Project Description: In the immediate aftermath of a politically divisive or morally outrageous event, narratives quickly emerge on either side of the issue—often mutually disparaged as fake news. These divisive political narratives dominate our discourse, and the dynamics of our media consumption promote polarization and exacerbate these issues.
The Narratives Project studies the evolution and divergence of political narratives to help people better understand the nature of the stories emerging around them. Our mission is to promote political mindfulness and peace through rigorous media analysis and original research. At Narratives, we create consumer-friendly, non-partisan analyses of the political narratives that surround a given news story and publish them to our bi-partisan platform. These analyses, grounded in cultural evolution and cultural psychology, illustrate the mechanisms of narrative formation and divergence. We also aim to educate consumers by providing resources to help them understand why and how political narratives emerge. Finally, we advise institutions and companies on ethical practices and policies grounded in our original research.
Project Director: Shaun Cammack is the founder and director of the Narratives Project. He’s a researcher in cultural psychology and cultural evolution, and he received his MA from the University of Chicago. He’s currently a Ph.D. student studying the evolution of political narratives, and his broader research interests include political polarization, morality, ideology, and the interpretation and evolution of political culture.
Financial Director: Carly Reilly previously served as the deputy chief of staff and then national finance director for Andrew Yang’s 2020 presidential campaign. She is a Washington Post contributor and has been featured by Bloomberg News. She lives in New York City and graduated from Tufts University where she studied political science and computer science. Her work across politics and media has illuminated the pressing issues of political polarization and civil division, and she’s dedicated to countering these forces.