Journal article

The past is a foreign country: disputed memories and telling rights in co-narrated refugee stories

Andrew Tanner, Lesley Stirling

TEXT & TALK | DE GRUYTER MOUTON | Published : 2017


Memory and time are the two fundamental components of personal experience narrative. For a sole narrator with no competing claims for reliability, time distance from the narrated events is more or less irrelevant, and storytelling can proceed smoothly. However, what happens when more than one participant seems to have an equal claim to telling rights? We report a detailed micro-analysis of co-narrated stories of two brothers' experiences as refugees over 35 years ago to understand how rights are negotiated when both participants have an apparently equal claim to narrative reliability. Our analysis demonstrates that while under normal circumstances the two speakers perform in "duet" - whereby..

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University of Melbourne Researchers