Warwick University is holding its first storytelling conference aimed at storytellers, arts practitioners, and researchers.
When? 28thNovember 2016, 12.00 noon – 17.15 pm
Where? Warwick University, Main library, Coventry
What do we want the future of storytelling research to be? This conference considers current work that is being done in the broad field of storytelling. The aim is to engage people to thinking different avenues that future research in storytelling could take. We will cover a number of different topics involving inclusive research with people with learning difficulties, applied storytelling and drama with the Belgrade Theatre, and how to consider the role of the storyteller in research. In line with our creative theme there will be a live/recorded performance of How the Gypsies got their music (by Cornish storyteller Mike O’Connor), and a poetry writing workshop.
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Nicola Grove (University of Kent and storytelling charity openstorytellers) will be presenting a talk on Interdisiplinary narrative research that considers the relationship between storytelling and “small stories” with particular reference to the work of Dell Hymes, an ethnographer who studied the links between the telling of legends and everyday anecdote. And the importance of “small stories” to people with learning difficulties. Nicola’s talk will include a brief exercise that she uses with people with profound disabilities to include them in storytelling.
Catherine Heinemeyer (York St John University and York Theatre Royal) will provide examples from her storytelling practice to illustrate that we need to resist the urge to pin down, close off, or over-simplify the meanings given to us by participants in our research, and be prepared to be attentive to what occurs in the storytelling exchange itself. Rather than yielding data as to the benefits of storytelling, they may provide eloquent answers that may ‘help us navigate through our rapidly changing and liquid lives’ (Mike Wilson 2014). Further, working within story may help young people to name and understand the forces shaping their society, and facilitate dialogue and advocacy between generations whose experience is radically different.
A little time is set aside to explore our creative side on the day through a crafting a poem workshop (by Emma Parfitt and Catherine Heinemeyer). Inspired by your favourite folk and fairy tales Cath and I will be inviting everyone to complete a little preparatory task to be completed on the day through a free writing excercise. We would love you to share your poems with us, but this is not required as Cath and I will bring our poems to share if no one is brave enough.
This conference has been organised by Emma Parfitt, IAS Fellowship, Sociology, Warwick University with funding from the Institute of Advanced Study. Emma Parfitt(University of Warwick, Belgrade Theatre) will present some preliminary findings about current research with the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry. The research study involves interviewing previous participants of the Belgrade Theatre’s ‘acting out’ programme which aimed to encourage participation in the arts. The interviews will assess participants’ subsequent engagement with the arts and further education. This research is being funded by an IATL Strategic Grant from Warwick University.