Reflections on Storytelling

Last week we reflected on storytelling – what storytelling is and can be, what it means specifically in the context of historical approaches, and digital formats.

Some of the profound thoughts circulating in this class:

“Storytelling to me is about bringing something back to life. Stories go through generations of families and close friends and when that event happens it was just given life.”

“In terms of historical storytelling in the broadest definition, I have experienced historical storytelling at its finest. My grandfather was a German soldier during World War II. …. One specific story passed from grandfather to my father to me. This was the story about my grandfathers experiences in Russia. One day on the battlefield, when the temperatures plummeted to -40 degrees, my grandfather and his comrades resting in man-made foxholes, just taking a break from war. My grandfather would perform all kinds of activities to stay warm including smoking (he only smoked during the war to stay warm, never else), exercising, and fire building. In one instance, he was trying to convince one of his comrades to exercise with him and started talking to him. It was only minutes later that he realized that his fellow comrade in arms was frozen to death. This is one story that will forever stick in my head.”

“Story telling can be fanciful, or heart wrenching, it can be honest communications between vulnerable people or entertainment and nothing more.”

“Storytelling means family to me and connecting families by similar memories in addition to genes.”

“It is through people’s’ stories that society is able to move forward and make progress.”

“Storytelling is the sharing of emotions, as well as the passing of valuable lessons that an individual has learned over their lifetime.”

“With new technology, there are pretty much endless possibilities in which a story can be conveyed digitally.”

“Storytelling means knowing who you are.”

“storytelling is an essential backbone of human history.”


“If history is going to make an impact on the global community, many of whom reject history as boring or irrelevant, storytellers must take to digitally publishing their tales so that they can reach these audiences more easily.”


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