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ISU College of Arts and Letters faculty publish book on narrative theory

March 17, 2017

POCATELLO – Twenty Idaho State University faculty members in the College of Arts and Letters recently published a book focused on narrative and the power of stories and storytelling.

The book, titled “Narrative, Identity, and Academic Community in Higher Education,” explores the diverse ways the idea of narrative can be understood and applied, and shows how the faculty authors have used narrative in their own research and projects.

The inspiration for the book came from faculty connections set up through a narrative colloquium series hosted by the College. The colloquium series was based on a growing awareness that narrative was an idea reflected in the work of faculty members from most of the College’s departments. Through presentations by faculty and students and follow-up conversations, College personnel realized that this idea of narrative had potential to enhance unity within the unit. That realization led to the idea of turning colloquium presentations and conversations into the seeds of an all-ISU, all-College of Arts and Letters book project.

“This collection of stories on how narrative plays a role in our research and disciplines shows how very different disciplines can come together to create common ground to better serve our students,” said Kandi Turley-Ames, dean of the College of Arts and Letters.

In their chapters, professors from across the arts, humanities and social and behavioral sciences share results of their research as well as how their own personal stories relate to narrative. For example, Gesine Hearn, chair of the Department of Sociology, Social Work and Criminology, explains how narrative gives insight into the experiences of those who, like herself, have had to deal with the challenges of chronic pain. In another chapter, historian Raphael Njoku and economist King Yik, both ISU professors, explore narrative and the construction of ethnic identities in modern Africa.

Faculty members who contributed to the book include Brian Attebery, Sonja Launspauch, Alan Johnson and Thomas Klein from the Department of English, Vanessa Ballam and Lauralee Zimmerly from the Department of Theatre and Dance, Elizabeth Cartwright from the Department of Anthropology, John Gribas, Zac Gershberg, James DiSanza, Nancy Legge and Terry Ownby from the Department of Communication, Media, and Persuasion, Grant Harville from the Department of Music, Hearn from the Department of Sociology, Social Work and Criminology, Mark McBeth and Kellee Kirkpatrick from the Department of Political Science, Njoku and Yik from the Department of Global Studies, Paul Sivitz from the Department of History and Turley-Ames from the Department of Psychology.

The book will be released on March 28. It is available for pre-order at amazon.com and routledge.com.

 For more information, contact John Gribas at 282-3204 or gribjohn@isu.edu.