Storying the Self: How Stories Shape our Identities

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About Course

Explore how artists have come to understand their identities over time, through creative media and scholarly discussions. You will connect with your own sources of creative inspiration, and revisit a major moment in your life that has shaped who you are and how you understand yourself, with the invitation to engage with this story through literary analysis and creative expression. Discover how these themes and theories help leaders understand their own and others’ identities across the full range of human diversity, as they show up in workplaces and relationships.

What Will You Learn?

  • Reflect on how our own life experiences and identities have shaped us as leaders and creators.
  • Connect course material to our lives, including prior knowledge and experiences.
  • Analyze life story texts/media.

Course Content

Week 1: Course Introduction
Engage with different ideas of a 'self' and explore creative practices that can help you consider your own life experiences in new ways. Learning Objectives Consider how views of the 'self' are shaped by culture and family. Explore creative storytelling practices and idea generation as leaders and creators. Create a list of 'Headlines' of stories you might wish to develop.

  • 1.1 Welcome to Storying the Self!(video)
  • 1.2 Reasons for Exploring Stories of Self
  • 1.3 Course Assessment
  • 1.4 What is the “self”? Questioning the ‘Self'(video)
  • 1.5 “Cultures & Selves” & Related Optional Readings
  • 1.6 Glossary of Identity Terms
  • 1.7 Making Space for Creativity-Idea Generation & Creative Practices(video)
  • 1.8 Sources of Inspiration
  • 1.9 Headlines

Week 2: Dive into our Stories-Exploring Social Identities
Consider how our social identities shape our lives and what we 'know.' Learning Objectives Connect social identity concepts to our own lives and identities. Consider many ways of knowing about ourselves and the world that shape our stories. Explore our social identities through reflecting on identity categories.

Week 3: Stories as Openings
Dive into the past as we imagine different possible futures through Dr. Stephanie Toliver's work combining storytelling and justice in ways that blend and defy genre and form. Learning Objectives Explore a speculative approach to one of your own lived experiences. Consider the impact that media format and genre have on creative expression. Practice analyzing a piece through the lens of key literary analysis terms.

Week 4: Shaping a Story of Self
Consider the importance of context as a way stories are shaped and understood, and explore stories in your own life that engage sensory experiences and responses. Learning Objectives Use text or media to share a story from your life. Identify strategies that are helpful for your learning as a creator and leader. Watch/Read/Listen and respond to the work of peers. Integrate reflection, creation, and revision of your creative work into a final class project. Discuss issues of identity as they relate to forms of self-expression. Consider which stories are important to hold onto and which to let go of.

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