Storytelling and the Globalised World

Event Date February 13, 2007 6 p.m. – February 14, 2007

Location – City Hall, Cardiff

Keynote: Prof Jack Zipes, provocations by Shahrukh Hussain, Dr Donald Smith and Prof Mick Mangan.

On 13th and 14th February we held our first annual lecture and symposium. The theme of the symposium was Storytelling and the Globalised World and it included a keynote lecture by Prof Jack Zipes (University of Minnesota) and papers by Shahrukh Husain, Prof Mick Mangan (University of Exeter) and Dr Donald Smith (Scottish Centre for Storytelling).

On Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th February 2007 the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling held it’s very first annual lecture and symposium on the theme of Storytelling in the Globalised World. The events included lectures by four prestigious speakers from America and around the UK. It was attended by over 80 delegates including professional storytellers, academics and those who use storytelling in their work ranging from health care and education professionals to probation workers and police officers.

Prof Jack Zipes from the University of Minnesota presented his keynote lecture “Storytelling as Spectacle in the Globalised World on Tuesday evening, this was followed by a reception and dinner in the luxurious comfort of the Grade One listed Park House Club with an after dinner storytelling performance by Taffy Thomas of the Northern Centre for Storytelling. Jack Zipes is professor of German at the University of Minnesota and has previously held professorships at New York University, the University of Munich, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Florida. In addition to his scholarly work, he is an active storyteller in public schools and has worked with children’s theatres in France, Germany, Canada, and the United States. His major publications include Sticks and Stones: The Troublesome Success of Children’s Literature from Slovenly Peter to Harry Potter (2000), Speaking Out: Storytelling and Creative Drama for Children (2004), Hans Christian Andersen: The Misunderstood Storyteller (2005), and Why Fairy Tales Stick: The Evolution and Relevance of a Genre (2006).

On Wednesday a day long symposium examined issues raised in the keynote lecture and the implications for storytelling in the modern world. Speakers included acclaimed writer Shahrukh Hussain who discussed issues multi-culturalism and cultural appropriation, Dr Donald Smith of the Scottish Storytelling Centre who talked about local and global identities and Prof Mick Mangan of the University of Exeter who explored the role of the arts and anti-globalisation.