Narrative Matters 2012 — Panel Possibilities
See my separate new thread re the overall thinking for NM2012 in Paris: next May-time http://edtechandtesol.info/phd/?p=2638
The purpose of this new thread is to focus on the second area (in that overall thinking), that of a Panel offered by the LTE reseachers and their associates. This is where my thinking had reached previously:
My thinking so far – but not as yet checked out thoroughly against the information about the conference themes and Panel possibilities – is concerned with what might be termed subversive storylines, i.e. the storylines that our research participants (including ourselves) tell which challenge existing, dominant storylines re gender, nation, ethnicity, etc. Vague, I know, but an idea is germinating …
So, some new thinking:
- Eljee suggests that, from the six suggested bullet points in Call for Papers, the second one seems like the best “fit”, i.e. “How can narrative research have a greater impact on the lives of real persons and institutions? How can narrative theory and practice better inform one another?” She wonders if the pragmatic tone signalled by the “how” could allow for the area of subversion to open up for us …
- Conference organiser Brian Schiff notes that “A panel will include the title and abstract for the panel itself and the title/abstract/info on each of the papers. Abstracts are limited to 300 words. I would think of addressing one of the conference themes. Does that help? We are still getting the submission tool up and running. It should be more clear once this is in place.”
- So, although there may be room for some creativity within the Panel genre, the line seems to be that of a set of papers all relating directl;y to the Panel theme. But, we are potentially many – current students (Eljee, Lou, Tanya, Magdalena? Achilleas? Magda?), former students (Viv, Mariam), research associates (Leah?, Hiromi?, Clare Lennie?), and potentially a wider circle also (e.g. Stephen for the transgender project mentioned elsewhere) – so, I suggest that we use comments on this posting to explore who might want to be involved in the Panel as performers as it were …
- What do I mean by subversive storylines? I am thinking that at any point in time each of us has available to us a set of storylines, narrative schemata for understandng our experience and projecting into the future, and that, for a variety of reasons, the set of possible storylines available to us may change, and new storylines may emerge which challenge something about the previous storyline status quo. Thus, the emergent storylines may subvert the prevoous possibilities. A key word here is ’emergent’ since this helps me to keep as distinct subervisve storlines from more politically-driven counter-narratives for example (but the distinction is blurred in my thinking still).
- Let me give some concrete examples: as her professional experience developed in the worlf of TESOL, the existing professional storylines of being a NEST or a NNEST were challenged by Eljee’s emerging sense of a new kind of storyline, that of being a VEM-NEST, and as this new construct became more concrete in her thinking, it challenged/subveted the previous binarydistinction (Eljee does this work for you?).
- A second example, working with Leah on the Ladino stories of the elderly Sephardic Jews in Bulgaria, I can see now how their accounts (in whivch, for example, one of these ‘Bulgarians’ spoke Ladino as a first language (n the home and in the SEphardic community), then Turkish (for village communication more broadly), then Hebrew (as a language of instruction in the Jewish schools in operation in the 1930s,a nd only then, in 4th place maybe, Bulgarian. This storyteller’s account in some ways challenges the availabel storlines about what it might mean (in linguistic terms) to be Bulgarian. (Does this work for you Leah?)
- Tanya’s study is most obviously connected to this subversive storylines theme as she explotes how the women in her research subvert the available storylines for womern in Yemeni society (is this an ok summary Tanya?)
- Hiromi’s auto-biographical work on the ‘passive Asian language learner’ not only probematises that noton but also cteates new storylines through which EFL teachers might understand their e.g. Japanese learners …. does this work for you Hiromi?
- I could, given time, play around with my sense of the possibilities of ‘subversive storylines’ for each of the research areas you are each involved in, and as ahve been doing so, I can see potential in all of these research topics that (to a larger or lesser extent) I know about, but the Panel idea will only work if such possibilities work for each of you as well.
- So, can you have a think about your topics in this kind of way, and see whether the ‘subversive storylines’ theme does make any sense to you, and whether or not you could imagine making a contribution on this theme using one of your topis/interests as the foreground? If so, post a comment here in response to my prompt 🙂
So, that is more than enough for one posting from me. Any thoughts?