Narrative 4 and the Uses of Storytelling

Narrative 4 Uses Storytelling to Build Bridges of Empathy


Limerick, Ireland has become the international home of Narrative 4, an organization founded by Colum McCann and other artists, activists, and educators to use the art of storytelling person-to-person as a tool to address the greatest need in the world: empathy. It is natural fit for teachers of literature, as former IASIL Secretary Dawn Duncan has come to discover first-hand in the year she has been associated with the organization. Following intensive research with one of her students into the artistic, neurological, and sociological implications of the story exchange process, Duncan has helped make her college a template for how to integrate Narrative 4 at a curricular and co-curricular level, facilitating story exchanges and training a corps of students, staff and faculty to work as facilitators. While exchanges can be conducted around any topic, and can be live or virtual, Duncan and her team are currently focused on live exchanges between immigrants/refugees and non-immigrants in an effort to build greater understanding and create healthy communities. Recently BBC America went to Concordia College to cover a weekend long exchange, which will soon be broadcast and covered online. In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more about Narrative 4 and its powerful potential, you can read or watch a video at