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Oral narrative as intangible cultural heritage and social force

Research project Since the 1980s, there has been a rising interest in oral narration in many fields, as a general competence as well as a speciality for professionals.

Oral narrative have during the last decades come to have a distinct position in cultural heritage policy. It is seen as an important strategy for documenting and representing buildings, artefact collections, social institutions and folkways. There is also a process of defining, promoting and exposing oral narrative as cultural heritage in its own right. Furthermore, there is a tendency to view storytelling as an underestimated social power with a huge democratic, norm-critical and social potential. The project aims to analyze how oral storytelling is promoted as cultural heritage and as a social force. Central questions are: how is oral narrative defined and presented as cultural heritage in greater social, political and economical contexts? How do culture institutions act to stage, document, and use narration and narratives? How is oral narrative used as identity-political strategy? What are the forms, genres and topics that dominate in different contexts? The project will be carried through as four sub-studies. One will deal with how museums use and promote storytelling as a cultural heritage. One will deal with Sami storytelling and the specific expectations that come with the ethnic and indigenous framing. Another study concerns storytelling as promoted by the adult education organizations as a creative and emancipatory practice. The fourth will study the storyteller as an artist role and the expectations that comes with public stage performances. Projektinformation

Head of project

Project overview

Project period:

2017-01-01 2020-12-31

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Culture and Media Studies, Faculty of Arts, Várdduo - Centre for Sami research

Research area