Narrative and Knowledge
This interdisciplinary, week-long online course is meant for students and professionals in the arts, literature, theology, philosophy, business, journalism, psychology, coaching, politics, and any other field in which narrative and storytelling play a role.
The Latin root of narrative, narrāre, is a derivative of nārus: knowledge. This etymology exemplifies the strong intertwinement of human thinking about storytelling and cognition, but the shared history of these concepts has not always been an easy one. Since classical antiquity, narrative has been conceived of as an ideal vessel for conveying knowledge (Horace), a specific form of knowing itself (Aristotle) or, instead, an obstacle to ‘true’ knowledge (Plato). These ancient debates find their counterparts in contemporary discussions about the uses and abuses of storytelling in, for instance, history, journalism, social media, politics, and education. Together we will investigate the complex relationships between narrative and knowledge as dimensions of human cognition. We will focus on a variety of aspects of this relationship, categories such as the concrete and the abstract, fiction and truth, intentionality and causality, invention and discovery, experience and theory, story and history.
The context for our winter school is an increasing body of research, across academic disciplines, on how narrative serves to map the ways in which we relate to ourselves and to the world around us. Meanwhile, outside the academy, storytelling has become the focus of attention in many professional practices, such as psychology, counselling, medicine and health, and journalism. These practices put to work the fact that knowledge of ourselves, of others, and of the world we live in is often expressed through storytelling.
The winter school is strongly interdisciplinary, studying narrative and knowledge in a variety of media and settings and from different perspectives. The programme pays attention to contemporary developments in our thinking about the relation between storytelling and non-narrative cognition in our interaction with the environment. The final day will consist of the symposium “Narrative and Knowledge in Times of Crisis”, discussing, among other things, different narratives from the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.
Our speakers are specialists in culture theory, art and literature, cognitive science, minority studies, media studies, and religious studies and include Barend van Heusden, Liesbeth Korthals Altes, and Gerben Westerhof.
|Last modified:||23 October 2020 3.03 p.m.|