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CFP: The Tales We Tell: Storytelling and Narrative Practice

Monday, November 16, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Shannon K. Larson
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Elizabeth Falconi and Kate Graber are completing a volume for publication with Brill, entitled The Tales We Tell: Storytelling and Narrative Practice, for which they seek additional relevant work. This volume considers storytelling as a diverse set of narrative practices by which the circulations of linguistic, social, and cultural resources are enabled or obstructed. Stories, and the way they are told, enacted, or written, are a means of linguistic possibility and of linguistic constraint. They may illustrate through allegory some kind of moral ideal, but they also show what should not be done. Recent research has brought our attention to how stories and storytelling become the focus of larger ideological struggles in terms of "generic regimentation" (Briggs 1993; Bauman 2004; Kroskrity 2009a, 2009b). Genres of storytelling emerge out of the repeated production and reproduction of narrative forms, which gain linguistic and social authority over time. This volume builds upon and extends this body of scholarship by investigating a set of specific examples of the regimentation of genre in action. Chapters foreground stories to consider how, as different linguistic resources and repertoires circulate among speakers of a language (or languages), the intertextual relations between those resources and repertoires constrain, direct, or regiment their further use.

The existing chapters investigate these issues through different types of storytelling in a diverse range of social, linguistic, and geographic contexts, including Mapuche medical narratives in Chile, family laments in the Maniat region of Greece, "coming out" stories on a college campus in the United States, Buryat-Russian television news stories in Siberia, and traditional Zapotec storytelling in Mexico. While all of the chapters deal with issues central to ongoing discussions in linguistic anthropology, the authors come from and engage with a variety of disciplines and subfields, including communication studies, media studies, conversation and discourse analysis, folklore, indigenous studies, sociocultural anthropology, and medical anthropology. The volume seeks to answer the question: What is at stake in a story?

The editors would like to round out the volume with an additional two chapters. In keeping with the book's goal of examining stories and narratives across genres, they are especially interested in papers that deal centrally with narratives of personal experience, such as life histories. If you are working on something in this vein or have recently completed a paper that you think might be a good fit, the editors are interested in hearing from you.

This volume is on a compressed timeline (meaning that your chapter would also see the light of day more quickly), so if you are interested in joining the project, the editors ask that you submit an initial abstract by Friday, December 4. Your complete chapter draft would be due January 15, 2016. Please submit abstracts directly to editors Elizabeth Falconi and Kate Graber at

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