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Reading: Introduction: Storytelling in the Margins


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Introduction: Storytelling in the Margins


Dennis Jansen ,

Utrecht University, NL
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Mark Laurence Whittle

Utrecht University, NL
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One of the most pervasive topics across the Humanities is storytelling. Whether we are seeking to understand the development of shared identities, cultural beliefs and practices throughout history, or grappling with pressing contemporary concerns like anthropogenic climate change and accelerating globalization, the centrality of narrative(s) to much of our work on these issues—and to the issues themselves—is undeniable. As Haraway points out in Staying with the Trouble (2016), stories matter, and thus it also matters how we tell them. The ever-increasing attention given to voices and perspectives that challenge established canons and hegemonic discourses, both within and outside of academia, is gradually destabilizing the common notion of one “central”, linear narrative and creating space for narratives which thrive in complexity, multiplicity, and non-linearity. At the same time, contemporary artistic practices and emerging media platforms are producing new kinds of texts, thereby giving rise to new forms of storytelling. Ultimately, what is placed in the margins need no longer be marginal. However, this last statement also prompts several critical questions. Who gets to tell the story of the margins? Who decides what is marginal? How is such marginalization established and perpetuated? How does the margin assert itself in relation to the center? Can we rethink the margins as not simply surrounding, but as irreducibly part of the text? Why should we be so preoccupied with the margins to begin with?
How to Cite: Jansen, D. and Whittle, M.L., 2020. Introduction: Storytelling in the Margins. Junctions: Graduate Journal of the Humanities, 5(1), pp.1–13. DOI:
Published on 06 Aug 2020.


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