August 19, 2017

Six Applications of Theorizing "Time in Memory"

In case it's unclear, I'm not trying to play "philosophical king of the hill" by pursuing my lengthy Time in Memory project. Here's a quick listing of six practical objectives I am hoping my tedious theoretical work will eventually accomplish.
(1) Bringing narrative theory and cognitive memory theory into closer conversation 
(2) Defining/Explaining "Story" as the natural cognitive byproduct of focusing on change over time (e.g., experienced, reported, or fictional change over time
(3) Demonstrating that our literary imagination ("working memory") processes the temporal content of fiction and non-fiction narratives via the same basic cognitive functions
(4) Demonstrating how ancient audiences feasibly could have remembered the sequential order of some historical details (e.g., timelines evoked by Matthew 2:15-22 or John 3:24) 
(5) Complicating Hayden White's dichotomy of unemplotted chronicles vs emplotted histories (i.e., defending "Narrative Coherence" as a relative phenomenon, some degree of which is necessarily involved whenever historical thinking occurs) 
(6) Suggesting strategies for constructing educational non-fiction narratives, which "narrativize" raw chronological material to an appropriately helpful degree -- that is, more than enough to accommodate the mnemonic needs of introductory-level students, but not so much as to wind up excessively emplotting the basic event sequence(s)
Loooooong time readers may recognize ways in which these objectives relate strongly to personal goals I began blogging about right here, ten or twelve years ago. Recent readers will have to be patient because the 25 "TiM" installments currently archived here probably represents less than half of the blogging I need to do before I can seriously begin to rewrite Time in Memory properly for academic publication. And then, after all that, I will finally need to work on actually utilizing these six applications.

Unfortunately, however, progress in this area will virtually freeze as I begin formal graduate studies this fall. Gosh, I sure could use a great big bag of money!

Nevertheless, as Hannibal supposedly said, before crossing the Alps, "I'll either find a way or make one."


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"If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient observation than to any other reason."

-- Isaac Newton