Contemporary Storytelling: Traditional Art and Protean Social Agent
Contemporary storytelling has constructed itself in the United States, Canada, and the British Isles as a compound of tradition-based performing art and a social agent in a variety of applied fields. Beginning as a folk revival movement following in the mold of the folk music revival of the 1950s and ‘60s, Storytelling has generated a network of small guilds, clubs, festivals, and concert series in the 1970s and ‘80s, promoting a romantic image of the storyteller as solo artist with bardic, culture-hero associations. More recently however this artistic thrust has been complicated by the articulate emergence of applied storytelling in a range of mainstream domains, including education, business, health care, law, etc. Applied storytelling has manifested its practical values as an agent for work in specific cultural domains, at the same time as the limitations of the nostalgia-driven ethos of revivalist performance is becoming increasingly evident and artistically constricting. This presentation will explore the theoretical and practical implications of these evolving, multiple and interdependent roles for the contemporary storytelling artist/practitioner.
Keywords: Storytelling, Traditional Storytelling, Contemporary Storytelling, Narrative, Performance Art, Applied Storytelling, Education, Health Care, Business, Organizations
Dr. Joseph D. Sobol
Professor, Curriculum and Instruction