Skip to main content

The Legacy of Storytelling

COURSE TITLE: Legacy of Storytelling: Familial Ties                                                    
INSTRUCTOR NAME:  Kathryn Collison                              EMAIL:  kathrynjcollison@gmail.com
CORE : Humanities

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Our relationships with and understanding of our families influence every aspect of our lives—from how we view the world to how we view ourselves and create narratives about our lives. Numerous folk stories, epics, poems, plays, memoirs, and novels throughout history possess familial themes and structures. In this class, we will consider precisely what it is about family that shapes us, and how and why we communicate about, or share stories of, this process. Why do we spend so much time analyzing, writing about, vocalizing, and sharing family history? We will also look at many examples of family influencing individuals as well as influencing the state in many different genres of work. For instance, The Odyssey is said to have been themed around domesticity, yet this domesticity also has wide-ranging impact on the larger culture. How does the smaller family unit impact the larger culture in such a way, and vice versa? We will spend time considering our specific connections to family and how that impacts our ties to community and our own worldviews today. In this vein, the final project will be to connect to someone in the family, interview him/her, and then understand how that relationship and that story of the relationship ties us to something larger.

 

READINGS AND TEXTS

The Odyssey, Homer

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

Selections from 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories, ed. Lorrie Moore

In group projects, the class will choose three additional texts

 

FILMS AND OTHER COURSE MATERIALS

Stepmom

The Joy Luck Club

 

COURSE FEE (if applicable) & BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF HOW FEES WILL BE USED

N/A

 

STUDENT REQUIREMENTS

Attendance, active participation in class (discussion, in-class activities,), attendance of a lecture, two short argumentative papers, group project with a reflective paper, and a final familial themed project with a final presentation.

 

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Kathryn Collison earned an M.F.A. in creative writing from Eastern Washington University and a B.A. in English from UNM. She has taught in Honors since 2007 and was the Scribendi 2007-2008 Faculty Advisor. She also teaches creative writing classes online at the University of Phoenix. She has taught poetry in prison, high school, and community college. Her poetry has been published in The Furnace Review, New Works Review, and The Pedestal Magazine. Her forthcoming poetry collection, Like Rain Returning Home, is expected in 2018 by FutureCycle Press.