Narrative Freedom and Magic in Its Many Forms: Multiple Entrances to a Historical Experience

By Amy W. S. Lee.

Published by The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

In the age of the new media, we are accustomed to a proliferation of experiences made possible by the instantaneous, hyper-real, and user-oriented media in many aspects of our lives. In cultural productions, age-old stories, whether fictional or factual, are given a new life through new media transformation and re-appear to readers and audiences around the world with new faces and new meanings. As educators in this new age, we should be aware of the educational potentials available to assist us in creating new learning experiences for students in different areas. This paper attempts to examine and analyze the “magic” of multi-modal narratives in representing a historical experience in the 17th century, to explore these narratives’ potentials to create meaningful learning experience for students of the 21st century. Although the witch trials that happened in the Danvers area (used to be Salem Village) are already more than 300 years old, representations have never stopped, as in fact are proliferating to new forms. The proposed discussion will focus on three narratives targeted at young adults, namely “The Visionary Girls: Witchcraft in Salem Village” (1973), “The Devil’s Door: A Salem Witchcraft Story” (2011), and “Magic by Moonlight” (2011), to examine how these recent narratives which have incorporated narrative strategies from other media, can be used to deliver new meaning to students who are individuals in the age of the new media.

Keywords: Magic, New Narrative Strategies, Creating New Learning Experience, Witch Hunt, Historical Figures

International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp.43-51. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 139.799KB).

Dr. Amy W. S. Lee

Associate Professor, Humanities Programme, Department of English Language and Literature, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Amy Lee has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from The University of Warwick, UK. Her research interest includes the Chinese Diaspora, female self-writing, contemporary fiction and culture, and narratives of marginal experiences. She has published on women’s diasporic writing, life writing, gender issues in contemporary fictions and detective fiction. She has taught writing and communication courses of different kinds: professional writing and communication, creative writing and academic writing. Currently she is an assistant professor in the Humanities Programme and the Department of English Language and Literature of Hong Kong Baptist University.