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Unpublished Paper
"But that Speaking Makes it So": The Role of Narrative in the Formation of Community
Critical Theory (1997)
  • Kristopher A Nelson, University of California - San Diego
I am interested in the intersection of community, pedagogy, and history in the Comparative History of Ideas Program at the University of Washington. This intersection revolves for me around an educational narrative which emphasizes the "gift" aspects of the university, an orientation which positions students as active members of a scholarly community. I believe it is through a retelling, a narrative (re)construction of the world, that this gift oriented community may come to be. Overall, I view narrative as the underlying thread which knits together our worlds, and I use a narrative exploration of the Comparative History of Ideas Program, gift, pedagogy, the literary canon, and even Dante’s Purgatorio in order to demonstrate the ways in which a narrative exploration can productively mediate tensions and contradictions across both theoretical and temporal limits. In each case, I seek to further extend my theories of narrative in connection with a particular issue; in addition, my history of the Comparative Ideas Program provides one example a practical application of narrative to issues of community. 
  • gift,
  • narrative,
  • critical theory,
  • comparative history of ideas,
  • community
Publication Date
Citation Information
Kristopher A Nelson. ""But that Speaking Makes it So": The Role of Narrative in the Formation of Community" Critical Theory (1997)
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