Linking the ongoing ecological crisis with contemporary conditions of alienation and disenchantment in modern society, this book investigates the capacity of oral storytelling to reconnect people to the natural world and enchant and renew their experience of nature, place and their own existence in the world.
Anthony Nanson offers an in-depth examination of how a diverse ecosystem of oral stories and the dynamics of storytelling as an activity can catalyse different kinds of conversation and motivation, helping us resist the discourse of powerful vested interests. Detailed analysis of traditional, true-life and fictional stories shows how spoken narrative language can imbue landscapes, creatures and experiences with enchantment and mediate between the inner world of consciousness and outer world of ecology and community. A pioneering ecolinguistic and ecocritical study of oral storytelling in the modern world, Storytelling and Ecology offers insight into the ways that sharing stories in each other's embodied presence can open up spaces for transformation in our relationships with the ecological world around us.
1. Storytelling and Ecology: Reconnecting People and Nature through Oral Narrative
2. Storytelling as a Means of Conversation about Ecology and Sustainability
3. Time, Desire and Consequence in Ecological Stories
4. Composting Snakes and Dragons: Ecological Enchantment of Local Landscapes
5. The Listening Place: The Space of Transformative Stillness
6. Supernatural Ecology and the Transcendence of Normative Expectation
Anthony Nanson is a professional storyteller and writer. His books include Deep Time (2015), Gloucestershire Folk Tales (2012), Words of Re-enchantment (2011), Exotic Excursions (2008) and Storytelling for a Greener World (co-editor, 2014).
"Wise, precise, scientifically fluent while achingly expressive, and distilled from decades of practice and research, this book reimagines storytelling for this moment of ecological emergency. Nanson opens up his story-crafting processes to illustrate how storytellers can integrate different forms of knowledge, and make space for listeners' own explorations, emotions, and aspirations."
– Dr Catherine Heinemeyer, Lecturer in Arts and Ecological Justice, York St John University, UK
"The recognition within the environmental world that we are a story telling species, not a data processing species is one of the most significant developments within the environmental movement. Stories change lives; they challenge assumptions; they are also huge fun! And that is what Anthony shows so powerfully in this truly important book."
– Martin Palmer, Senior Advisor to WWF International on Beliefs and Values, UK
"Anthony Nanson's exploration of storytelling in relation to ecology is a sine qua non for eco-critics and eco-linguists, whether they are researchers, educators, or students. Nanson's extensive analysis reframes storytelling as a tool for ecological agency. We must forget the speech-act, as Nanson, a master storyteller, brings us the story-act."
– Dr Maria Nita, The Open University, UK
"Anthony Nanson does a great job of laying out how live story performance can build an emotional connection between listeners and the environment and shows how these emotional connections are critically important if we want people to take action to protect natural areas and the wildlife that depend upon them."
– Kevin Strauss, Author of Tales with Tails: Storytelling the Wonders of the Natural World (Libraries Unlimited, 2006), USA