The Mythic Life

Spring Quarter, 2019
Martin Shaw, PhD
Wednesdays, 6-9pm
OralComm 1753-units, WAYS-CE

Why in the twenty-first century do many of our most acclaimed and popular stories carry narrative forms that are thousands of years old? Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Titanic, Batman – all are deeply informed by ancient myth, folklore, and oral traditions. One reason is that the deep stories of myth and folklore act as a bridge between our personal lives and the profoundest aspects of the human condition. They offer a way to understand our lives and how to live them. 

This course offers an in-depth study and experience of myth and folklore, the roots of modern story and the roots of our own stories. You will hear these myths live, as people have for thousands of years—from Trickster folk tales to the medieval Arthurian grail epic Parzival. You will also draw from these epics to create and tell a mythic story of your own. This will give you an appreciation for myth as a living principle, not just something from a long time ago. It will also help you become a good storyteller by developing your memory, improvisation, and image-based thinking. This ability to tell a story well is at the root of authentic leadership and helps us bring a powerful, embodied perspective to championing a cause or just debating over coffee.


Doing Environmental History

Spring 2019, Tues/Thurs, 1:30-2:50
History 200B, 5 units
Instructors: Jake Warga, Richard White

WAYS-CE, WAYS-SI

This will be a hands-on course that will emphasize how to do environmental history. It will be multidisciplinary, but will emphasize the different formats — photography, film, podcasts, digital representations, and writing — in which the history can be analyzed and presented. This course forms part of the “Doing History” series: rigorous undergraduate colloquia that introduce the practice of history within a particular field or thematic area.


Introduction to Podcast Storytelling

Spring 2019, Fridays, 11:30-12:50
ORALCOMM127, 2 units
Instructors: Jonah Willihnganz, Jenny March

WAYS-CE

This introductory course is designed to teach you the fundamentals of creating stories for new media, especially podcasting. You will learn how to develop and produce pieces across a variety of genres, from memoir to reported pieces, and you will learn the entire process, step-by-step, from pitching and interviewing to scripting and audio (and sometimes photo and video) editing. The course combines a traditional seminar format with a practicum where we workshop work in progress for fiction and nonfiction podcasts produced by the Storytelling Project. Though we focus on audio stories, the craft skills you learn here are transferable to making stories for any medium, from print and performance to web multimedia and film.
May be repeated for credit.