Editor’s Note

Last May as I sat in my office, working on a project about the commencement rhetoric of Ann Richards and once again feeling the power of her use of narrative humor, I received a phone call from ACA President Ann Rosenthal. At that time she extended an invitation to serve as guest editor of the American Communication Journal, and suggested that my interest in narrative and storytelling could be the focus of the Spring, 2007 issue. Because of the events that occurred at Virginia Tech on April 16, I had been thinking about the competing narratives I had heard and read regarding the tragedy. As I began to formulate the call for papers for this issue, I decided to focus on Narrative in Times of Crisis. I remembered the foreword that Elie Wiesel had written for Peninnah Schram’s book, Jewish Stories One Generation Tells Another:

All legends in Judaism have a common desire: to associate man with Creation and make him aware of the links with what surrounds him and preceded him. Destroy theses links, destroy this consciousness, and man himself is destroyed, and so is his universe…In other words, legends of our times must be legends for all times and for all men. (Schram, 1987, Jewish Stories One Generation Tells Another. New Jersey: Jason Aronson, p. xvi.)

While Dr. Wiesel was writing about Jewish legends, I think we can apply his advice to contemporary narratives that help us deal with disaster and crises that should be “legends” for our time. As I write these editor’s notes, I’ve just learned of another school shooting at a high school in Cleveland. It is my hope that the articles you will read in this issue will cause readers to reflect on the power of narrative to heal.

Trudy L. Hanson
West Texas A&M University


L. Clark Callahan, University of South Dakota
Mary Evelyn Collins, Sam Houston State University
Kris Drumheller, West Texas A&M University
Jessica Mallard, West Texas A&M University
Pat Tyrer, West Texas A&M University
Peninnah Schram, Stern College, Yeshiva University
Theresa Trela, West Texas A&M University
Laurel Vartabedian, West Texas A&M University