What’s your story?
Stories connect, differentiate and define us. We gain critical insight into ourselves, others and our worlds when we enter into each other’s stories and invite others into ours.
The study of communication is rooted in the exploration of stories. The original technology of communication – the spoken word – called the other to participate in creating meaning through stories. Only by sharing stories face-to-face could pre-literate societies pass on their history and culture. In fact, the classical Greek philosopher Plato heralded the power of story, saying,
Those who tell the stories rule society.
Today we create stories using symbols through verbal, visual and virtual technologies. At Bethel College, the communication arts program challenges students to develop critical perspectives that value participation, empowerment, empathy and integrity in our communication with others. Students analyze, critique and enact stories in variety of contexts – interpersonal, public, performance, mass media and social networking.
We emphasize the importance of story because, along with our students, we have witnessed time and again what performance theorist Richard Schechner describes as
the startling ability of human beings to create themselves, to change, to become – for worse or better – what they ordinarily are not.
We in the communication arts department invite you to come share your story, to explore others’ and to become a part of ours.