#storyf20 course calendar

About the Course Calendar

Texts are to be read/watched/listened to for day they are listed. Homework in addition to texts will be presented in yellow. The schedule is subject to change; it is your responsibility to check it regularly.

FC = Full Class Meeting
C1 = Cohort 1 Meeting Only
C2 = Cohort 2 Meeting Only

Week One: Introductions: Meet as Full Class

M 8/24 FCIntroductions, Syllabus Class canceled due to Zoom outage

Assignment for Wednesday, 8/26
Please read through the course web site carefully and post two questions you have about it to this anonymous form:


Also read through the Zoom etiquette responses I will email your section by 3:00pm today. We’ll be using these in class on Wednesday.

If you have any questions, please let me know!

W 8/26 FC: Brief Intro; Community of Learning and Zoom Discussion; zoom-community-of-learning.docx
F 8/28 FC: Get to know each other; Syllabus questions
Hand Out Reading Response Assignment

Week Two: Start Talking SJU! and Co-Creation

Assignment for Monday, August 31
Please read through the Reading Response Assignment and send me any questions you might have about it. Each should have received a shared GoogleDoc (accessible only to Bill and that student) for you to complete your reading responses. If you did not get it, please let me know immediately and I will re-share it with you.

For Monday, we are going to jump right in by watching, discussing, and reflecting on last semester’s installation of Start Talking SJU! as well as one of the main ideas we’ll be using to frame the semester: co-creation. This could all take some time, so please don’t wait until the last minute. And please complete each in order.

First, go to the Start Talking SJU website, watch the ATTACKED trailer. Then, watch the first 5 videos that play next to the trailer (the videos are on a loop).

Second, go to the Start Talking Instagram page and find the photos and videos for the same people you’ve just watched and look at the captions and watch the videos.

Third, I’d like you to watch the first 30:08 of The Art of Co-Creation: A Storytelling Model for Impact and Engagement, which is a 2018 panel discussion hosted by the Skoll Foundation and moderated by Tabitha Jackson, director of the Documentary Film Program at Sundance Institute. That segment includes a wonderful discussion among Tabitha Jackson and Katerina Cizek, Artistic Director, MIT Co-Creation Studio, MIT, and Fred Dust, Partner and Global Managing Director, IDEO LLC. While watching I’d like you to keep in mind the Start Talking SJU! stories you just watched. 

Fourth, for your first reading response, please response to the following prompt:

At 5:08 in the The Art of Co-Creation, Tabitha Jackson says, “At the Sundance Institute we believe in story, we believe in storytelling, storytellers most importantly; and the importance of the independent voice in culture. We know that storytelling is a transmission system for values. That it is the most effective delivery system for an idea.  And so so the phrase “the power of story” which is being used and commodified and its meaning has been lost to some extent—the phrase is correct but the power isn’t necessarily a benevolent one depending on how you exercise it.”

In your response, I’d like you to consider how (and/or if) the Start Talking SJU is a “transmission system for values,” what those values might be, and what role you think co-creation might have played in allowing the stories and the values to emerge. Please reference at least one ATTACKED you watched and at least one statement from Jackson, Cizek, and Dust’s discussion.

Your response is due by the start of class on Monday.

M 8/31 FCStart Talking SJU! and first half of The Art of Co-Creation; notes-for-starttalking-cocreation.docx
Reading Response 1 Due

Assignment for Wednesday, 9/2
Please watch 55:50 – 1:10:33 of The Art of Co-Creation: A Storytelling Model for Impact and Engagement, which we started for Monday. This time we’re watching the end, but feel free to watch the middle portion, as well, if you’d like. Featured in this segment are: Tabitha Jackson, the moderator; Tashka Yawanawa, Chief of the Yawanawa, Acre, Brazil; and Lynette Wallworth, Artist/Filmmaker, Studio Wallworth.

I’d also like to read pages 1 – 12 of the Collective Wisdom Field Study, by Cizek, K., & Uricchio, W. (2019). See the Readings and Texts page for the link. Also read the MIT Co-Creation Studio Media Lab Co-Creation Manifesto:

Come to your Cohort Day prepared to discuss these texts and, especially, how co-creation intersects with collaboration and participation.

W 9/2 C1: Collective Wisdom Field Study and second half of The Art of Co-Creation
Hand out Social Media Impact Campaign Assignment
F 9/4 C2Collective Wisdom Field Study and second half of The Art of Co-Creation
Hand out Story of Learning Assignment Video

Week Three: Breaking Down the Semester Topic

Assignment for Wednesday, 9/9
On Wednesday, we’ll be meeting as a full class to start narrowing down out Start Talking SJU topic for the semester. For Wednesday, I’d like you to address the following questions:

  • What issues or concerns are important to the conversations taking place at SJU right now?
  • Who are the people who are having those conversations and who should also be having them?
  • Where are those conversations taking place and where would you like to see them taking place.
  • What conversations would you like to see happening that are not and who would you like to see having them?

Though this is not an official Reading Response because there is no actual reading, I’d like you to address each question in your Reading Response document. Be thorough. The more ideas to brainstorm as a class the more nuanced our project will be.

On Thursday, I shared with you your My Story of Learning GoogleDoc. That document is only available to me and each individual student; no one else can see it. If you are new to the Story of Learning, please watch this video which introduces the Story of Learning assessment system. If you have used the Story of Learning in the past, please note that there is a new section called “Engagement and Presence.”

If you have any questions after watching the video, please don’t hesitate to send them to me.

Part 1 and your first weekly updates are due this Friday.

M 9/7: Labor Day — No Class
W 9/9 FCBrainstorming Topics; notes-for-starttalking-brainstorming.docx
F 9/11 FCVoting and Narrowing Down
Story of Learning Part 1 and First Weekly Update Due

Week Four: Storytelling and Social Movements

Assignment for Monday, 9/14
Your My Story of Learning Part 1 and your first weekly update are due by 11:00pm on Friday evening. For your Weekly Updates, students often worry that there is nothing to write about because they haven’t “done” anything, meaning that they haven’t created or designed anything. Use the space to write about what you have learned based on the readings and the conversations in class and not just what you have created.

Please read the articles by Davis (2002) and Fine (2002) on narrative, storytelling, and social movements. They are on the Readings and Texts page. In your Reading Response, pull out of each reading 1 passage that you think is significant and discuss why. If possible, try to connect the passages to the texts and our discussions about co-creation.

Make sure you have completed the Response and the Reflection portions of your reading response.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

M 9/14 FCDavis (2002) and Fine (2002); notes-for-narrative-davis-fine.docx
Reading Response 2 Due
W 9/16 FCDavis (2002) and Fine (2002), continued

Assignment for Friday, 9/18
Please read Fosl (2008) on the role of personal narratives in building social movements (see the Readings and Texts page). We will discuss Fosl in relation to Fine and Davis, as well as hear a personal narrative from one of the women Fosl writes about, Fannie Lou Hamer.

There is no reading response due, but this will be first of several opportunities to compose additional reading responses. As stated in the grading criteria for the A-level (on the last page of your Story of Learning document), “The Story of Learning at this level demonstrates activity that goes significantly beyond the required course work in one or more course objectives.” One way to have activity that goes beyond the required coursework is complete additional reading responses, which will show additional Reflection, Storytelling, and perhaps Risk-taking.

So, if you would like to do that, Reading Response 2 Extra, I’d like you to think about what Davis and Fine write about the social and rhetorical nature of narratives and Fosl’s discussion of narratives as political acts that empower. As you think about these issues, try to connect them to social movements with which you are familiar. Be sure to complete both the Response and Reflection parts

F 9/18 FC: Fosl (2008) and Fannie Lou Hamer DNC (testifying at the Democratic National Convention, Atlantic City, NJ, 1964);  some video of her testimony); Fannie Lou Hamer Harlem Audio and Transcript; about the 1964 DNC Convention; Notes for Fosl and Hamer Discussion (GoogleDoc)

Week Five: Power of Storytelling

Assignment for Monday, September 21
The stories for this week are going to be about Black Lives Matter (Monday) and the #metoo and #notokay hashtag movements (Wednesday). That is, the readings are going to be about difficult, often traumatizing subject-matter, sometimes overtly so. There is no getting around this; stories are powerful because of their honesty and, sometimes, their rawness. The content may make you angry, heartbroken, emotional, enraged—it makes me each of these no matter how many times I read it. It is okay to step away from it for a while and focus on something else. Indeed, self care is of paramount importance (in all you do, not just with these readings, but in all aspects of your life). But they also bring me hope, for reasons we’ll no doubt discuss.

For Monday, please read Khan-Cullors and Bandele (2017) and Stephen (2015), in that order (see the Readings and Texts page). For your Reading Response, I’d like you to think about their discussions in terms of Fosl’s discussion of personal narrative. And, as with all reading responses. Feel free to refer back to the Notes document we used in class on Friday.

And, don’t forget to complete your Story of Learning Week 4 Weekly Update.

M 9/21 FCKhan-Cullors and Bandele (2017); Stephen (2015)
Reading Response 3 Due
W 9/23 FCRevisiting the semester topic; notes-for-starttalking-subjects.docx

Assignment for Friday, 9/25
Please read Oxford (2018) and Zacharek, Dockterman, & Edwards (2017) on the #notokay and #metoo hashtags and movements. Please note that the readings include direct quotes and summaries of the tweets shared in those movements, often including details of sexual assault. They also include graphic quotes from Donald Trump. Zacharek, Dockterman, & Edwards is somewhat lengthy, so give yourself some time. As with the other readings, if you need to stop and put this aside, please do.

There is no required Reading Response, but if you would like to complete Reading Response 3 Extra, please discuss the #notokay and #metoo in terms of Fosl’s discussion of narrative in movements and what Fine called “bundles of narratives.”

F 9/25 FCOxford (2018); Zacharek, Dockterman, & Edwards (2018)

Week Six: Interviewing and Listening

Assignment for Monday, 9/28
Please read the articles by Portelli (1998) and Sangster (1994) on the subject of oral history. Complete a Reading Response in which you consider these readings in relation to our readings on narrative. In part of your response, I’d like you to discuss the question of credibility that Portelli raises at the top of page 37, again in relation to the other articles we have read this semester. Don’t forgot to complete the Reflection portion of the Reading Response.

Also, don’t forget to complete your Story of Learning weekly update.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

M 9/28 FCPortelli (1998) and Sangster (1994); notes-for-sangster-portelli.docx
Reading Response 4 Due

Assignment for Wednesday, 10/3, or Friday, 10/5
This Wednesday and Friday we go back to our cohort model. Please make sure you attend only on the day of your cohort.

Please read Terkel (1998) and Anderson and Jack (1998) on interviewing and listening. Though there is no reading response, please come to class with a list of 10 oral history-based interviewing and listening tips based on the readings. Imagine you are providing the list to people who are just learning about the oral history interviewing and listening practices. We will discuss interviewing in great detail.

There is no Reading Response due.

W 9/30 C2Terkel (1998) and Anderson and Jack (1998)
Hand out Sample Interview, Closed Captions, and Subtitles Assignment
F 10/2 C1Terkel (1998) and Anderson and Jack (1998)
Hand out Sample Interview, Closed Captions, and Subtitles Assignment

Week Seven: Who Tells Stories

Assignment for Monday, 10/5
Please read the online articles by Teju Cole (2012), Lauren Wissot (2017), and Darya Marchenkova (2017) on extractive and community storytelling (see the Readings and Texts page). For Reading Response 5, discuss the readings in relation to what we have read and discussed on co-creation, narrative, empowerment narratives, and oral history.

On Wednesday, prior Digital Storytelling students will be joining us to talk about and respond to your questions about Start Talking SJU. I will be emailing you a link to a Google Form where I’d like you to add two questions. This is due by 11:00pm on Monday, which will give me time to collate them.

Don’t forget to complete your Story of Learning Weekly Update and to get started on the Sample Interview, Closed Captions, and Subtitles Assignment.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

M 10/5 FC: Cole (2012), Wissot (2017), and Marchenkova (2017) on Extractive and Community Storytelling
Reading Response 5 Due
Questions for Guests Due
W 10/7 FC: Prior Start Talking SJU Student Guests
F 10/9 FC: Talking about the Project: Names and Content; notes-for-names-and-content.docx

Week Eight: Our Subject and the Project

Assignment for Monday, 10/12
The readings for Monday were chosen based on our subject, Living with Fear (see the Readings and Texts page). Please read two Time Magazine articles, the first by Lily Rothman (2012) on fear in America, the second by Raisy Brunar (2020) — just published in September — on college student fears. Then, a short article by Becky Beaupre Gillespie (2018), which by the end introduces the move from fear to hope.

For your Reading Response, I’d like you to think about these articles in relation to our chosen subject, what it goals should be, and the overall potential impact you think our project could have here at SJU.

Don’t forget to complete your Story of Learning weekly update.

M 10/12 FCReadings on our Subject
Reading Response 6 Due
W 10/14 FCTalking about the Project: Interview Aesthetics
Sample Interview Assignment Due
F 10/16 FCTalking about the Project: Captions and Subtitles
Midterm Story of Learning Due by 11:00pm

Week Nine: Conferences

M 10/19: Class Canceled for Midterm Conferences
Midterm Story of Learning Due by 1:00pm

W 10/21: Class Canceled for Midterm Conferences
F 10/23: Class Canceled for Midterm Conferences

Week Ten: Impact Distribution

M 10/26 FC: Talking about the project: Gotta Make Decisions
Reading Response 7 Due
W 10/28: Reading Day — No Class
F 10/30 FCTalking about the project: interviewing; Nolan raw footagesample-interview-f20.docx

Week Eleven: Impact Distribution

M 11/2 FC: Getting things in order
W 11/4 FCReviewing proposals; consent form; template teams
F 11/6 FC: NURSE statements (.pdf); template teams
Tech preparations and pre-conversations completed

Week Twelve: Drafts Due and Working on Project

M 11/9: Work on project
Interviews to be completed
W 11/11: 
Work on project
F 11/13: Review drafts
Rough Drafts Due

Week Thirteen: Project Released

M 11/16: Discuss trailer draft
Trailer draft due
W 11/18: Work on project; complete posting schedule
Release trailer

Thursday, 11/19: Project Goes Live

F 11/20: TBD

Week Fourteen: TBD

M 11/24: TBD
W 11/26: Thanksgiving — No Class
F 11/28: Thanksgiving — No Class

Week Fifteen: Talking Impact

M 11/30: TBD
W 12/2: TBD
F 12/4: TBD

Please email or share with Bill your Final Project Reflection to his SJU email by Monday, 12/7 by 11:00pm. It you are posting later in the week, you should hold your reflection until after it is posted.

Final Stories of Learning are due Wednesday, 12/9 by 11:00pm.

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