Assignment: Restorying for Justice

Required reading: “Restorying the Self: Bending Towards Textual Justice” by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas and Amy Stornaiuolo.

Concepts to discuss and explore:

Choose a Canon Text

Choose a piece of written text (speech, short story, newspaper article, novel, song, movie/TV script, etc) and restory this text in some way. Use Thomas and Stornaioulo’s restory taxonomy wheel to find inspiration for different ways to restory a piece. Think about how this text would change if it were in another context, existed during a different period of time, and/or occurred in an alternative outcome.

For example, how might Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech sound if he were alive today? How would The Hunger Games look if Rue, not Katniss, won the first Hunger Games and led to revolution? How might Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale novel be written if it were from the perspective of a wealthy man in power in this dystopian society?

Questions for Brainstorming

For this assignment, think about how cultural texts reflect societal values and ideologies. Here are some general ideas:

Understanding Positionality in the Original Text

For example, if you restory a text that centers around a cisgender, White male protagonist living in our current world, how might the story look different if the hero was a queer Black woman? I recommend understanding your own lived experiences and positionalities, as well, and thinking through how your experiences may or may not be reflected in popular culture.


If you are exploring a character who experiences trauma and maybe the original story does not explore that trauma, how might your restory and explore said trauma? What can your story reveal about trauma that the original story did not?