International Relations as any other sphere of humanities deal with the process of narration and different discourses (systems of thought which shape our understanding of the world; texts consisting of coherent sentences and organized in a logical way). Case studies, reports, other forms of professional written and oral communication can be described as various types of narrative. in postmodern social sciences the interest to discourse and narration became fundamental as it is a universal tool to understand and analyze key topics and events in sciences, humanities, politics and art.
In their future professional life students of International Relations will often take on a role of narrators, which implies not only the knowledge of how to write different texts (e.g. how to draw up documents or write scholarly articles) but also the understanding of the fact how narrative discourses that aim at producing stories function. It is an intrinsic feature of human mind that we perceive everything as sequence of events, i.e. as stories. But these stories presented in the mass media, reports of governmental and non-governmental organizations and scholarly works might be biased or very subjective in their interpretation of facts, and collective memory might treat certain historical events and personalities as something legendary and sacred, that is to say, something above criticism. Thus, when it comes to decision-making under such circumstances international lawyers will have to single out undeniable facts in the narratives created by manipulative narrators. Among other aspects of discourse and narrative studies this course will teach how to identify biased language and manipulative techniques in narration.
The course will focus on written and oral speech, academic, non-fiction and fiction texts both theoretically and practically. Students will develop their practical skills in creating narratives of various types.
- Teacher: Dina Makhmetova