The Ethics of Storytelling: War, Trauma, Vulnerability: University of Turku, 1–3 September 2013




​The symposium explores how different forms of storytelling – such as those developed by contemporary literature and audiovisual arts – enable different ways of coming to terms with traumatic historical experiences, particularly with experiences of war and other political conflicts, such as the Second World War, its aftermath, and the experiences of violence linked to colonialism and migration. It focuses on the ethical dimension of storytelling through which the arts attempt to deal with such traumatic experiences in ways that address the complex vulnerabilities of the subjects of experience. The symposium discusses different aspects of the ethics of storytelling – from the intertwinement of storytelling with practices of power to the capacity of alternative modes of storytelling to produce experiential understanding of history that unsettles dominant historical narratives.

Rather than thinking of storytelling in terms of representation of events, the symposium will explore ways of conceptualising storytelling from the perspective of the subject of experience and in terms of imagining the possible, in ways that undermine the dichotomy between fact and fiction. From this perspective, it will discuss the ethical potential of storytelling that lies in its power to enlarge the possibilities of acting and thinking, imagining and experiencing.

Sunday, 1 September

Logomo (Köydenpunojankatu 14)
18.00 Film Screening: Mieke Bal & Cinema Suitcase
Separations (65 min) & State of Suspension (80 min)
Mieke Bal introduces the films and answers questions afterwards.


Monday, 2 September

Janus, Sirkkala (Kaivokatu 12)
10.00–10.15 Hanna Meretoja (University of Turku & University of Tampere): Welcome words: The Experience of History and the Ethics of Storytelling
10.15–11.15 Mieke Bal (University of Amsterdam): Art Moves: A Cultural Analysis
11.15–12.15 Max Silverman (University of Leeds): Palimpsestic Memory and the Ethics of Storytelling
13.15–14.15 Colin Davis (Royal Holloway, University of London): Don’t Mention the War: The Afterlives of Levinas and Althusser
14.15–15.15 Jens Brockmeier (Freie Universität Berlin & University of Manitoba): If Wittgenstein’s Lion Could Tell Stories, Could We Understand Them? On the Cultural Ethics of Understanding
Minerva, E325 (Kaivokatu 12)
15.45–16.05 Ilona Hongisto (University of Turku): The Ethics of Documentary Fabulation
16.05–16.25 Riitta Jytilä (University of Turku): The Ethics of Literary Dialogue
16.25–16.45 Mia Hannula (University of Turku): The Ethics of Migratory Aesthetics
16.45–17.15 Discussion


Tuesday, 3 September 2013

The Lecture Hall Mikro (Kiinamyllynkatu 13)
9.00–9.55 Anu Koivunen (Stockholm University): Affective Histories, Traumatic Memories. The Politics of Re-Enactment in Auf Wiedersehen Finnland (Virpi Suutari 2010)
10.00–10.55 Miguel Ángel Hernández Navarro (University of Murcia): Art of History: Writing Past through Images
11.00–11.55 Brian Schiff (The American University of Paris):The Use of History for My Life Narrative: Palestinians at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Lunch & Project meeting
Janus, Sirkkala (Kaivokatu 12)
14.00–14.20 Kaisa Kaakinen (Cornell University & University of Turku): Displaced but Material History: Embodied Reading in Peter Weiss’s The Aesthetics of Resistance
14.20–14.40 Nora Hämäläinen (University of Helsinki): History Through the Lens of a Life and a Life Through the Lens of History – The Case of Doris Lessing’s Parents
14.40–15.00 Lotta Kähkönen (University of Turku): Life Writing and Gender Variance: Imagining Alternative Ethics and New Knowledge
15.00–15.30 Discussion and Closing Words

Organised by the research project The Experience of History and the Ethics of Storytelling in Contemporary Arts (Emil Aaltonen Foundation, 2013–15) in collaboration with the Network for Research on Multiculturalism and Societal Interaction and the Turku University Foundation.

Luotu 07.08.2013 | Muokattu 29.06.2021