Pictured above: George Ewart Evans (1909–88) was a pioneering oral historian. He published a series of books examining the disappearing customs and way of life of rural Suffolk, the best know of these is Ask the Fellows who Cut the Hay. He was also an accomplished story writer and wrote short-stories, novels and poems. George Ewart Evans was born and raised in the mining community of Abercynon, a stone’s throw from the University of Glamorgan where the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling is based.
Thurs 14th June 5 p.m. Prof Hamish Fyfe (University of Glamorgan)
“Habits of the Heart” Storytelling and Everyday Life
Academics have long been ambivalent about storytelling and other aspects of everyday life. As a notion ‘everyday life’ is vague, inclusive, and loaded with ambiguous cultural meaning as are the words ‘banal’ and, despite Raymond William’s heroic effort to rescue it, ‘ordinary’. Often linked to the bathetically comic or eternally tedious the everyday can also refer to the heroically democratic non-elitist and normal.
Storytelling is an everyday activity for most people in the world in some form or another. This paper will attempt to place storytelling in the quotidian of everyday life and to indicate how it has fallen through the gaps of concern that of the academic disciplines that look at everyday life through the refracting mirror of their own specific concerns. Is it possible to rescue storytelling from its position as a kind of remaindered subject that evades traditional divisions of knowledge?
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