Time and Narrative: how philosophical thinking can support the discipline of Illustration

Julia Moszkowicz

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Paul Ricoeur is a philosopher who wrote three volumes on the theme of time and narrative, highlighting the capacity of storytelling to touch and reconfigure people?s lives (temporarily). His work suggests that narrative has the capacity not simply to re-present events but to provide rich contexts of experience wherein ideas can be explored and, to some extent, lived-through. This paper will argue for the value of applying such ideas to the reading and development of Illustration within an educational context, encouraging individuals (particularly within the art school sector) to enhance existing aspirations for their discipline that include making sense of the world, exploring the referential function of illustration, and the potential of narrative to re-structure life experiences. This paper will argue that by foregrounding philosophical thinking within the curriculum of Illustration, the work of writers such as Paul Ricoeur can assist in highlighting a range of methodologies that are currently embedded (implicitly) within its histories, and everyday thoughts and actions. It can begin the process of making these existent practices explicit, re-conceiving them as strategic methodologies for the undergraduate practitioner to explore in the present day. A conscious retrieval of philosophical thinking, such as this, allows individual approaches to be retrieved as elements of a wider discipline, one where practitioners consciously adopt or acknowledge an attitude or position within their field of expertise. Whether Illustration is recognized as a place of business, education and/or social commentary, philosophical thinking can assist in developing a sense of common ground within this diverse system of communication.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-58
Number of pages14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2013
Externally publishedYes


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