Barbara Geralds Institute for Storytelling and Social Impact
Storytelling matters. Narrators account for mishaps and mistakes, imagine new possibilities, and mobilize resources for change. Citizens share stories as bloggers; doctors respond to patients’ stories; leaders tell stories to motivate people; and mediators use storytelling to resolve conflict. Creating and sharing stories, though, is difficult and requires skill and imagination. The Barbara Geralds Institute for Storytelling and Social Impact tells stories and investigates the ramifications of various forms of storytelling shared across delivery platforms in diverse circumstances.
The Storytelling Institute’s mission is two-fold: (1) to create and tell stories that have social relevance and impact; and, (2) to research all aspects of storytelling from inception, delivery through diverse means, and personal and public reactions to stories. The Storytelling Institute combines the practical art of storytelling with the academic study of narrative activity. It fosters traditional forms of storytelling and also envisions and navigates the future of storytelling in the rapidly changing digital age.
The Storytelling Institute:
- Involves faculty and students in the production and analysis of stories
- Fosters inter-disciplinary research to advance knowledge about storytelling
- Partners with private industry and non-profit organizations on interest-based projects
- Collaborates with experts in virtual and augmented reality to create new methods of storytelling
The Storytelling Institute employs traditional and innovative storytelling forms such as:
- Radio broadcasts
- Audio podcasts
- Documentary films
- Theater productions
- Digital simulations
- Holographic Images
Lynn M. Harter is co-director of the Storytelling Institute and Professor in the School of Communication Studies in the Scripps College of Communication. Guided by aesthetic and narrative sensibilities, her work focuses on the communicative construction of possibility as individuals and groups organize for survival and social change amidst profound vulnerability. Her research and creative activity encompass a range of issues including pediatric cancer care, disability-related concerns, and organizing healthcare for underserved populations. She is co-producer of the Emmy award-winning documentary initiative The Courage of Creativity including the feature length film A Beautiful Remedy. She has published over 75 journal articles and book chapters in interdisciplinary outlets and has edited three award-winning scholarly books.
Thomas S. Hodson is co-director of the Storytelling Institute and Director and General Manager of WOUB Center for Public Media at Ohio University. He also is the Joe Berman Professor of Communication in the Scripps College of Communication. Formerly, he was director of the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University from 2003-2010. Hodson also served as a member of the Ohio University Board of Trustees. He has served as a trial attorney and was a trial judge in Ohio for eight years. Hodson has trained may judges and court personnel in media relations, and has authored numerous articles and co-authored a book for journalists about covering Ohio courts.
Evan Shaw is chief videographer for the Storytelling Institute and a Producer/Director at the WOUB Center for Public Media at Ohio University where he oversees the production of documentary and special interest projects. Shaw has a passion for combining quality videography and editing to tell a compelling story. He is co-producer of the Emmy award-winning documentary initiative The Courage of Creativity including the feature length film A Beautiful Remedy. Since 2006, Shaw has been employed as a cinematographer with NFL Films, with his work regularly featured on national networks such as ESPN, Showtime, NBC and FOX. Among other honors, he has received seven Emmy Awards.
For information about the Storytelling Institute and how to support it, please contact Dr. Lynn Harter, Tom Hodson, or Robin Stock.
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