I analyze how these artists rework the western superhero trope to foreground the girls’ everyday heroism. Moreover, by situating the interaction of the girls with Pakistani cityscapes, I argue, in terms of De Certeau’s concept of tactics, that the protagonists navigate the Pakistani cities as familiar places rather than as othered spaces.

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Sanne van der Hout and Martin Drenthen

Scientists need narrative structures, metaphors, and images to explain and legitimize research practices that are usually described in abstract and technical terms. Yet, sometimes they do not take proper account of the complexity and multilayered character of their narrative self-presentations. This also applies to the narratives of ecotechnology explored in this article: the treasure quest narrative used in the field of metagenomics, and the tutorial narrative proposed by the learning-from-nature movement biomimicry. Researchers from both fields tend to underestimate the general public’s understanding of the inherent ambivalence of the narratives suggested by them; the treasure quest and tutorial narratives build upon larger master narratives that can be found throughout our culture, for instance, in literature, art, and film. We will show how these genres reveal the moral ambivalence of both narratives, using two well-known movies as illustrations: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and Disney’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (1940).

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Michael Schuldiner

Scholars have suggested that Pablo Picasso’s The Dream and Lie of Franco (1937), like other tragicomic strips of the Spanish Civil War, combines both satire and tragic subject matter. However, efforts to determine a narrative in Picasso’s Dream and Lie have been inconclusive. This article explains that ‘structural markers’ exist within Picasso’s two plates of nine panels each that comprise Dream and Lie. Among other things, there are four stylistically separated sections to Dream and Lie, a first and third section that focus on Franco generally, and a second and fourth section that depict his victims. Moreover, at the centre of each of the two plates is a portrait of a bull to which Picasso has added his fingerprints. It is suggested that these structural markers and others identified here are able to provide the basis for future discussions of a narrative within Dream and Lie.

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The Inner Conflict

How Palestinian Students in Israel React to the Dual Narrative Approach Concerning the Events of 1948

Neveen Eid

This article addresses the Dual Narrative Approach (DNA) as applied to a sample group of Palestinian students in Israel. This approach is implemented in the dual narrative textbook developed by the Peace Research Institute in the Middle East (PRIME). The textbook was originally developed for history teaching in both the state of Israel and the Palestinian National Authority. The particular situation of Palestinians living in Israel raises an important question of the implementation of this approach in Palestinian-Israeli schools. This sample group is particularly interesting as within the State of Israel only the Jewish-Israeli historical narrative is officially taught in schools, even in the Arab-Palestinian schools. For many of the students tested in this study, this textbook was their first exposure to their own narrative. This article is an empirical study that uses the "mixed methods approach," investigating the students' reactions to the dual narrative textbook with specific regard to the narrative of the events of 1948, one of the most contentious periods for these two nations.