Stories are fundamental to the social relationships and practices that make up our everyday lives.  The social effect of stories might therefore be thought of as referring to the ways in which stories order our worlds, ascribe meaning to our experiences, and help give shape to our individual and collective selves. In their telling and re-telling, furthermore, stories also function as building blocks for the formation of communities, contributing to the definition of who, where, and when “we” are.

The 2010 lecture series explored the social effect of stories from a number of different positions, drawing on scholars and artists from across Canada and across the disciplinary spectrum. All of our presenters were united, however, in reflecting on how history and the past inhabit the social space of storytelling. Historians are increasingly aware of their own position and power as storytellers and how these affect their relationship to their research, their audience, and the boundaries of their profession.  While no single lecture series could ever do justice to all these issues, our presenters challenged the audience to think not only about the past in new ways, but also to think about the practice of history and the kinds of historical knowledge that we produce and share with others through our own stories.

See here for a brief description of the 2010 speakers.

See here for a list of the titles and abstracts of the 2010 talks.