Reading Across Borders: Storytelling and Knowledges of Resistance

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Palgrave Macmillan, Jun 14, 2003 - History - 249 pages
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IWhile social movements from workers' rights campaigns to environmental justice coalitions publicize their struggles by narrating people's experiences, recent critiques of "experience" and "identity" challenge the authority of such texts. How can we acknowledge the dangers of appeals to experience and identity, and yet still use the powerful tools of storytelling to counter ideological narratives? Bringing together the work of Hannah Arendt and transnational feminist theory, Shari Stone-Mediatore investigates the role that narration can play in resistant knowledge and politics. She argues that "storytelling," although not objective truth, is nonetheless crucial to responsible public debate, and identifies the specific narrative practices that impede, and those that facilitate, feminist and democratic struggles.

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This book presents a step by step, dense but clear analysis of the way that narratives contribute to our thinking. The book includes a critical analysis of the way that other philosophers have analyzed narration, so it's a good overview of philosophical contributions to this topic as well as suggests interesting ways to consider how we can think critically about narratives. I especially liked the books later chapters, which discuss how narratives "from the margins" are important not only for political reasons but also for rigorous thinking. 

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About the author (2003)

Shari Stone-Mediatore is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Ohio Wesleyan University.