We will explore the power of stories to change the world. Storytelling is not only entertaining but also a practical tool for communication, empowerment, and leadership. From traditional myth-tellers to the role of storytelling in the modern world, stories are fundamental to being human. How and why do we tell them? How do stories help us navigate our lives? This program offers a foundation in both theory and practice as we explore storytelling and wordplay in a variety of interdisciplinary and professional fields and from diverse cultural, artistic, and social perspectives as we use the art of storytelling to build bridges, cultivate understanding, and create community.
Through guided and supported practice, we will unlock the imaginative and literary skills of the storyteller. We will cultivate stories, strategies, and structures for making change as we practice oral, written, and visual communication skills. As we identify the elements of narrative, we will learn to interpret experiences and frame language and stories that nourish ourselves, our relationships, our communities, and our connection to the natural world. We will examine ways that the media, political, and social structures use stories to shape popular consciousness, and we will trace the development of narratives through spoken-word, poetic, and mnemonic-arts to the technologies of writing, literature, print, and modern media.
Participants will develop stories for oral presentation, craft written narratives, and focus on an area of professional practice, service, or leadership as they explore the uses of storytelling as a practical art for transformation, healing, well-being, education, advocacy, social and organizational change, and community-building, as well as for sustaining cultural and family groups, self-reflection, and entertainment through diverse performance, literary, or technological genres and mediums.
We will also explore how stories function in oral cultures where language and myth are grounded in a relationship between humans and the natural world. From science, to story, to sustainability, to social and environmental resilience, to leadership and community service, participants will share stories in a variety of settings as we ask: How can stories, ancient and modern, help us understand and respond to the challenges we face in a quickly changing world?
Our studies will reach beyond our program as we work with and learn from other communities through activities such as field trips, community events, and collaborations with other programs.
Course Reference Numbers
writing, communication, mythology, media studies, education, leadership, social entrepreneurship
$40 for event, conference, and entrance fees, and for supplies, including supplies and field trip as part of the Procession of the Species, Theater in the Round, or other storytelling, community, performance arts or environmental arts, or culture event.
$40 for an anthology and publication of student writing, and a storytelling DVD of work to be developed and compiled.
There are various 4 credit research and ILC possibilities with this program.
Students can do in-program ILCs or internships in the community for a variety of organizations.