Oral and Written Storytelling

Knowing the Self: Philosophy and Autobiographical Writing

What are the connections between writing, thinking, and living? From Augustine to Rousseau, from John Stuart Mill to W.E.B. DuBois, and from Bertrand Russell to Simone de Beauvoir, philosophers have used autobiographical writing to convey their ideas on the nature of reality, the meaning of human life, and the highest goals of human community. By exploring the intersection of philosophy and autobiography, we gain insights about both traditions while finding deeper meaning in our own life stories.

Requirements: 
microphone

What Makes a Southern Story Southern?

Southern stories are more than tangled tales of honeysuckle and kudzu. The thirteen states that comprise the Old South have collectively produced some of the nation’s finest writers and the past century’s most honored books.

While some insist that “authentic” Southern stories must include a dead mule, Tamra Wilson begs to differ. In this presentation she will share from her own research the six essentials that define Southern fiction and memoir. You’ll never look at Southern literature quite the same way again. 

Requirements: 
Lectern, microphone, digital projector, laptop computer

Southern Selves: The Child as Storyteller

Coming-of-Age stories are regarded by some as quintessentially American, and few have succeeded as well as Harper Lee and James Agee. Both offer compelling approaches to the Southern narrative.

Requirements: 
Lectern, microphone, digital projector, laptop computer

Sit a Spell

In an earlier time in the history of the south, “Ya’ll come and sit-a-spell was the call for work stoppage. In the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, bone tired sharecroppers dropped cotton sacks, hoes, tobacco planters, vegetable baskets, and sometimes their bodies in the rich eastern North Carolina soil at the sound of those words. Others made it to the end of long rows and sat under shade trees or tobacco shelters. While water, Pepsi Colas, salted peanuts, nabs, honey buns, and other goodies were being passed around, weary workers sang and slapped the hambones.

Requirements: 
lectern, microphone, comfortable, wide-bodied chair

The Tar Heel Traveler: Stories From the Road

Scott Mason may have the best job in television. He travels all over North Carolina, usually steering clear of highways and bounding instead along bumpy roads and off-beaten paths. He uncovers hidden gems everywhere he goes: people and places full of feeling and flavor—and wonder. In this presentation, he celebrates the colorful characters, out-of-the-way places, and rich history of North Carolina. He will share with audiences the stories behind the stories. North Carolina is brimming with intriguing stories.

Requirements: 
Special requirements: DVD or VCR and monitor This program may require additional costs beyond the honorarium payment. Please inquire with the scholar for specific details.

We Have Stories to Tell—Family and Personal Stories

Author and storyteller Jane Yolen states, “All humans are stories waiting to be told. My story, your story, our story—history.” In this program, Sylvia Payne encourages her audiences to realize that sometimes they may have shared stories without even realizing they had done so or that those stories may provide important links to historical events within their own families. Payne stresses the urgency of asking questions of our parents and other elders, and drawing important topics to the surface, as a pertinent way of capturing family histories.

Requirements: 
Microphone required for large room

Storytelling: Passing It On Through Oral Tradition

TVs, home computers, VCRs, and now DVDs serve as family entertainment. What happened to sitting around the fire on a chilly evening or sitting on the porch under the stars listening to the elders tell stories? A critical link to our past is seriously at risk and may disappear if we fail to educate the younger generation with one of the oldest art forms: storytelling. In this program, Sylvia Payne stresses the importance of passing on the oral tradition, especially to the younger generation of adults and children. She shares examples of this oral tradition through her own storytelling.

Requirements: 
Microphone required for large room

Mosaic Writing: Using Fiction, Poetry, and Memoir in Creative Nonfiction

Marjorie Hudson thought she was writing a history book when she took on the subject of Virginia Dare and the Lost Colony in the 2002 Searching for Virginia Dare: A Fool’s Errand, Instead, the haunting subject, full of missing children, grieving fathers, lost nations of Native Americans, and 400 years of legends, inspired her to draw on her fiction, poetry, and memoir writing skills to tell the story. In this program, Hudson reads from her book and talks about her decision-making process as a writer and researcher.

Requirements: 
Marker board

Culture and Personal Experience Inform a Writer’s Work

This program examines oral traditions in Jaki Shelton Green’s own family through a variety of aspects including sources of transmission and legacy from baptisms to weddings to funerals.

Requirements: 
Lectern, microphone

Building Community Through Writing and Art

Who told you that story? How do you remember the tales about relatives? Where did that vase come from? The answers to such questions suggest the ways communities have survived through the art, music, stories, and crafts produced by its members. This program explores and celebrates the shapes, colors, and musicality of stories — often unspoken — that serve as symbols and myths for communities.

Requirements: 
Lectern, microphone
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