Category Archives: Narrative forms

December 15, 2012

Narrative for Survival: My Grandmother’s Story

Stories can save lives. In One Thousand and One Nights, Sheherezade uses her storytelling talents to end King Shahrayr’s plot to punish his unfaithful wife by punishing all of the women of his kingdom.  Having put to death the unfaithful Queen herself, the King embarks on a plan to marry a virgin of the Kingdom …

December 1, 2012

Intertextuality for Strategic Communication

The Power of Reference, Allusion and Quotation in Communication Two recent films, Skyfall and Anna Karenina, are made more intensely meaningful by their intentional intertextuality–their incorporation of previous iterations and interpretations of the story they are themselves telling.  Both offer insights into the ways communicators can benefit from the same kind of internal referentiality. The …

November 3, 2012

A Presidential Campaign, but No Presidential or National Narrative

A presidential campaign is an exercise in storytelling. Each candidate is always seeking to tell the most compelling story of the nation, one that both reflects who we think we are and projects into the future the kind of nation we’d like to be.   The very occasion of campaign, with its promise of renewal, should …

July 10, 2012

Numbers as Narratives: Review of World Economics Website

In popular imagination, narratives and numbers are opposites; the nebulous and imaginative versus the precise and factual. In public policy, narratives our political leaders often rest on numbers in the form of statistics, indices, averages, probabilities. Numbers are so compact, so easily legible, that it is easy to forget they are themselves stories: shorthand renderings …

April 16, 2012

“Stand your Ground” Laws Validate Stories of Lethal Force, Silence Others

Spirit of Justice, cropped from photograph: Two sculptures "Spirit of Justice," and "Majesty of Justice," Great Hall, 2nd floor, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.

Yale Law School professor Adam Cohen, advocating the repeal of the Stand Your Ground law that permitted George Zimmerman to claim he killed Trayvon Martin in self defense, wrote in Time Magazine last week that: If Zimmerman does go to trial, there will no doubt be enormous debates over his guilt or innocence. It is …