The Neuroscience behind our Need for Narrative | Dr. Angus Fletcher #29

The Neuroscience behind our Need for Narrative | Dr. Angus Fletcher #29

The Neuroscience behind our Need for Narrative | Dr. Angus Fletcher #29 

My guest this week is Dr. Angus Fletcher. Dr. Fletcher is Professor at Ohio State University in the Project Narrative program. He has appeared on numerous podcasts, including Jordan B. Peterson and The Michael Shermer Show. Dr. Fletcher is the author of Wonderworks, a fantastic book that answers the question: do great stories actually affect us on a neurological/biological level? The answer is yes, but how they do so is the enjoyable part of the book. We talk about how narratives like the Iliad, Paradise Lost, and The Lord of the Rings can help us build strength. We also talk about those of us in higher education need to be careful about putting our own egos ahead of the works--I can be guilty of this at times myself. I explain why this can sometimes be the case in the episode. Dr. Fletcher and I really get into some deep conversations here involving trauma, veterans, and why it's time for us to move past the postmodern angst of the late 20th century and embrace a move back to the Humanities as a source of strength. You're going to want to listen to this episode. 


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00:00 Introduction

01:29 What is Project Narrative at Ohio St. University?

06:37 What we learn about war and PTSD from Hemingway

10:24 Balancing individualized narratives and collective narratives

14:07 Does the book of Job teach us about empathy vs. justice?

17:19 Milton's Satan denies forgiveness

18:18 Someone wants to talk about MILTON with me? Yes.

24:10 Let's talk about what fairy tales can offer in terms of optimism

27:59 Superman? As fairy tale? I hadn't thought about that. 

33:36 The Marvel cinematic universe and postmodern complexity

39:08 Anxiety and chaos today. What can narrative do for us?

46:30 Higher education problems: putting ourselves ahead of the works

49:45 What is a narrative that you return to for motivation?

52:07 Conclusion


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