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Vol. 1 (2011) through current issue
Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics (NIB) provides a forum for exploring current issues in bioethics through the publication and analysis of personal stories, qualitative and mixed-methods research articles, and case studies. Articles may address the experiences of patients and research participants, as well as health care workers and researchers. NIB is dedicated to fostering a deeper understanding of bioethical issues by engaging rich descriptions of complex human experiences. While NIB upholds appropriate standards for narrative inquiry and qualitative research, it seeks to publish articles that will appeal to a broad readership of health care providers and researchers, bioethicists, sociologists, policy makers, and others.
Rumors, Islamist Extremism, and the Struggle for Strategic Influence
Islamic extremism is the dominant security concern of many contemporary governments, spanning the industrialized West to the developing world. Narrative Landmines explores how rumors fit into and extend narrative systems and ideologies, particularly in the context of terrorism, counter-terrorism, and extremist insurgencies. Its concern is to foster a more sophisticated understanding of how oral and digital cultures work alongside economic, diplomatic, and cultural factors that influence the struggles between states and non-state actors in the proverbial battle of hearts and minds. Beyond face-to-face communication, the authors also address the role of new and social media in the creation and spread of rumors.
As narrative forms, rumors are suitable to a wide range of political expression, from citizens, insurgents, and governments alike, and in places as distinct as Singapore, Iraq, and Indonesia—the case studies presented for analysis. The authors make a compelling argument for understanding rumors in these contexts as “narrative IEDs,” low-cost, low-tech weapons that can successfully counter such elaborate and expansive government initiatives as outreach campaigns or strategic communication efforts. While not exactly the same as the advanced technological systems or Improvised Explosive Devices to which they are metaphorically related, narrative IEDs nevertheless operate as weapons that can aid the extremist cause.
The Power of the Personal Essay in Health Policy
This anthology brings together the personal stories of patients, physicians, policy makers, and others whose writings humanize discussions and deliberations about health policy. Drawn from the popular "Narrative Matters" column in the journal Health Affairs, the essays epitomize the policy narrative, a new genre of writing that explores health policy through the expression of personal experiences. Forty-six articles focus on such topics as the hard financial realities of medical insurance, AIDS, assisted suicide, marketing drugs, genetic engineering, organ transplants, and ethnic and racial disparities in the health care system. The narratives raise ethical and moral issues that are being studied in many of our nation's medical schools. This compelling collection provides important insight into the human dimensions of health care and health policy.
Temporality in the Nineteenth-Century British Long Poem
How did nineteenth-century poets negotiate the complex interplay between two seemingly antithetical modes—lyric and narrative? Narrative Means, Lyric Ends examines the solutions offered by four canonical long poems: William Wordsworth’s The Prelude, Lord Byron’s Don Juan, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Aurora Leigh, and Robert Browning’s The Ring and the Book. Monique Morgan argues that each of these texts uses narrative techniques to create lyrical effects, effects that manipulate readers’ experience of time and shape their intellectual, emotional, and ethical responses. To highlight the productive tension between the modes, Morgan defines narrative as essentially temporal and sequential, and lyric as creating an illusion of simultaneity. The poems reinforce their larger narrative strategies, she suggests, with their figurative language. Through her readings of these texts, Morgan questions lyric’s brevity and a-sociability, interrogates retrospection’s importance for narrative, examines the gendered implications of several genres, and determines the dramatic monologue’s temporal structure. Narrative Means, Lyric Ends offers four case studies of the interactions between broad modes and among specific genres, changes our aesthetic and ideological assumptions about lyric and narrative, expands the domain of narratology, and advocates a renewed formalism.
Navigating the Ninteenth-Century British Novel
Narrative theorists have lavished attention on beginnings and endings, but they have too often neglected the middle of narratives. In this groundbreaking collection of essays, Narrative Middles: Navigating the Nineteenth-Century British Novel, nine literary scholars offer innovative approaches to the study of the underrepresented middle of the vast, bulky nineteenth-century multiplot novel. Combining rigorous formal analysis with established sociohistorical methods, these essays seek to account for the various ways in which the novel gave shape to British culture’s powerful obsession with middles. The capacious middle of the nineteenth-century novel provides ample room for intricately woven plots and the development of complex character systems, but it also becomes a medium for capturing, consecrating, and cultivating the middle class and its middling, middlebrow tastes as well as its mediating global role in empire. Narrative Middles explores these fascinating conjunctions in new readings of novels by Jane Austen, William Makepeace Thackeray, Anne Brontë, George Eliot, Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Henry James, and William Morris. Contributors: Amanda Claybaugh, Suzanne Daly, Amanpal Garcha, Amy King, Caroline Levine, Mario Ortiz-Robles, Kent Puckett, Hilary Schor, and Alex Woloch.
Death, Closure, and New Wave Cinemas
Narrative critics of the Hebrew Bible often describe the biblical narrators as “laconic,” “terse,” or “economical.” The narrators generally remain in the background, allowing the story to proceed while relying on characters and dialogue to provide necessary information to readers. On those occasions when these narrators add notes to their stories, scholars may characterize such interruptions as “asides” or redactions.
Christopher T. Paris calls attention to just these narrative interruptions, in which the story teller “breaks frame” to provide information about a character or even in order to direct reader understanding and, Paris argues, to prevent undesirable construals or interpretations of the story.
Paris focuses on the Deuteronomistic History. Here the narrator occasionally obtrudes into the narrative to manage or deflect anticipated reader questions and assumptions in an interpretive stance that Paris compares with the commentary provided by later rabbis and in the Targums. Attention to narrative obtrusion offers an entry point into the world of the narrator, Paris argues, and thus promises to redefine aspects of narrative criticism.
The American Anti-Slavery Society originally published Narrative of James Williams, an American Slave in 1838 to much fanfare, describing it as a rare slave autobiography. Soon thereafter, however, southerners challenged the authenticity of the work and the society retracted it. Abolitionists at the time were unable to defend the book; and, until now, historians could not verify Williams's identity or find the Alabama slave owners he named in the book. As a result, most scholars characterized the author as a fraud, perhaps never even a slave, or at least not under the circumstances described in the book.
In this annotated edition of Narrative of James Williams, an American Slave, Hank Trent provides newly discovered biographical information about the true author of the book -- an African American man enslaved in Alabama and Virginia. Trent identifies Williams's owners in those states as well as in Maryland and Louisiana. He explains how Williams escaped from slavery and then altered his life story to throw investigators off his track. Through meticulous and extensive research, Trent also reveals unknown details of James Williams's real life, drawing upon runaway ads, court cases, census records, and estate inventories never before linked to him or to the narrative. In the end, Trent proves that the author of the book was truly an enslaved man, albeit one who wrote a romanticized, fictionalized story based on his real life, which proved even more complex and remarkable than the story he told.
The ###Narrative of the Adventures and Escape of Moses Roper# can be read as an extended autobiographical meditation on the meaning of race in antebellum America. First published in England, the text documents the life of Moses Roper, beginning with his birth in North Carolina and chronicling his travels through South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Roper was able to obtain employment on a schooner named ###The Fox#, and in 1834 he made his way to freedom aboard the vessel. Once in Boston, he was quickly recruited as a signatory to the constitution of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS), but he sailed to England the next year. Roper's narrative is especially interesting because although it was published after Frederick Douglass's much-heralded 1845 ###Narrative#, Roper actually preceded Douglass in his involvement in AASS as well as in his travel to the United Kingdom. This text is often cited by literary scholars because of its length, its extensive detail, and its unforgiving portrayal of enslaved life in the "land of the free."
Born into slavery in North Carolina around 1786, Moses Grandy was bequeathed to his young playmate, his original owner's son, when they were both eight years old. Hired out until he was twenty-one, Grandy describes each of his temporary masters--some cruel and some kind. His first wife is sold shortly after they marry, and he never sees her again. After saving his money whenever possible and buying his freedom for $600, Grandy is betrayed by his childhood friend, who sells him. Grandy marries again and purchases his freedom a second time, only to be once again betrayed. With the assistance of white friends, Grandy buys his freedom a third time and moves north. He is also able to purchase the freedom of his second wife, but their children remain in slavery. Grandy wrote this ###Narrative# to raise funds for the freedom of his children.