Baynham, Mike
July 2003
Narrative Inquiry;2003, Vol. 13 Issue 2, p347
Academic Journal
In this article I argue that narrative theory (at least in sociolinguistics) has treated orientation in space and time in a taken for granted, unexamined way, typically as establishing space/time coordinates as part of the contextual backdrop of narrative structure. Instead of single, homogeneous notions of time and space I will show how different versions of space and time, sometimes conflictual, routinely operate in narrative. Drawing on ideas from philosophy, cultural geography and social theory, including linguistic anthropology, I argue for more complex and nuanced accounts of the ways in which orientations in space and time contribute to the construction of oral narrative and examine the indexical resources which a narrator can deploy in space/time orientation, including transposed reference to past space/time in terms of current social space/time. In addition I suggest that accounts of narrative have typically privileged temporal orientation over spatial orientation and that, while every definition of narrative will contain some reference to a temporally ordered sequence of events, typically orientation in space is assumed and taken for granted. Using examples from a study of life stories of migration and settlement told by Moroccan migrants to London, U.K. I will argue, as does de Certeau, for the centrality of spatial orientation in the construction of narrative. I will show how these lifestories of migration and settlement are a promising site for developing more complex and nuanced accounts of narrative orientation in space and time because they are centrally constructed around experiences of dislocation and relocation, bringing into the here-and-now and the then-and-there of the storyworld different and potentially conflictual spaces and times.


Related Articles

  • What the map cuts up, the story cuts across. Slembrouck, Stef // Narrative Inquiry;2003, Vol. 13 Issue 2, p459 

    This article presents a commentary on several articles published in the volume 13 of Narrative Inquiry. The article seek to redress an imbalance in narrative theory which results from having overprivileged time over space and they do so by examining the indexical resources which narrators...

  • Giving it back: Creating conversations to interpret community oral history. Kline, Carrie Nobel // Oral History Review;Summer96, Vol. 23 Issue 1, p19 

    Discusses an approach to rendering narratives that allows those interviewed to speak for themselves, while at the same time offering the oral historian the necessary room to develop and present such an interpretation. Ethnographers as filters and weavers of truth; Building a community of...

  • Living history. Scott, William // Teacher Magazine;Oct95, Vol. 7 Issue 2, p52 

    Opinion. Examines the value of oral history in the understanding of family values and reason for migration and immigration of the minorities in Los Angeles, California. Stories of minority children about their families.

  • Suicide of Brewster. Dougherty, Michael Brendan // American Conservative;9/11/2006, Vol. 5 Issue 17, p23 

    The article presents the author's experience related to his immigration and his stay in Brewster, New York. The city offered many part-time jobs in contracting and construction became destination for many families in 1990s.The author was addressed as 'Red Shirt' by his Guatemalan opponents in...

  • Oral Tradition: Do Storytellers Lie? Okpewho, Isidore // Journal of Folklore Research;Sep-Dec2003, Vol. 40 Issue 3, p215 

    Examines narratives collected from the Delta State in Nigeria in light of the aesthetic discrepancy between narrator and audience. Concern that the audience's expectations may not sufficiently address some of the perspectives from which the narrative art endeavors to reorder the complex signs...

  • Minevikufaktid ja minevikuesitused. Jaago, Tiiu // Folklore (14060957);2014, Vol. 56, p83 

    In the article, three versions of presentation of the past: the oral presentation, its transcription from the tape, and the narrator's comments and additions to the version transcribed from the tape, are compared from the standpoint of narrated history research. The question is to what extent...

  • Oral History and Migrant Wage Labor: Sources of Narrative Distortion. Anderson, Warren D. // Oral History Review;Summer/Fall2001, Vol. 28 Issue 2, p1 

    Analyzes the sources of historical narrative distortions based on a study of migrant workers from the Mexican state of Michoacan. Complexities common to oral history interviewing; Challenges facing migrant workers; Barriers facing practitioners of oral history.

  • SEPHARDIC JEWS OF SEATTLE. Sidell, Lorraine // Western States Jewish History;Apr1992, Vol. 24 Issue 3, p201 

    The article presents a collective oral history of the founding of the Sephardic Jew community in Seattle, Washington. Sephardic Jews from Turkey and the Island of Rhodes immigrated to Seattle between 1899 and 1908 either to escape being drafted in the army or to build their business. They were...

  • EAST MIDLANDS.  // Oral History;Spring2011, Vol. 39 Issue 1, p9 

    This section offers news briefs related to oral history in the East Midlands, England. A Leicestershire East Midlands Oral History Archive project will allow groups or communities that migrated to the region to document their stories and add them to a website and exhibitions. A book of edited...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics