The process began in the first class, when as an introductory exercise, we asked students to join in pairs and tell each other a story that would in some way reveal themselves.We assured them that the story need not be profound or violate their privacy, but that it should help the listener to understand something about their lives.
The process began in the first class, when as an introductory exercise, we asked students to join in pairs and tell each other a story that would in some way reveal themselves.We assured them that the story need not be profound or violate their privacy, but that it should help the listener to understand something about their lives.Tags: International Law Dissertation TopicsEssay Ber WoyzeckThesis On Phishing AttacksArgumentation EssayDefinition Of Planning In Business ManagementRhetorical Essays On Food IncEssay On Life Without Tv InternetDissertation Ideas For PsychologyEssay Question Types Discuss
From the perspective of narrative theology, that search for stories reveals human beings' efforts to understand the ultimate ("God") and discloses an interpretive structure for both their actions and their values as they try to make sense of their lives.
To help our students develop an appreciation for the complex ways in which narrative shapes and reshapes what we know and can know about our experience and how such narratives determine and reflect what we value, we experimented with several approaches.
Nearly everyone was appropriately impressed with the differences in the versions and the messages that were received.
Having suggested to them Faulkner's own fascination with stories and storytellers and having armed them with some techniques for tackling his daunting prose, we asked, for the following week, that they write a three-to-five page story about an event in their lives that revealed something about their relationships to whatever reality they meant when they spoke of the divine.
Faulkner's challenging novel gave us ample opportunity to introduce students to the basic elements of narrative theory as it functions both in literature and in religious studies.
One notion we emphasized, for example, was how stories are not only "about" their contents--the quest of Sutpen for a dynasty or the ideological failure of the Southern plantation system--but also "about" the shapes they assume, offering us ways of thinking about reality, ways that both limit and reveal the assumptions of a society--so that Faulkner's complex and multiple narrative voices reflect the cultural conversations about race and gender and subjectivity and power that were central to mid-twentieth-century North America.We suggested that students review their work on the stories and examine the exercises for evidence of the relationship between story and value, but encouraged them to use other material as well, including library research.The intent was a formal, even theoretical, reflection on what they had learned about the relation between the stories we tell and the values we profess.This portion of our exercise was probably the most helpful to students in learning to appreciate the significance of Faulkner's style--as well as the most easily excerpted for other courses and contexts.By this point in the semester, after nearly a month of re-working their initial narrative, most students were thoroughly engaged by the project and eagerly awaited our next "pitch"--which was a change-up.Having spent a good deal of class time exploring the various cultural narratives embedded in Faulkner's novel--narratives of Southern defeat, of racism, patriarchy, the stories of Exodus and David--we asked students to construct their own fable or parable that would reveal one or more of the cultural narratives that were more or less silently shaping their own story.This was, in fact, a more challenging assignment than it first appeared, requiring not only creativity in inventing a fable, but also perceptiveness in detecting one of the cultural narratives that lay imbedded in the original story.At the next class meeting, in the small groups, we asked students to help each other identify the differences in their narratives and particularly the biases and assumptions--the hidden narratives--that were shaping the new story, applying to their stories the same critical questions we were addressing to Faulkner's fictions.Our next assignment relied on the venerable technique of imitation.Our most successful effort was an extended writing assignment that could easily be adapted to other Faulkner courses--indeed, perhaps, to any course about narrative.Several pedagogical concerns motivated the specific assignment: While we had used journals before and wanted students to have the continual writing experience that the journal offered, we also wanted their work to culminate in a more formal essay.