The great discovery of contemporary science is that
the universe is not simply a place, but a story –
a story in which we are immersed, to which we belong,
and out of which we arose.
Swimme & Tucker, 2011
With the publication of the inaugural ARNA 2014 Conference Proceedings we are establishing the ARNA Oral History Project tradition. You may ask, “Why oral history? Established in 2012, ARNA is a relatively new network” (as of the day of writing this introductory narrative in December 2014). Oral history is the collection of stories and reminiscences of the members of our community (Janesick, 2010). By sharing our experiences we are writing ARNA history as we are living it, i.e., living in action. Hence, the purpose of the ARNA Oral History Project is to capture the ARNA network inception, initiation, development, and self-organization as perceived and experienced by its members. The goal is to document ARNA evolution as its future unfolds by interviewing ARNA members during its annual conferences.
Oral history interviewing is dialogical in nature. By telling stories we make meaning of our experiences. Oral history is to generate a particular knowledge, i.e., ARNA network living theory. Oral history is an “educative activity” (Janesick, 2010, p. 16). Knowing our history is empowering and transforming. Knowing our history is to make sense of who we are; where we have come from; and what lies ahead of us. Gathered stories serve as a foundation to engage critically in ongoing reflections on our practices, actions, processes, activities, and accomplishments; to make informed decisions about changes, directions, and improvements; to shape our identity, and to plan and to explore new possibilities, ultimately to sustain our community.
During the ARNA 2014 Conference held in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in May 2014, four founding members were interviewed included Lonnie Rowell, Cathy Bruce, Margaret Riel, and Joe Shosh. ARNA is the creation of these four members of our community. Elena Polush conducted these first oral history interviews. We are grateful to Lonnie, Cathy, Joe, and Margaret for their time to describe events and to tell their unique stories of lived-through experiences of how the ARNA vision evolved and was realized.
The four narratives will be forthcoming.
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