Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Eric Wolf interviews Margaret Read MacDonald

Eric Wolf of The Art of Storytelling With Children has a podcast interview with Margaret Read MacDonald, which you may find here. The interview is called "Telling Across Language Barriers" and focuses on the challenges and rewards of stories told in different languages, including American Sign Language. Check it out! I really appreciated the sections that addresses what MacDonald calls, "hit and run folklore," which showing up in a community for two weeks and saying, "I'm going to collect your stories!" MacDonald says that people often think she's going around the world collecting stories, when she's actually going around the world sharing stories. Later, there's a section about getting permission to tell stories. While the implication is that one should always tell stories respectfully, MacDonald says that the stories of Native American tribes and Aboriginal groups of Australia belong to specific groups, but that "I've been nowhere else in the world where the stories have not been passed freely. Everywhere else I've been, people are just, 'Oh,please tell our stories! Why don't you tell our stories? We have wonderful stories!'" Listen to the whole interview for the proper context, though. There are some good questions and thoughts about ethics and ways of proper attribution.

An earlier post I wrote addresses some of the issues of telling stories from different cultures. You may find it here.

1 comment:

Brother Wolf said...

Thanks for the Review.

I really enjoyed the interview with my idol. Margaret is a fan of the podcast and was kind enough to write a review for the National Storytelling Magazine hopefully published in March.

Eric Wolf