"The Story of Story-telling: Theory, Politics, and Changing Patterns"
"A need to tell and hear stories is essential to the species Homo sapiens – second in necessity apparently after nourishment and before love and shelter. Millions survive without love or home, almost none in silence; the opposite of silence leads quickly to narrative, and the sound of story is the dominant sound of our lives, from the small accounts of our day’s events to the vast incommunicable constructs of psychopaths."
Reynolds Price, A Palpable God
Indeed, Storytelling predates writing and even the formation of a structured language. Our prehistoric ancestors tried to tell stories of their lives by painting pictures on cave walls or rocks. With the development of language in a more civilized world storytelling became rather a collective cultural practice with the improvised narratives of impromptu storytellers at the end of the day’s work, which were then committed to memory and passed from generation to generation. They served the purpose of entertainment and spiritual guidance as well as that of recording and passing their views of the world and human existence to the next generation. Thus we find the myths and legends, folk tales and fables handed down to us through oral narratives.
From the visual storytelling of the cave paintings, through the oral mode that combined narratives with performing arts, the Homo sapiens entered the age of the written story transcribed on the stable and portable media. When oral storytelling with its natural variations was pushed back in favor of the written, especially with the advent of the print media, the idea of the author as originator of a story’s authoritative version changed the perception of stories themselves. In centuries following, stories tended to be seen as an individual’s copyright rather than a collective effort. Only recently the value of stories as such – independent of authorship – was again recognized and critics even proclaimed the ‘Death of the Author'.
In the present era we have come full circle to return again to the primary technique of visual storytelling with TV, films, social media and the Virtual Reality created by computer graphics. The internet has created a space for blogs, posting pictures and events that we attend. Social media has become the modern way we tell the stories of our lives in the 21st century. Various new forms of storytelling in contemporary media, each with its own narrative techniques and objectives, have developed. Advertisements tell feel-good stories about a product or rouse fear of lagging behind in case of not using it. They are the myths of the modern capitalist world as Barthes tells us in Mythologies. Online or offline VR games position the gamer as a character within a fictional world to develop the story himself. Interactive fiction software provides simulating environments in which players use text commands to control characters in an interactive and collaborative mode of storytelling.
Human beings have always tried to construct their lives and shape their world, and even build their personal and cultural identity through storytelling. Such narratives, whether it is a folktale, or a novel or a film, involve both aesthetics and political praxis in their representation of the human experience. We can, therefore, treat narratives as politically motivated stories, stories empowering certain groups and giving people agency. Often we find a dominant narrative and its subversive variant giving two different versions of the same event. So it is very important to ask whose interest a narrative serves and whether it is meant to legitimize and dominate or to resist and empower. All narratives can be seen as ideological because they evolve from a structure of power relations and simultaneously produce, maintain or attempt to subvert that power structure.
Our ensuing edited volume entitled The Story of Story-telling: Theory, Politics, and Changing Patterns (tentative) looks forward to trace all these issues investigating the changing patterns of story-telling in the following four broad areas: (1) Folk culture, Epics and Parables, (2) Novels and Short Stories, (3) Film and Theatre, and (4) Print and Electronic media.
As our primary focus is going to be narratology and the socio-political context of story-telling, we invite articles which might touch upon, but are not limited to, the following areas –
- Politics of Storytelling
- Gender bias in Storytelling
- Narratology of oral narratives
- Narratology of visual narratives
- Film/web version of a Text
- Storytelling in Theatrical mode
- Detective and Crime fiction – in written and visual mode
- Science Fiction – in written and visual mode
- Storytelling in Advertisements
- Storytelling in Social Media
- Fact and fiction in Media
- Any other sub-themes related to the main theme of the book.
Guidelines for Contributors
- Articles/chapters, containing an Abstract (within 350 words) and 4-5 Keywords, must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Manuscripts should be typed in British English using MS Word format with paper size: A4; Font type & font size: Times New Roman, 12; Spacing: 1.5; Margin: 1 inch on all four sides.
- Word-range: 3000 - 4000 words (including Works Cited List)
- The title of the paper should be in capital letters, bold, font size: 14 and centered at the top of the first page. The author (s) and affiliations (s) should be centered, bold, font size: 12 and single-spaced, beginning from the second line below the title.
- Authors are to follow the 8th Edition of MLA handbook. Don’t use Footnotes. Use Endnotes, if required.
- It is imperative that authors follow strict ethics of writing papers and duly acknowledge borrowings in any form. The author (s) should submit the declaration that the article is original and plagiarism free, has not been published earlier, and has not been submitted/accepted for publication elsewhere.
- Rejected papers won’t be sent back to the contributor. Only the message of rejection will be communicated through mail.
- The editors reserve the right to introduce any type of change in an accepted paper or reject any paper if it is not in harmony with the requirements of our book.
- Send a brief bio-note containing your name and designation, complete mailing address, institutional address, mail-id, contact details in a separate MS Word document.
- Papers submitted for publication are subject to Copyright Act. The paper contributors are to bear the consequences of violation of this act.
Publisher: This edited book will be published by a reputed Publishing House with ISBN.
Article/Chapter submission deadline: 31st May 2021
Intimation of Review Results: 30th June 2021
Deadline for submission of revised papers, if any: 15th July 2021
Final Intimation about Acceptance to Author (s): 31st July 2021
Submit your Articles/Chapters to email@example.com
Dr. Sourav Pal
Department of English
Gourav Guin Memorial College
Chandrakona Road, Paschim Medinipore
West Bengal, India, 721253
Contact No.: 9434957961 (WhatsApp)
Dr. Samit Kumar Maiti
Department of English
Seva Bharati Mahavidyalaya
West Bengal, India, 721505
Contact No.: 9800769610 (WhatsApp)
Publication Fee: The editors are not charging any publication and processing fee. A hard copy of the edited book will be given to each contributor at a very reasonable price.