Monthly Archives: July 2010

July 4, 2010

The Challenge of Hearing the Opposition

Last week, I had the privilege of guest lecturing about the uses of narrative for defense professionals at the National Defense University. It was a terrific experience all around—the students were impressively willing to think and talk about storytelling, which isn’t exactly a traditional part of a military education.

I was eager to have the students work with material that reflects their real world, and thought a 2009 interview with an Afghan member of parliament telling the story of civilians killed by American bombing in her province would be of great interest. And so it was.

In my own eagerness to bring the content of the video into the classroom, I hadn’t made much of the fact that the interview had been conducted and released by CODEPINK, a women’s anti-war group. Not so the class. After the class, a couple of participants made it clear they disapproved of my video choice.