EXCERPT FROM: Chapter Six in Westwood & Linstead's (in press) Language and Organization Book

Please Cite: Boje, David M., Alvarez, Rossana C. & Schooling, Bruce. (2001). Reclaiming story in organization: Narratologies and action sciences. In R. Westwood and S. Linstead (Eds.) The language of organization, pp. 132-175, London/CA: Sage Publication.

 

Original web site date - September 29, 1999

 

This excerpt compares and contrasts four interdisciplinary approaches to narrative in organization studies. They are Czarniawska's Narrating Organization, Boje and colleagues' Storytelling Organization Theory, Taylor's Equivalency Theory, and Clair's Nested Narrative approach. Each of these draws on a wide array of narratologies. The first two have been more applied in transorganizational work, but the final two can be applied with a little creative work.

1. Narrating the Organization - We see Barbara Czarniawska’s (1997) Narrating the Organization as integration between social construction, pragmatist, and structuralist narratologies. Her social construction approach builds upon Gergen (1991), Schutz (1972), and Weick (1995). She also relies upon combining the work of pragmatism (e.g. Rorty, Habermas, and minor reference to Peirce) with social constructionism and the dramaturgical approach of Roland Barthes (1966/1977) and the scene act ratio structure of Burke (1945/1969). Czarniawska, (1997: 57) mentions Peirce only briefly and not in the ways that Emerys have applied his work in abduction (an alternative to both induction and deduction). Rorty (1980) who rejects the mirror or correspondence theory of truth, is a more featured pragmatist theorist in her work. But, Habermas, who seeks pragmatic rules for effecting workable speech communities, and influenced by the work of Peirce, is also featured (1997: 23, 45). Czarniawska (1997: 57) seeks to relate social construction to several aspects of pragmatism in order to reveal the "reality" behind "appearances."

Several chapters are spent applying a formalistic frame to Swedish Public Administration, to read its narrative qualities. Table 3 is our integrative reading of Burke’s (1945/1969) scene-act ratio, Henderson’s (1988) plots types as applied by Czarniawska’s (1997) to Swedish administration. Henderson contributes the idea that act is related to realism, agent to idealism, scene to materialism, agency to pragmatism, and purpose to mysticism. Burke of course has the typology of act, agent, scene, agency, and purpose. In Act, Czarniawska applies contextualism in ways that are uniquely different from what we describe of Pepper's work.

Table Three: Burke and Henderson as applied by Czarniawska

Act (What happened? - action)-focused plots = realism

 

Scene- (Where/When did act happen? focused plots = materialism

 

Agent (Who did it? actor)-focused plots = idealism

Agency- (How was it done?) focused plots = pragmatism

Purpose- (Why?) oriented plots = mysticism.

 

She uses the typology outlined in Table Three to generate several narrative insights into Swedish administration. She defines a "story" as consisting "of a plot comprising causally related episodes that culminate in a solution to a problem" and have "a clear chronological structure, with a beginning and an end" (p. 78). Serials, on the other hand "do not have any plot" and "does not contain any solutions" and are "continually adapted to meet new conditions and requirements" (p. 78-79). Through what she terms "company-ization" a story can become incorporated into the routine of an organization. For example, in her first story of Chapter Four, titled "A New Budget and Accounting routine in Big City" the story begins that "The Municipal Court decided that Big City was overcharging its citizens for energy and water" (p. 79). The problem is an obsolete accounting system and Big City decides to clean up the problematic accounting system. The old accounting system did not control for cheating on the numbers at the end of the accounting period. The solution was training in registering dates of payment to resolve this story of catastrophic municipal finance routines. The serial takes a twisting turn when the Financial Council votes to abolish the changes being implemented. The changes proposed in the accounting systems were seen as too threatening.

As she proceeds she compares and contrasts this first story with two others (we shall not explore): "In the first story, where the paradox was neatly incorporated into the design, the most likely outcome was a change that would improve the status quo" but in the third story change was co-opted, but in the second story reveals that "those who constitute a certain order are the ones who try to change it" (p. 99).

As the book proceeds the Scene-Act model of Table Three is applied. For example, budget writers become "script writers" on the "stage-setting" of municipalities taking "stage directions" from politicians. The concept of scene-act-ratio us used: "achieving a correct scene-act ratio can … be seen as the main task of the stage directions: the scene directions must be coherent with acting instructions" (p. 130). Actors need to be able to act on instructions, take stage directions, in order for the action to create a coherent scene. In this script, as the Swedish public employees imitate business company scripts, paradoxical effects happen: "the action not only does not fit the scene but even appears to contradict it" (p. 131). Budgeting is read as an act of "collective writing."

In her typology, she notes that modern leader theory assumes managers are agents of a "super person" corporation, a legal person (or agent of anthropomorphic corporate-is-person). The organizations reviewed in her Chapter Seven are seen as "actors trying to construct a new stage" as a "control philosophy whereby the stage determines the actions and the actors" (p. 159). When their actions remain in tact, a new identity is hard to construct. Yet, an identity transformation is taking place onstage, in a setting in which other actors are authoring the identity-narrative. "The new identity is to be ‘written’ by somebody else, for example, the private sector" (p. 160). She concludes by reasserting "a need for normative narratives… that they fulfill their function properly if they are loosely coupled to practice; if they legitimate (provide the legitimate rules for accounting for practice) rather than trying to influence practice" (p. 164). And she moves from a pragmatist tracing of unfolding routines, plots, and character-acts to a postmodern explanation. Noting the postmodern traits of deconstruction, rejection of grand strategies, sensitivity to the multitude of small narratives with multiple interpretations indicative of plural and constantly renegotiated realties (p. 162-163). Only in crisis does the Sweden contrive a single totalizing narrative. The crisis in Sweden happened as the "institutional thought structure" was called into question. Adherents to that thought structures sought new narratives or story to defend and resolve the attack. In sum, she seeks to show that "narrative knowledge constitutes the core of organizational knowledge" (p. 167). Burke's dramatistic method, "people assume a dialectical stance in face of paradoxes, in order to achieve the dissolution of the paradox-induced drama" (p. 167).

In Swedish organization-as-theater, managers are expected to integrate their character and role in terms of agency and purpose, and not to act as their own self-promoting agent. Leaders of modern organization-as-theater are expected to play the good guy in progressive (myth) scenes of material accumulation, achieving purpose in highly complex spectacles of production and consumption. The modern stage is set as progress or decline and the leader is expected to just play the prescribed role with "the consistency required between the stage, the actor, and the act" (Czarniawska, 1997: 35). The value of her eclectic approach that combines various aspects of formistic Burkean narratology, socially constructed narrative, pragmatic tracing of material effects and causes of narratives, and even postmodern multiple and local narratives resisting totalizing accounts of Swedish organization administrators and politicians is that she is able to analyze the "romanticist and modernist rhetoric… that is so typical of contemporary life in large organizations" (p. 141) as well as the postmodern tragic and ironic themes.

In sum, Czarniawska writes her narratives organized along theatric metaphors (or inventing a word, ergonographic fictions she calls them) to interpret stories authored by practitioners and consultants as well as administrators and politics that construct the world of organizations-as-theater in Sweden (Czarniawska, 1997: 202-204). Her eclectic work balances between pragmatic-structuralism (this works), semiotic sign system (this is form) social construction (this is metaphor to read interactive narration) and postmodern local narratives. Her narrative analysis an insightful and rigorous critique of the rhetorical moves of Swedish administrators.

2. Storytelling Organization Theory Storytelling organization theory has been researched and theorized by Gephart (1991), Boyce (1995), Kaye (1996), Boje (1991a, 1995a) and Boje et al (1999). My own work is a mix of folklore, social construction, poststructuralist, and postmodern narratology (Boje, 1991a, 1995a). "Storytelling organization" is a theory of organizations in which stories are the primary medium of interpretative exchange (Boje, 1991a; 100; 1991b). In the office supply study I kept a tape recorder running to study in situ collective story performance (Boje, 1991a; 1991b). The idea was to trace storytelling behaviors in their situated and embedded organizing contexts.

My study of Disney (1995) used deconstruction and postmodern theory to demythologize the official founding stories of Walt and the Magic Kingdom by juxtaposing counter local narratives to the totalizing official accounts. For example, placing Disney’s official story of harmony and benevolence in juxtaposition to marginal or excluded stories of strikes, reprimands, and Tayloristic practices. The supplement narratives were not added to some "pure" original or founding narrative the counter-narratives occurred along side the official story. The idea of an originary-founding story is a delusion of a realism narratology for Derrida. The founding story is a mythic point, since it bears the traces of past and future discourse contexts that register alternative readings. In short, it self-deconstructs as it is uttered.

From a postmodern narrative analysis, it is not just Mr. Walt Disney that dictates the Disney stories it is the ground keepers, gag men, gang bosses, ink "girls," story men, speed bosses, script writers, grips, and animators. It takes all the people of a village to story and it takes all the people of the organization to do the narrative work of the storytelling organization. Disney is not all cartoons and theme parks; it has its strikes and communist witch-hunts.

As in Czarniawska's work, theatrics is an important frame for narrative analysis in storytelling organization theory. The theatrical metaphor still in use at Disney has a traceable history. Before workers were "cast members" in Disney Theater, and customers were "guests," there was a different theatrics. Walt was the "father" to his "boys" (his term for male animators, storymen, and gag writers" and to his "girls" (his term for women doing the inking and more repetitive drawing work). Disney was "one big happy family." The family metaphor encouraged a paternalistic order, where boys were reprimanded or fired for cursing in front of the girls. Walt expected his family to be loyal to him as self-proclaimed father, and to work all hours of the day or night for their paternal hero. But, on May 29, 1941, 293 boys and girls went on strike. The Disney Theater spectacle of "one big happy, harmonious family" was shattered by 1,000 picketers and by stories of the dysfunctional family: unfair salaries, poor working conditions, and a parochial code of behavior. The family metaphor was no longer purchasing employee loyalty. Instead employees observed that an inner circle enjoyed more privileges, including better wages, while they worked like cogs in the machine, punching in and out to go to the lavatory or to sharpen a pencil. Babbit, for example, says his $300-a-week salary as inequitable in comparison to that of his female assistant who only received $50. The Cartoonist Guild union was organizing the unhappy family, and Walt fired anyone that joined, on the spot. He tacked his photos to his office wall, and fired everyone that he could identify.

In the storytelling organization other local stories, views, and interpretations are perpetually deconstructing the official side of the story. And the storytelling organization is busily repairing its "official" story with plot and character revisions. Deconstruction adds to the number of interpretations and readings and as such challenges any "one" accepted or "functionalist" (e.g. "How stories sell Disney.") reading. Story deconstruction analysis can re-examine several inter-connected aspects of organizational stories (adapted form Boje & Dennehy, 1993: 340; Boje, 1998b,c):

Table Four: Story Deconstruction Analysis

 

1.         Duality Search. Stories contain binary terms such as positive/negative, male/female, manager/worker, organization/environment which can be explored. The initial term is presumed to have a hierarchical relation to the second (sometimes unstated) term. The story can be revised to suggest ways in which the reverse is true. This exploration allows the story to be "resituated" in ways that transcend and balance the dualistic terms.

2.         Reinterpretations. Stories can be retold to bring out other contexts, such as gender, class, race/ethnicity, or ecology.

3.         Voices. Besides the voices of the main characters, more marginalized voices can be given more space in a revised story. The relationship between the narrator’s omniscient voice and the voice of the character, including the (silent) voice of the reader can be analyzed.

4.         Other sides of the story. Explore and reinterpret the hierarchy (e.g. in the duality terms how one dominates the other) so you can understand its grip on other sides of the story. Besides one story being told, other stories can be told that are marginal, under-represented, or even silenced in the telling of the dominant or official side of the story.

5.         Plots. The plot (romantic, tragic, comedic, or ironic) of the story, such as progress-through-technology or evolutionary attainment of a more ideal state can be analyzed and alternative plots proposed.

6.         Exceptions. Stories have essentializing rules about human behavior and universal principles about the way the organization, community, society or cosmos operate. These essentials and universals can be challenge with exceptions.

7.         Trace what is between the lines. There are silences, things left unstated which those "in the know" are aware of, and can fill in the blanks. Novices oftentimes do not know enough context, history, or language to read between the lines.

8.         Resituation. The point of doing 1 to 7 is to find a new perspective, one that resituates the story beyond its dualisms, excluded voices, hierarchies, or singular viewpoint. The idea is to reauthor the story so that the hierarchy is resituated and a new balance of dynamic views is attained. In a resituated story there are multiple centers rather than one center.

 

At Disney, there are dualistic ways in which the employees become "cast" members, while managers have fewer restrictions on dress codes and other behaviors. Reinterpretations and other sides of the story can be analyzed at Disney using Lyotard’s (1984) theory of local accounts. For example, official Disney tale is an example of modernist commodification in the way in which the story of Walt, Mickey and now Eisner have a dollar value, of the re-manufactured images Disney sells. From a Baudrillard (1983, 1987) approach to postmodernism, there is much about Disney that is a "creeping of surrealism" invading the modernist world of Taylor and the industrialization of the animated arts and the theme park (as factory), and the mass-production of signs (Mickey) and stories (e.g. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) without attention to their roots and origins. In Baudrillard’s postmodernism the differences between story, story scripts and the reality the stories and characters once represented has been obliterated. Yet, at Disney the scripts and plots set in motion are ways that employees and "guests" are kept in Disney control. Disney is a "simulation" presented to the guest, but one that has become more real than its obliterated historical referents. The spirituality of the stories have been obliterated by the Disney storytelling machine that seduces guests into suspending assessments of reality as they enjoy the shock of the theme park experience. Yet, the employees that perform in the shows and maintain the rides do not see it as a postmodern, hyperreality of simulation. The reality for Disney workers is "smile or be fired" (Van Maanen, 1991, 1992; Boje, 1995a). And Disney is an example of Jameson’s (1984) late multinational capitalism. Beneath the facade of Disney surrealism, is the capitalist machine with conveyors and people movers, the animation, the merchandisers, and the wardrobes. And beneath the postmodern façade shown to the public is the modernist storytelling machine that is Disney.

And the storytelling machine works its magic on the players. "The CEO is like a father to us." "Our divisions are like cousins who gather at the annual company picnic" (Boje and Dennehy, 1993). Casey (1995) describes how the "family" trope can be used as a disciplinary process to cover the breech between the story of performativity and the story of familial self-disclosure. Department meetings are family-style "self-initiated confessions" where folks confess their failures, mistakes, and delays in production and affirm their bonds of familial solidarity. People are in fear of having the shortcoming made the subject of the inquisition. As Foucault points out, they begin to gaze their performance to avoid such penal interview situations.

The analysis argues that Disney can be read as a contending plurality of premodern, modern, and postmodern discourses. My study supports Jameson’s (1991: 123) observation that organizations do not follow a course of era-to-era displacement, but rather that discursive elements shift in emphasis and in priority. In storytelling organization theory organizations are theorized as simultaneous, multiple and contending discourses. This allows us to look at how modern totalizing, functionalist, and universalizing discourses of organization history and identity (i.e. organization as person) are permeated with postmodern fragmented, local, and resistant discourses. And within postmodern discourse, there are contending theories: from the affirmatives who posit a future beyond exploitation, a return to a spirituality that elevates ecology and democracy – to the skeptics who distrust all forms of enlightenment and progress-discourse.

Stage performers at Disney, the cast members, do their theatric performances in Disney Theater, wearing their "costumes." The "smile factory" manufactures "friendly, courteous, fun" on a rigid assembly line (Eisenberg & Goodall, 1993; Van Maanen, 1991). In the theater metaphor, employees are "cast members," wearing "costumes" instead of uniforms, playing "roles" instead of doing jobs, playing to "guests" not to "consumers" (Smith & Eisenberg, 1987). The French workers at EuroDisney met the "theater metaphors" with cynicism and resistance. They did not want to be smiling robots, pretending to be stage-performers. Disney’s theatric staging of work induces labor to believe that theatrical values define their value-added. In Marxist terms, use value gets defined as exchange value. We are seduced to forget the factory beneath the boardwalk.

In a Baudrillardian sense, there is no longer any detectable difference between theater and work, story characters and workers, story scripts and job descriptions, guests and customers. People relate to Mickey Mouse and the Magic Kingdom as if they were real. "Disneyland functions as an ‘imaginary effect’ concealing that reality no more exists outside than inside the bounds of the artificial perimeter" (Fjellman, 1992: 301). The employees who developed the rides, inked the cartoons, sell the popcorn, and perform in the shows do not see a postmodern hyperreality. They see the modern factory. Their reality is "smile or be fired." The festive "image" of having fun is consumed through commodity purchases in a spectacle of modern production. My point is that the modern and postmodern discourse of Disney is intertextual, or just plain connected. To see Disney as modern smile-factory is to miss its postmodern hyperreality, and vice versa. The smile factory appropriates postmodern sensibility into its theatrical production, for all to consume. Van Maanen (1992) pointed out how Disney theme parks in Japan, France, and the U.S. differ. The Japanese have intensified the efficiency, cleanliness, and safety aspects of Disneyland to fit their preference for order and harmony. Japan-Disney is more modernist than the U.S. or EuroDisney theme parks.

In sum, both Czarniawska's Narrating the Organization and Storytelling Organization Theory use an eclectic array of narratologies, adopt a theatrics frame of stories and storytellers, and a dynamic model of how grand and local stories interact over time.

3. Equivalency Relations Theory. James Taylor and his colleagues Cooren, Groleau, Robichaud, and Van Every treat narrating and organizing as two sides of the same coin. Their interdisciplinary approach is to combine formistic speech act and actor-network theory, a pragmatic focus on narrating in context, a poststructuralist focus on intertextuality and the life of texts beyond their initiatory speech acts, and Schutz's theory of typification we reviewed as one of several approaches to social construction. Their work also builds on Giddens' structuration theory. With Czarniawska's Narrating Organization, Taylor and colleagues share a focus on theories of agency, agents, and also focus on the materiality of speech acts. While borrowing here and there from each of these narrative disciplines, they also make some unique adaptations. Fairhurst and Putnam (1999; 9) in summarizing this interdisciplinary nexus, summarize what is distinctive. Instead of a "container: of physical structures or networks of communication, or a "production" metaphor of organization being co-produced by talkers and conversationalists, Taylor and colleagues use an "equivalency relationship" conceptualization of the relationship between narrating and organizing. To narrate at the conversational level is to organize and to organize is to narrate. They contend that the "container" and "production" metaphors sustain a dualizing primacy of organization over narrating. Fairhurst and Putnam (1999: 9) refer to the "equivalency relationship" as a discursive metaphor due to its ties to conversation analysis.

Equivalency relationship breaks from the acontextual orientation of speech act theory and early conversation analysis, such as in turn-by-turn conversation, and story starting and story-finishing studies. Like Storytelling Organization Theory the focus is around multiple stories shared across multiple simultaneous conversation groups in patterns that constitute the organization as a whole. Like Narrating Organization there is some focus on the dramatics of agent, scene, back and front stage. Like Storytelling Organization Theory and Narrating Organization Taylor and colleagues put Equivalency Relations Theory in a "transorganizational" context (e.g. Cooren & Taylor, 1999). For Equivalency Relation Theory, the single paradigms do not allow an embedded understanding of speech acts or conversations in more macro contexts. "Their solution is to conceptualize organizational communication as an interaction of two dimensions - conversations and text" (Fairhurst & Putnam, 1999: 10). In this move they point to the poststructuralist idea of intertextuality, to the life that texts (written or filmed) have beyond their speech acts in oral narration. But, unlike Derrida, they see narration (and communication in general) as medicated by Schutz's typifications in language. They move further away from a poststructuralist positions and toward a pragmatic one in positing links between the trans-situational or transorganizational in the circulation of text-objects. The mediation performed in circulating such objects "is the creation of an agent or agency fo some subject's action (the subjective component) into material form or text (the objective component)" (Fairhurst & Putnam, 1999: 11). This has obvious overlay with Czarniawska's middle ground approach between social construction, dramatics, and pragmatics. There is also a parallel to how Emerys' use the pragmatics of contextual exploration in their Search Conference narrative events. Like Czarniawska, Taylor and colleagues assert that "speech acts are also objects, albeit symbolic ones" (Fairhurst & Putnam, 1999: 11). Yet, from a poststructuralist perspective the idea that texts, speech acts, or narratives are put into material circulation by agents and agencies seems to imply both intentionality and positivistic reasoning (as we reviewed in realist narratives). However, Cooren and Taylor (1997) try to distance them selves from such criticism by focusing upon how meanings are socially constructed in conversations to created the typified meanings. They create "macro-actors" with individual and collective agency so those individuals speak on behalf of collective bodies (Callon & Latour, 1981). The organization becomes a macro-actor and a text-agent with its narrative communication becoming the product of its relationships, rather than its origin. This does, however, seem to pring them close to the production (co-production) metaphor they seek to avoid. However, they do appear to move beyond a narrow focus on speech acts in conversations to a look at how these are embedded in intertextual and transorganizational relationships. Taylor and colleagues try to overcome the duality between texts and conversation networks. They do this by invoking Giddens' structuration theory, that structure is moth the medium and outcome. Like the other interdisciplinary models, they pose a dynamic and negotiated social approach to narrating in which knowledge is getting updated as well as forgotten. They argue that "both text and conversation are necessary to understand organization-communication equivalency because of the constraints and enablements each imposes on the other" (Fairhurst & Putnam, 1999: 12-13). Unlike critical narratologies the equivalency relationship theory does not accept abstract analytic constructs such as the class struggle. Unlike social construction narratologies, it includes human and non-human communication and narration. However, we still stress the problem in assuming stable meaning contexts which do not grapple with the dynamics of shifting meanings in fragmenting contexts across time and place, was we explored in Narrating Organization and Storytelling Organization Theory.

Distinct from the first three models, the next approach to interdisciplinary narration takes a more multiple level approach to context and narration, including the relationships between person, group, organization, and societal levels of narration.

4. Nesting Organization in Four Narratives. Robin Patric Clair’s (1993, 1994, 1996, 1997) approach is to nest organization in (1) personal narrative, (2) (3) ancestral, and (4) contemporary narratives. Like the first two approaches (Narrating Organization and Storytelling Organization), Clair's work is also eclectic. She draws upon formalistic narratology work of narrative paradigm theory (Fisher, 1987), postmodern work about the voice, fragmentation, and the body (Foucault, 1979), critical juxtapositions of multiple histories (voice and silence in material condition), and identity in terms of sexual harassment and hegemony (Clair, 1993, 1994, 1996). For us, her work (especially, 1997) resituates Culler's (1981) duality we spoke of at the outset of the paper, the relation of narratology paradigms to living storytelling. Her approach is to tell personal and ancestor stories within embedded narratives. Her (1997) work looks, for example, at stories that name and fractionate in juxtaposed historical, ancestral, personal, and contemporary narratives. This is her way, we think, to reclaim native epistemology and ontology.

Her theory is quite intertextual, "no story stands alone" (1997: 323). Her juxtaposition of narratives is a way to focus on "organizing silence… how interests, issues, and identities of marginalized people are silenced and how those silenced voices can be organized in ways to be heard" (p. 323). In juxtaposing multiple and different narratives new voices surface that were silenced in centuries of socioeconomic, political, cultural, aesthetic, and spiritual oppression. For Clair (1997: 324), Fisher’s (1987) narrative paradigm theory is a way to explain how historical narrative lets her own story of ethnic and ancestral identity unfold. What I see her doing is combing the structuralist narratology with a critical theory reading of multiple histories and narrations. It is like Currie (1998) who argues for treating formism and postmodernism as two sides of discourse rather than privileging one over the other. Clair, I think does this with formism (structuralism), critical theory, and in places postmodern narratology. For example Clair (1997: 324) calls on Foucault’s (1979) work on how people’s voices are physically muzzled in acts of torture and death. She extends it in a theory of the hegemony of silence, but not as a "totalizing concept: within each practice oppressive silence is a possibility of voice." As with narrative therapy, Clair (1997: 325) focuses on the importance of naming acts of oppression, and how the oppressors have named those same acts. For example, the dominant society has changed the name of the Cherokee people "from Yunwiya to Chaluk, from Tsaragi to Cherokee, and recently to Native American" (p. 326). Clair juxtaposes her own story of her own mixed ancestry and fractionated identity to trace the narratives of the oppressor and the marginalized. In the narrative telling of the Treaty of New Echota and the Trail of Tears relocation of the Cherokee, she articulates the organization and nation narratives, organizing all the four types of narratives into a collective narrative. She includes acts of hegemony, emancipation, and resistance. Clair’s (1997: 331) is critical theory because she embeds discursive practices "in a material existence." She is self-reflective on how her essay is a narrative in its own right, "voicing several issues that have been silent," telling stories of the marginalized, reclaiming fractionated and fragmented membership, and juxtaposing historical and personal narrative and storytelling. In the process of her embedded and juxtaposed narrative work, Clair has reclaimed storytelling, from its marginalized, disembodiment in less interdisciplinary approaches to narratology.