Narratives in Action: How Stories Shape Our Minds

May 1, 2012 - May 2, 2012
United Arab Emirates University

“American Corner” conference room, Crescent Building
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

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The tales we are exposed to when we are children deeply mold our beliefs, values, and attitudes, but we are not always explicitly aware of how stories affect our cognitive functions, cultural heritage, and social development. We will discuss this issue from the points of view of philosophy, linguistics, psychology, Arabic and English literary traditions, political science, media and communication studies, and through the creative work of professional writers and marketing specialists. To keep alive the memory of both oral and written narratives, and to understand how they inspire our present and provide us with a vision for the future.

Organizing committee: Massimiliano Cappuccio (coordinator), Jacob Schmutz, Bakhitah Abdullah.

Where: the “American Corner” conference room, at Crescent Building (UAE University, Maqam campus, Al Ain);  Amphithéatre Richelieu (Université Paris Sorbonne Abu Dhabi, Reem Island)

Tuesday 1st of May - Morning session:

Narrative practices. Embodied cognition, psychology and language

Chair: Ann Scholl (UAEU Dept. of Philosophy, Chair)

8.30-9.00 Gathering at Crescent building and preparation

9.00-9.20 Welcome address by FHSS Dean Mohamed Albaili

9.20-10.20 Keynote speaker Dan Hutto (University of Hertfordshire) Narrative Practice: How to Make Sense of Oneself and Others

10.20-11.00 Steve Bird and Sami Boudelaa (UAEU, Dept. of Linguistics) Embodied Cognition and Global Priming

11.00-11.20 Coffee break

11.20-11.50 Massimiliano Cappuccio (UAEU, Dept. of Philosophy) Below the Narrative Self:  How Pre-performance Speeches Affect Sportive Performances

11.50-12.20 Hosny Mostafa Abdrabo Al-Dali (UAEU, Dept. of Linguistics) Contrastive Rhetoric and Written Narration by Arabic and Spanish Speakers

12.20-12.50 Fatma Zohra Sai (UAEU, Dept. Of Psychology) How our 'First Experience' Shapes our Cognition

12.50-13.00 Conclusive remarks by the Chair

13.00-14.50 Buffet lunch

Tuesday 1st of May - Afternoon session:

Creative story-telling and affective communication

Chair: Dennis Leavens and Massimiliano Cappuccio

14.50-15.20 Alexander McNabb (Spot on Public Relations - Dubai, CEO) How to write stories. Narratives in public relations and fiction

15.20-15.50 Alexandra Tohme (OgilvyOne - Dubai, Digital strategist) Brand stories from the sixties to the superbowl

15.50-16.10 Coffee break

16.10-16.40 Giorgio Ungania (Zayed University - Dubai, Media Initiative Director) Storytelling in the digital age: old players vs new players

16.40-17.10 Ali Noor Mohamed (UAEU, Dept. of Media and Communication, Chair) Media and the perpetuation of political and cultural narratives

17.10-17.40 Afaf Bataineh (Zayed University - Abu Dhabi, Dept. of Arabic Studies) Defining the Self: stories of compromise, rebellion and autonomy in the writings of Arab women

18.30-19.30 Sympathy the Learned - a reading/performance inspired by Mary Zimmerman's “The Arabian Nights”. Adapted and directed by Jim Mirrione (UAEU, Dept. of English Literature)

(Note: the venue of the performance is Crescent Building Auditorium D1-B2001 – next to American Corner)

Wednesday 2nd of May - Morning session:

One thousand and one tales. Cultural heritage in the Arab world and in America

Chair: Dan Hutto & Massimiliano Cappuccio

9.00-9.20 Welcome address by Dean of Libraries Hasan M. Al-Naboodah

9.20-9.50 Manfred Malzahn (UAEU, Director of Research and Graduate Studies Support) Braveheart vs Peter Pan: Narrative and Scottish National Myth/s

9.50-10.20 Dennis Leavens (UAEU, FHSS Associate Dean for the Humanities) riverrun past A CARAFE THAT IS A BLIND GLASS to The Red Wheelbarrow

10.20-11.20 Coffee break and poster session. With a presentation by Sahla Azzi (UAEU, Dept. of Linguistics)

11.20-11.50 Jonathon Penny (UAEU, Dept. of English Literature) Learned by heart and writ on air: memory, performance, and revision in literature before literacy

11.50-12.20 Ann Scholl (UAEU, Dept. of Philosophy, Chair) American Patriotism as frontier narrative

12.20-12.50 Rasheed Bu Shoair (UAEU, Dept. of Arabic Literature) TBA

12.50-13.00 Conclusive remarks by the Chair

13.00-14.00 Buffet lunch

14.00-16.40 Bus transfer to Abu Dhabi

Wednesday 2nd of May - Evening session:

Narratives in the construction of social and political identities

Chair: Jacob Schmutz (Sorbonne AD, Dept. of Philosophy and Sociology, Chair)

17.00-17.10 Welcome address by Jacob Schmutz

17.10-17.40 Abdulkhaleq Abdulla (UAEU, Dept. of Political Science; Gulf News columnist) Conflicts of Narratives in the Gulf Moment of Politics: local vs. global, continuity vs. change

17.40-18.10 Mishaal Al Gergawi (Emirati commentator on current affairs; Gulf News columnist) Emirati Identity: The attempt to capture an ever evolving narrative

18.10-18.40 Aisha Bilkhair (National Center for Documentation and Research Abu Dhabi - Research & Knowledge Services Dept., Director) UAE Identity: actions and symbols

18.40-19.00 Break

19.00-19.30 Duane Lacey (UAEU, Dept. of Philosophy) Real-time narrative in war

19.30-20.00 Discussion

20.00-22.00 Social dinner

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