Event Title

The Stories in Online Petitions and What They Teach Us: A Primer on "Racontology"

Location

Bobo Room, Hodgin Hall, Third Floor

Start Date

8-11-2017 10:45 AM

End Date

8-11-2017 11:45 AM

Description

For the past few years, I have focused my research on the roles that storytelling can play in learning environments. Learners and teachers alike can apply stories from various contexts and for wildly different purposes. In this light, my presentation introduces a new learning theory that I am developing: “racontology,” which combines the terms “raconteur” (storyteller) and “ology” (scientific study), as well as “ontology” (philosophy of being). This humble theory proposes that storytelling serves four major functions in its many learning environments: • INFORM: distribute previously unknown material • TRANSFORM: alter someone’s worldview • REFORM: improve individuals, communities, or cultures • DEFORM: misinform or dehumanize In order to illustrate this theory further, I will tie each of the four tenets of racontology to an online petition about raising funds for oppressed Rohingya Muslim families. (Online petitions show some interesting dynamics for learning and storytelling.) Earlier this month, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) sent out an e-mail updating their subscribers (inform) about the violent persecutions inflicted on Rohingya communities in Myanmar (deform). The e-mail includes a link to a video that describes how 500,000 of these Muslim individuals—including children—have fled to Bangladesh to escape these hate crimes (transform). The linked video is featured on a UNHCR web page that solicits donations from subscribers (reform). Here, we have a multifaceted story built from a conflict of human rights, featured in an online hub that is not traditionally considered as a “learning environment.” There are various levels of storytelling linked to the petition/donation page and the UNHCR campaign to raise funds for the Rohingya, like the statistics on displaced families and the misinformative reports from the Burmese government. My presentation draws from empirical and theoretical research that feed into my future dissertation, expected to begin in Fall 2018.

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Nov 8th, 10:45 AM Nov 8th, 11:45 AM

The Stories in Online Petitions and What They Teach Us: A Primer on "Racontology"

Bobo Room, Hodgin Hall, Third Floor

For the past few years, I have focused my research on the roles that storytelling can play in learning environments. Learners and teachers alike can apply stories from various contexts and for wildly different purposes. In this light, my presentation introduces a new learning theory that I am developing: “racontology,” which combines the terms “raconteur” (storyteller) and “ology” (scientific study), as well as “ontology” (philosophy of being). This humble theory proposes that storytelling serves four major functions in its many learning environments: • INFORM: distribute previously unknown material • TRANSFORM: alter someone’s worldview • REFORM: improve individuals, communities, or cultures • DEFORM: misinform or dehumanize In order to illustrate this theory further, I will tie each of the four tenets of racontology to an online petition about raising funds for oppressed Rohingya Muslim families. (Online petitions show some interesting dynamics for learning and storytelling.) Earlier this month, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) sent out an e-mail updating their subscribers (inform) about the violent persecutions inflicted on Rohingya communities in Myanmar (deform). The e-mail includes a link to a video that describes how 500,000 of these Muslim individuals—including children—have fled to Bangladesh to escape these hate crimes (transform). The linked video is featured on a UNHCR web page that solicits donations from subscribers (reform). Here, we have a multifaceted story built from a conflict of human rights, featured in an online hub that is not traditionally considered as a “learning environment.” There are various levels of storytelling linked to the petition/donation page and the UNHCR campaign to raise funds for the Rohingya, like the statistics on displaced families and the misinformative reports from the Burmese government. My presentation draws from empirical and theoretical research that feed into my future dissertation, expected to begin in Fall 2018.