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Spring Seminar, 2009

THE POWER OF STORIES
28 and 29 March 2009 The Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre
School of Oriental and African Studies
10 Thornhaugh Street, London WC1

Introduction

Why do we tell stories? What do they add to a society that believes it can find out what it needs to know by logical enquiry? How do they contribute to our human development and what do they bring to our own and to other cultures?
This seminar looked at stories and heard from their tellers. It proceeded from the entertainments of The Arabian Nights to renowned contemporary writers and storytellers.
It investigated the role of the teaching story in the Oriental mystical tradition and asked how such stories continue to hold a power over us. It examined the role of magic and explored the way stories give meaning to our lives and to the places we inhabit. It also examined how myths and tales can help people survive trauma and how the stories we tell about ourselves and our illnesses may even influence our ability to heal.

Subjects and Lecturers

NB: The videos are offered as a record of the debate. Please excuse the quality.

Saturday, March 28 2009

Scheherazade and the Global Mutation of Teaching Stories
Robert Irwin



Talismans and Charms: Spellbinding in Stories from The 1001 Nights
Marina Warner

Sorry - No video available.

The Kalila and Dimna Story
Ramsay Wood



Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire
Iain Sinclair



Sunday, March 29 2009

Suburban Shaman: Tales from Medicine’s Frontline
Cecil Helman



Losing and Finding a Voice: Dealing with trauma through stories
Vieda Skultans



The Story Museum
Chris Smith



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