Lynn nottage’s this is reading: (re)identifying a city in a story

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This article considers This Is Reading, a multimedia storytelling public project created by Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Lynn Nottage, within the debate over public art’s capacities. I argue that This Is Reading alters perspectives by challenging what Leo Chavez calls the Latino Threat narrative. In so doing, the performance opens a space for a new, positive narrative and identity that acknowledges its Latino/a majority. I explore the impact of This Is Reading first through analysis of interviews suggesting a sense of human connection and a collective will to make change, and then by suggesting that the nature of conversations about Reading have shifted to using the language of story, indicating an understanding that through stories, people can alter their city’s identity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3
Pages (from-to)166-190
Number of pages25
JournalStorytelling, Self, Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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