‘Worlds of Storytelling’ aims to discover, analyse and reflect on regional traditions of storytelling in relation to the global interests of media industries and politics. Human beings have always told stories, and storytelling acts as a powerful tool for communication, enabling us to express ideas around belonging, identity and connect within social groups (Koschorke 2012, Martínez and Scheffel 2007, Fiedler 2017, Leroi-Gourhan and Bischoff 1988). Stories, independent from the medium of presentation, are central to the cultural memory of civilisations, nations, ethnicities and other forms of social grouping (Assmann 2011, Assmann and Conrad 2010, Assmann 1993). Language, topography, climate, cultural traditions and politics influence national/regional storytelling styles, leading to rich and diverse expressions of this very human act.
Although concepts of the transnational are key in many productions, with media content designed to reach an international audience, a distinction needs to be made between transnational productions which represent local cultures and a more homogenised globalised transnationalism (cf. Curiel 2010, amongst others). With this network research project, we aim to bring together researchers from various fields of screen studies relating to concepts of regional or national media cultures, and through this to develop an international research project around the relationship between national and global storytelling. The initial stage will culminate in a symposium from which we hope to draw out some core strands to explore future and foster international collaborative partnerships. This project may also give voice to the storytelling of minorities and small nations and support expressions of under-represented cultural identities and heritage.
Already involved are partners from China, Germany, and Australia, we are in discussion with colleagues from Canada and Brazil. The plan is to apply for funding in the UK and beyond, hopefully end of this calendar year.
Therefore, I am inviting interested researchers to get in touch, from first ideas to more developed projects. Everyone is welcome to start the dialogue: firstname.lastname@example.org