"Narrativism, as represented by Hayden White and Frank Ankersmit, can fruitfully be analyzed as an inversion of two brands of positivism. First, narrativist epistemology can be regarded as an inversion of empiricism. Its thesis that narratives function as metaphors which do not possess a cognitive content is built on an empiricist, 'picture view' of knowledge. Moreover, all the non-cognitive aspects attributed as such are dependent on this picture theory of knowledge and a picture theory of representation. Most of the epistemological characteristics that White and Ankersmit attribute to historical narratives therefore share the problems of this picture theory.
The article's second thesis is that the theories of narrative explanation can also fruitfully be analyzed as inversions of positivist covering-law theory. Ankersmit's brand of narrativism is the most radical in this respect because it posits an opposition between narrative and causal modes of comprehension while simultaneously eliminating causality from narrativist historical understanding. White's brand of narrativism is more of a hybrid than is Ankersmit's as far as its theory of explanation is concerned; nevertheless, it can also be fruitfully interpreted as an inversion of covering-law theory, replacing it by an indefinite multitude of explanatory strategies.
Most of the striking characteristics of both White's and Ankersmit's narrativism pre-suppose positivism in these two senses, especially their claim that historical narratives have a metaphorical structure and therefore no truth-value. These claims are had to reconcile with the factual characteristics of debates by historians; this problem can be tracked down to the absence in 'metaphorical' narrativism of a conceptual connection between historical narratives and historical research."
(Chris Lorenz, 1998, Wiley-Blackwell)
Lorenz, C. (1998). "Can Histories Be True? Narrativism, Positivism, and the "MetaphoricalTurn"." History and Theory 37(3): 309-329.
"Dying metaphors. A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image, while on the other hand a metaphor which is technically 'dead' (e.g. iron resolution) has in effect reverted to being an ordinary word and can generally be used without loss of vividness. But in between these two classes there is a huge dump of worn-out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves. Examples are: Ring the changes on, take up the cudgel for, toe the line, ride roughshod over, stand shoulder to shoulder with, play into the hands of, no axe to grind, grist to the mill, fishing in troubled waters, on the order of the day, Achilles' heel, swan song, hotbed. Many of these are used without knowledge of their meaning (what is a 'rift,' for instance?), and incompatible metaphors are frequently mixed, a sure sign that the writer is not interested in what he is saying. Some metaphors now current have been twisted out of their original meaning without those who use them even being aware of the fact. For example, toe the line is sometimes written as tow the line. Another example is the hammer and the anvil, now always used with the implication that the anvil gets the worst of it. In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer, never the other way about: a writer who stopped to think what he was saying would avoid perverting the original phrase."
George Orwell (1950). "Shooting an Elephant and Other Essays", Secker & Warburg Publishers, UK.
Date: 29 May 2013 - 30 May 2013
Location/venue: Thistle Brighton, King's Road, Brighton, England, BN1 2GS
The Higher Education Academy’s second annual learning and teaching Arts and Humanities conference, ‘Storyville: Exploring narratives of learning and teaching’ will take place on 29 – 30 May 2013 in Brighton.
"At the heart of the Arts and Humanities disciplines sit stories – stories which create and recreate worlds, distant and present, stories which inspire and engage, stories which grow imaginations and expand what is thinkable.
Stories are everywhere, and our second annual conference seeks to explore the intersections between narrative and learning and teaching..."
(Higher Education Academy, UK)
"This paper presents a rational model developed to make sense of various elearning platforms currently in use in Australian universities. The conceptualisation and organisation of the elearning platforms is underpinned by an educational psychology framework of social construction of meaning, data visualisation and story telling for meaning making. The model explains how various elearning platforms can be integrated to represent a threedimensional, hierarchical construct that has the potential to aid understandings about the utility of information systems (IS) for learning and teaching. The model shows that LAMS, which has gained increasing popularity in Europe (Laurillard & Masterman, 2010), is usefully depicted as a ‘middle ground’ system, successfully bridging conventional LMSs and more advanced IS, referred here as (MU)VLEs (Multi-User Virtual Learning Environments). The model has important implications on how university lecturers, classroom teachers and students come to engage with an increasingly complex elearning environment."
(Eva Dobozy & Patricia Reynolds, LAMS Conference Sydney 2010)
Dobozy, E. & Reynolds, P. (2010). From LMS to VLE or from supermarkets to airports: Classifying elearning platforms using metaphors. Proceedings of the 5th International LAMS Conference 2010. http://lamsfoundation.org/lams2010sydney/papers.htm
"Terms like 'Internet café' or 'cybercafé' bring us right back to the 90s along with phrases like 'web page' or 'digital divide', which were invented to describe new hybrids involving analog and digital, virtual and real as well as the present and near future.
It's not that these terms have grown obsolete. It's rather that these 20th-century phenomena they once described have outgrown their terminology. They were born as metaphors, but over time turned into idioms, and their analog parts were the first [to] lose their original meanings. People who did not witness the emergence of the web do not fully understand why browser content is still called a 'page'. It's has also become unclear what public internet access facilities have in common with cafés, yet we continue calling them 'internet cafés' or 'cybercafés'."
(Olia Lialina, 2012-01-10)