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Course Information

Instructor Info:Natalie Sowell
Office Extension x6099
TA Info:Sierra Vaughan-Gabor
Office Extension x(312) 504-5470
Term: 2013S
Meeting Info: Wednesday
02:30 PM - 05:20 PM Emily Dickinson Hall (EDH) 104

Storytelling is an oral art form whose practice provides a means of preserving and transmitting images, ideas, motivations, and emotions. The practice of oral literature is storytelling. A central, unique aspect of storytelling is its reliance on the audience to develop specific visual imagery and detail to complete and co-create the story. The primary emphasis of this course is in developing storytelling skills through preparation, performance, and evaluation. In this class you will research storytelling traditions and the resurgence of storytelling in America. Participants will engage in exercises and activities to enhance the delivery of telling stories; learn to incorporate various techniques to engage audiences; and develop an awareness of resources, materials, and philosophies of storytelling. This class is designed to help participants build a storytelling repertoire which will express their unique identities as tellers.

Course Objectives:

Research is an essential component of storytelling and will therefore be emphasized in this course. We will also be learning the skills of how to give respectful and constructive feedback to peers and how to ingest and incorporate feedback to enhance one’s storytelling.  Students will form story performance workshop groups and will meet both in class and outside of class to provide each storyteller the opportunity to share a story and receive feedback. Students must also commit to additional out of class group work in preparing for the community based learning experiences.

We will create, produce and implement small storytelling festivals at local elementary schools as well as The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. As the final project for the class, each student will perform 15 minutes of individual storytelling for Ago: Hampshire Storytelling Festival.  In addition, a mini-residency with nationally acclaimed storyteller, Onawumi Jean Moss will take place during the first half of the semester.

Evaluation Criteria:

To receive an evaluation for this course, it is expected that you will attend class, complete the readings, participate actively in discussions and exercises, come prepared with in-class assignments, complete all written work when it is due, and participate in out of class workshops and experiences. This class meets only once a week.  Therefore if more than two classes are missed, you will not receive an evaluation and no evaluation will be received if you miss community workshops or performances.

Additional Info:


email address:   storytellingasperformance

password: storytelling