The aim of the paper is to examine the relationship between narrative and craft. The goal of this paper is to further, or develop, a methodology for craft through narrative. There are many different ways in which this can be achieved. Please carefully consider the following options before selecting your topic. If you do not find an approach that appeals to you listed below, please come to see me about an alternative method.
Non-Fiction Narrative. Write a story about a craft-related experience that was particularly significant for you. Why was this experience important for you? What details are necessary for you to re-create the experience in an engaging and interesting way? What will be the point of sharing this story? How will this story contribute to the study of craft?
Historical Narrative. Select a historical craftsperson, craft community or technique and consider how the events/people have been sequenced through narrative. Who decided upon the narrative recounting that has been accepted as historical fact? How has this particular narrative been used to teach or inform the field of craft? Has it succeeded in changing attitudes toward the crafts? How would you represent your chosen person/event/technique to further the development of craft discourse?
Object-based Narrative. Using Paul Cobley’s discussion of the narrative sign (or any other theorist of your choosing), explore how narratives refer to specific objects. Can objects encourage references beyond themselves? What distinguishes craft objects as narrative devices? How can we place these objects in a universal or specific context? How are such objects employed to write historical “fact” through narrative?
Narrative Analysis. Select a text that is considered to be central to craft discourse and undertake a sustained critical analysis of its use of narrative. How has the author chosen to sequence the people/characters/objects in time and place? How does this account differ from the approach taken by other authors? What is the central problem that the author sets up, and how does he/she resolve this problem? Do you agree with the author’s conclusions?
Fictional Narrative. This is the most difficult option, and I would suggest that students selecting this approach have previous experience with creative writing. For this option, develop a fictional short story that develops an aspect of the crafts. Be sure to utilize the elements of short stories (conflict, complication, climax, falling action, resolution and characterization) and the elements of narration (sequencing, plot, structure, theme).
Hints on Writing a Narrative Term Paper.