February 10th 2009
Welcome to a new year of work
with the Center for Narrative Studies (CNS) and our first 2009
Exploring Narrative Newsletter. You may have signed up to
receive this on our website, or we heard of your work and wanted to
be of service.
We have been a research driven
resource center for the growing community of narrative practitioners
since 1995, and have witnessed an amazing growth in the use of
stories for community and organizational renewal. For ten years, CNS
has been putting these ideas into practice in the crucible of
peace-building, with our work with the young leaders of Northern
Ireland and Ireland. Having recently completed that work, we
are back ready for the next mission of taking the narrative
method from the community hall and corporate board room to the more
critical councils of public life.
President Obama recently
promised a new level of accountability which for us means the
ability "to give a trustworthy account" of what decisions are being
made, why and with what results. In this time of new beginnings, America
faces hard but exciting challenges to build a new
story, and to act out of that better story which Lincoln said
emanated from 'our better angels.' And having recently returned from
abroad, I know other parts of the world have never been so
invested in America's project to reinvent itself and resume the role
of international inspiration and example. So the times are
ripe for our work.
CNS aims to produce a regular
newsletter and we look forward to engaging you, our readers in
The lead The
Headline Muse will touch on the surprises we find in the
stories or events of the day.
In the Republic of
Stories, we will apply a narrative critical method to
matters of world and state, the stories where Washington DC is
the setting or the hero, or the villain. We want to inject a
narrative critical voice into the conversation about governance and
revives our old hard-copy newsletter of the 1990's to keep you
informed of books, resources, people and ideas that we believe keep
our thinking on narrative current.
We would love to hear from
you, learn about your work and your particular interest in narrative
so we might better support your work.
Please feel free to contact
us, or send any feedback to
Happy President's Day,
The Headline Muse
Stories of the
This season of new beginnings is
almost over . The Inauguration was an amazing week long celebration,
and close to two million people who were on the Mall will long remember it.
But the most inspiring moment for your correspondent was a
little kid who couldn't see anything. Read on
If you are in DC, come to
Fleece Feb 17th and share your own Inauguration stories.,
or send them to us at
firstname.lastname@example.org. And don't forget the
Smithsonian StoryWeekend April 16-19th 2009
Why Stories are
costing us big money!
"What we the public are
being treated to is a theatre of the absurd. Though no one
knows for sure how we got here, we are being asked to trust
the government to lead us out. We are taking actions that
are dangerously over-informed by stories of past economic
crises that may or may not have any resemblance to this one.
If this is the old problem, then why all the panic
about how to address it?" Read on
Are we locked into an old
STORYWISE BOOK Narrative Critical Analysis of the
Never before in any election have
pundits, campaigns and the media used the term 'Narrative."
They sounded like they knew what it meant, but by November
2008, it had become just another cliche. CNS Director Paul
Costello was determined to rescue "Narrative" from the talk-shows
and pundits and has written a fascinating study of the election in real
time, mapping the stories and their interplay, and arguing
that the story that elects a President is NEVER the story
they are telling. The real story of America is the one that
has "We the People" as its hero. To sample a chapter or purchase, go to "The
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