Master Narratives, Identities, and the Stories of Former Slaves

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This book is intended for researchers in the field of narrative from post-graduate level onwards. It analyzes the audio-recordings of the narratives of former slaves from the American South which are now publically available on the Library of Congress website: Voices from the days of slavery. More specifically, this book analyses the identity work of these former slaves and considers how these identities are related to master narratives. The novelty of this book is that through using such a temporally diverse and relatively large corpus, we show how master narratives change according to both the zeitgeist of the here-and-now of the interview world and the historical period that is related in the there-and-then of the story world. Moreover, focusing on the active achievement of master narratives as socially-situated co-constructed discursive accomplishments we analyze how different, inherently unstable and even contradictory versions of master narratives are enacted.

Subjects: Pragmatics; Communication Studies; Discourse studies; Anthropological Linguistics; Sociolinguistics and Dialectology

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Valenciennes; 2: University of Leuven

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