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Narrative In Crisis: Reflections from the Limits of Storytelling

March 27, 2024 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Library Alumni Reading Room

Event poster titled

A Book Presentation with Martin Dege, Irene Strasser, Mark Freeman, Dan McAdams, Corinne Squire, Hanna Meretoja, Luka Lucić and Guro Nore Fløgstad, Ruthellen Josselson, Michel Ferrari and Melanie Munroe, Molly Andrews, and Jens Brockmeier.

Distinguished scholars of narrative discuss the notions of crises as an ongoing situation, thereby uncovering ideals of stability and certainty as epistemologically questionable psychological concepts. The authors all use as their anchorpoint the beginning of the the Covid Crisis in mid-2020, at a time still without vaccines and variants. They revisit their thoughts over the course of the ongoing pandemic and relate their research perspective to autoethnographic and biographical approaches to “crisis narratives.” As scholars and citizens, they share vulnerable moments of uncertainty – what we don’t know and will not know – and draw on past collective experiences. What did we learn from the Spanish flu? How well do experts and journalists really understand what those numbers are supposed to signify? How unparalleled is the unprecedented experience for individuals who have experienced war, sieges, and previous pandemics? And finally, will we ever learn to live with the virus? The chapters shed light on ambiguities relating to us and the other, rational, and irrational approaches to navigating crises, and other ambivalences, without aiming to solve them. They investigate levels of the individual, academic work, and society and highlight stories of the unknown or yet-to-be-known by making them accessible through thorough reflection, pushing back the all-too-simplified stories we hear in everyday discourses.

This event is open to the public.