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Creating the Self Through Storytelling - Interintellect Salon

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Fellow Interintellect Isabela Granic explores the science and personal experience of the self as a constructed story.

About this Event

“Life is not what one lived, but what one remembers and how one remembers it in order to recount it.” - García Márquez

"Despite our digital ecosystems constantly a-buzz and technological advances feeling like they're changing "everything," we are evolutionarily the same humans who initially communicated face to face, without any tools, mainly in small groups, uniquely differentiated from our primate cousins by our storytelling impulses -- our myth-making -- as Joseph Campbell would put it.

Across every culture that has been studied, individuals fundamentally understand their identity as a narrative unfolding over time. They are preoccupied with telling their life stories, recruiting feedback about those stories, and hearing those of others.

Psychologists call this integrated life story our "narrative identity" and it's the thread that ties our past selves to our current identity, and helps us envision our future self in powerful ways. Importantly, our narrative identity is not a direct read-out of memory; it is a constructed story told (and retold) with emotionally curated memories (often in the form of "the hero's journey"), changing over the course of development as some memories become less salient and relevant and others more so.

This first introductory salon will focus on the science and personal experience of the self as a constructed story. We will discuss our evolutionarily ancient storytelling impulses, the psychological science behind narrative identity, our first experiences of constructing our self- stories in adolescence, and how these stories continue to fan out and guide and inspire our future selves.

The rest of the series will dive deeper into the idea of narrative identity and explore (1) tools for constructing these narratives (memoir, journaling, twitter threads); (2) how therapy and major life events can change the direction of our self narratives; (3) the social basis of our stories; (4) how we experience the fragmentation of our self-stories and the implications for anxiety, depression, and resilience; and (5) how culture constrains and supports our narrative identities, both individually and collectively." - Salon Host Isabela Granic

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Good to read or watch pre-Salon:

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Time zones:

    • 11 am in San Francisco
    • 2 pm in New York
    • 6 pm in London
    • 7 pm in Berlin

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We have many more cool Interintellect events coming up - see here.

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