Storytelling and Place Symposium

21-22 April 2017
ATRiuM, University of South Wales
Adam Street, Cardiff, CF24 2FN

The George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling Annual Symposium. and DS Festival joined forces to present a two day symposium with a digital storytelling strand on the theme of ‘Storytelling and Place’.

We are delighted to announce that the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling Annual Symposium and DS Festival are continuing their successful collaboration to again put together a two day symposium exploring storytelling in all its varied forms. This follows our successful Storytelling and Justice symposium held in 2016.

This year the theme is Storytelling and Place. Storytelling can help us understand our identity and relationship to the places we inhabit, be these geographic or psychological. In our current times, when national identity is constantly being negotiated and renegotiated, as Europe is reshaped in the wake of the ’Brexit’ vote and as Twitter is rebirthed as an instrument of government, the stories we tell about ourselves and our places can serve to guide us and inform our relationship to the world and each other. In an era which has been described as ‘post-truth’ and where news stories draw their cultural capital as much from their ‘clickworthiness’ as their veracity the stories we tell about ourselves and our place within the world have become one of the most-urgent issues of our time.

We aim to inspire, encourage and showcase exciting projects across a wide spectrum of digital storytelling activity which focuses on place. The conference will feature invited keynote presentations, a panel discussion with leading Welsh writers and poets, performances of stories and provocations by prominent thinkers in the field of story and place. Confirmed contributors include: Dr Jamie Tehrani, Prof Kevin Mills, Catherine Fisher, Cath Little, Dr Hilary Ramsden, the International NAR-SPI 'Narrative educational resources for socio professional inclusion’ panel, Susan Richardson, Catrin James and Jayne Hunt of 'The Heritage of Orchards & Cider Making in Wales’, and Prof Sioned Davies. The two day event is held on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd April 2017 in The Atrium, University of South Wales, Adam St, Cardiff, CF24 2FN.

Keynote speaker: Dr Jamie Tehrani (Durham University)

Once upon a time – but when? Searching for the origins of Indo-European folktales

Researchers since the Brothers Grimm have speculated about the origins of folktales shared by different cultures around the world. However, as primarily oral art forms, there is precious little literary evidence to locate the source and spread of these stories. I will describe a novel approach to this problem that draws on methods from evolutionary biology, showing how they can be used to trace lineages of narrative inheritance and reconstruct ancient tale corpora in Indo-European tale traditions.

Dr Tehrani’s research focuses on how culture evolves as it gets transmitted from person to person and from generation to generation. He is interested in understanding what makes some things catch on, others die out, and how these processes shape patterns of cultural diversity within and across populations. His current work focuses mainly on the transmission of popular narratives, such as traditional folktales, urban legends and modern day conspiracy theories.

If there is anything you would like to discuss further please get in touch with Dr Emily Underwood-Lee (Emily.underwood-lee@southwales.ac.uk).

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