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Wed, 04 Sep 2013 03:52:59 EDT by admin, 53904 views
University of Pécs
Cultural Studies paper by Fodor, Mónika (all papers)
Even Pictures Don’t Tell: Constructing a Sense of History in Stories of the Past
In this paper I discuss the power of history as narrated in personal stories about family members’ participation in major events of Hungarian and world history. Interview-based narratives are analyzed from the perspective of the storytellers’ sense of history. Narratives shift the focus of history from texts to interpreters and historical culture thus becomes a story created by participants rather than something read or viewed by them. Stories about historical events create and maintain communities as well as ethno-cultural identities in specific ways that allow several interpretations and recontextualizations. Relating to personal stories, a sense of history is defined as the knowledge of multiple series of events in the past that the individual applies to create interpretive frames of the surrounding world. Thus, the past and the present are linked in the narrative, which often breaks the traditions of linearity and disrupts the unity of textual truth and textual purpose. I approach the stories from narrative and discourse analytical perspectives.
Brief Professional Bio:
Monika Fodor works as assistant professor at the Department of English Literatures and Cultures at the University of Pécs. Her research interest includes narratives, identity, ethnicity, oral histories, ethnographic fieldwork and the applications of these fields in teaching English as a foreign language. Currently she is working on exploring uncertainty and the chaos/complexity perspective in the context of assimilation and narrative identity construction. Her most recent publication is a co-edited volume (Arapoglou, Fodor, Nyman eds.)titled Mobile Narratives. Travel, Migration and Transculturation published by Routledge, New York.