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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

African American storytelling: Collective memory, creative resistance, and personal transformation
by Edwards, Leslie C., Ph.D., Union Institute and University, 2009, 215; 3375170
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation concerns the place of African American storytelling in a contemporary context by telling the story of a group of storytellers and documenting their performances and interactions with their audiences. The study centers on the analysis of the phenomenon and practice of contemporary African American storytelling within a largely urban context as a means to identify the personal, social, cultural, and political functions of narrative. Using ethnographic and phenomenological research approaches, as well as drawing from a range of traditions, including literary, historical, and cultural analysis, this interdisciplinary research analyzes the way in which African American storytelling functions as a narrative and performative strategy of resistance, healing, and coping for the storyteller and audience. In doing so, the research documents that African American storytelling gives agency and voice to the teller and counters dominant culture master-narratives through local and personal stories. The result of such counter-narratives, as told in the words of the storytellers, is personal transformation through the cumulative process of creating and performing African American stories. The research also employs performance analysis to document how storytellers craft and present stories to create social and cultural cohesion that leads to community building and self-empowerment.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Piep, Karsten H.
School: Union Institute and University
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 70/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Black studies, Ethnic studies, African American Studies
Keywords: African-American, African-American counter-narratives, African-American culture, African-American storytelling, Narrative analysis, Oral tradition, Performance analysis, Storytelling
Publication Number: 3375170
ISBN: 978-1-109-35929-9
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