PANF 1800 6.00

Course director: Amnon Buchbinder

Course description:

How do writers, filmmakers, and other creators go about finding and shaping the stories they tell? In what ways are the patterns of story woven into our lives, our society, our world? Or are we and our world woven by the patterns of story? Biology of Story is a 24-week, largely asynchronous, fully online course. Proceeding from the practical insights of those who tell stories in many forms, the course will also explore the growing use of narrative in a wide range of fields towards rethinking social and institutional assumptions and releasing human potential. Open to non-majors. Ranging across multiple Creative Arts (Film & Television, Interactive & Transmedia, Oral Literature & Folklore, Literature & Creative Writing), Humanities (Native Studies, Education, Religious Studies, Psychology, Journalism, Peace & Conflict Studies) and Sciences (Life Sciences, Cosmology, Health & Medicine), the course will follow the thread of story as it informs, and is informed by, each discipline. A range of learning activities will involve students in individual and group work equally demanding of analytical rigour, creative imagination, and personal reflection; while building first-year University skills at research, writing, and informed discussion. Key insights from the cultural knowledge of First Nations and other indigenous peoples, traditionally rooted in story, will frame the course’s epistemological approach.