Monthly Archives: March 2013

Narrating Transformation and Transforming through Storytelling

Narrating Transformation and Transforming through Storytelling

Narrating Transformation
Mar 14, 2013, 6:30pm | Room 6496
Shahla Talebi

In Ghosts of Revolution (2011), Shahla Talebi’s haunting account of her years as a political prisoner in Iran, she engages two interrelated premises put forth by Walter Benjamin: that telling stories of lived experiences opens the possibility of a true human connection, the transmission of wisdom, and individual and social transformation; and, to paraphrase Benjamin, that death sanctions everything the storyteller can tell for the storyteller borrows her authority from death. In this sense, Talebi’s writing is a way of  “narrating change”: those stories of struggles that seek transformation—of one’s one’s life and of one’s community—through narration.

Cosponsored by the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics; the Narrating Change Seminar in the Humanities; Havaar: Iranian Initiative Against War, Sanctions and State Repression; the Postcolonial Studies Group; the Committee on Globalization and Social Change; and the Raha Iranian Feminist Collective.

“Networks of trust among image makers”

On the re-publication his 2002 book of poetry, “from the warring factions,” Ammiel Alcalay transformed the James Gallery into a multi-media global poem. After showing a video clip of a 1998 reading with Semezzin, whose book of poems Sarajevo Blues, Ammiel had translated, he told us about some of the relationships, intentions, surprises, and concerns he had around the time of moving from material gathered over many years to publishing “from the warring factions.”

Around and behind Ammiel, he had posted flyers, magazines, notes, faxes, photographs, gathered in the midst of the Bosnian Wars of the 1990s, not only there but everywhere he and his friends and colleagues challenged its meaning with acts of poetry.
Having offered this image making, Ammiel read from the book, sharing this, “Poets clear eye on the world around him, and obligation to put it into words”. The poems he read created a “line of defense against propaganda” about the “horrors of war” to the grounded material human connections among people not only in late 20th century wars, wars Ammiel experienced in poetry, but also across many more places and times and self-consciously this activist poet figuring out “who I was in this”.

Reading examples of this from prior books, Ammiel mentioned challenges to readers and other writers “What does that day mean to you, how do you place yourself Nero, Shelly, Sadam, Miro’, Rome together?”

It was a joy to hear Ammiel read, such as “Old Bridge” from Book 1 of “from the warring factions”:

Miro’ is in “the Museum of Modern Art”
Miro is in Sarajevo.
A famous playwright is on state at Symphony space and over the air on NPR.
The announcer calls me twice during a break to find out how the pronounce the name Izeta.

Izeta is Miro’s wife.
They have a dog.

It is December 1st 1993.

Migration – from here to the big wherever- because the world was watching

Ammiel challenged us to let “the language take you somewhere that you can’t really predict”.

Narrative Inquiry in Education Research

Narrative Inquiry in Education Research

Professional Development Course @ AERA, San Francisco, 2013


Colette Daiute, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Phil Kreniske, Graduate Center & Hunter College, CUNY


This professional development workshop presents an approach to research that builds on the natural processes of narrating in everyday life.  The course offers a theoretical overview, examples, and hands-on modules for narrative inquiry addressing questions of teaching, learning and development.  The format is a sequence of presentations and guided activities for narrative research design and narrative analysis.  The goals of the course are to define and enact a socio-cultural approach to narrative inquiry with consistent education research design strategies and data analysis tools.  A feature of this workshop is the innovative systematic approach to practice-based research using narrative to mediate social relations, diversity, and learning across a range of educational contexts.  These goals are addressed with examples from prior funded and published research.  Participants are beginning and advanced researchers interested in learning about and applying narrative methods in their projects. All are welcome (but not required) to bring descriptions and data to apply to the course syllabus.

Contact Professor Daiute with questions.

If you have registered for the course please follow this link to post a brief description of your interests, when prompted enter the password Colette sent with her introductory email.

To register: Select PDC07: Narrative Inquiry in Education Research at


Course data/location: Friday April 26, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Grand Hyatt, Ballroom Level – Grand Ballroom East, San Francisco, CA

American Education Research Association