Friday June 16, 2017

Vestigial Tale, Part 1: What science tells us about the human drive to tell stories

Paleolithic cave paintings in Lascaux, France: humans are a storytelling species.

Paleolithic cave paintings in Lascaux, France: humans are a storytelling species. (Wikipedia)

Listen to Full Episode 54:00

Analysing stories is usually territory claimed by writers, critics, and university scholars. But recently, evolutionary psychologists have begun to look at the human propensity for storytelling from a scientific perspective. Why are we humans such suckers for a good story? Literary critics find the answer in story structure, characters, and plotlines. The literary Darwinists find the answer in evolution.  Documentary-maker Chris Brookes looks at the evolutionary origins of human storytelling. Part 2 airs Friday, June 23. **This episode originally aired on May 26, 2015.

 

Participants in the programs:

  • Jonathan Gottschall, literary scholar  at Washington and Jefferson College in Pennsylvania, and author of the book The Storytelling Animal.

  • Brian Boyd, distinguished professor at University of Aukland and author of the book On The Origin of Stories

  • Martin Lovelace - associate professor of folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

  • Documentary makers Annie McEwen, Rob Rosenthal. Dublin storyteller Aideen McBride. Newfoundland storytellers Carl Pearcey, Mary Fearon, Andy Jones. Beekeeper Aubrey Golding. Writer Elizabeth de Mariafi. ​Kora musician and singer Boujou Cissoko.


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