Listed in: First Year Seminar, as FYSE-120
Molly Mead (Section 01)
We all like a good story. But why? And what is a good story? Neurobiologists have documented the chemical changes that occur in our brains when we listen to a well told story. Hannah Arendt argues that who we are is best determined by the stories others tell about us, not the stories we tell about ourselves. TED talks have over-determined that all ideas worth sharing must be explained in 18 minutes, no more or less, with compelling graphics, of course. Stories are a feature of cultures around the world, and elements of both universality and diversity can be found in storytelling norms. The explosion of oral history work has done much to add the stories of “regular” people to historical narratives about events deemed worth remembering. It is possible that a story well told can compel listeners to behave more altruistically.
In this course we will think about stories, write stories, tell stories and listen to stories. We will acknowledge the comfort that cherished stories provide and de-familiarize those stories at the same time. We will read across a wide range of disciplinary perspectives on storytelling, including biology, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, and cultural studies, acknowledging our limits as readers when we lack substantial disciplinary foundations but also embracing the ways we can be thoughtful about ideas that are partially beyond our reach. We will expand our thoughts about what a story is and use the lens of story to examine things we would never have imagined were stories. In this course students will develop their skills as a reader and a writer and a speaker, but also, of course, as a listener.
Fall semester. Lecturer Mead.
How to handle overenrollment: however first year enrollments are handled
Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Emphasis on written work.
Tu 11:30 AM - 12:50 PM FOHA 120
Th 11:30 AM - 12:50 PM FOHA 120
This is preliminary information about books for this course. Please contact your instructor or the Academic Coordinator for the department, before attempting to purchase these books.
|Story Smart: Using the Science of Story to Persuade, Influence, Inspire and Teach||Libraries Unlimited||Haven, Kendall||Amherst Books||TBD|
|The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human||Mariner Books||Gottschall, Jonathan||Amherst Books||TBD|
These books are available locally at Amherst Books.