Telling & Hearing Stories from the Pandemic

The CFDE Engaged Learning Program has collaborated with the Institute for the Liberal Arts and the Oral History Program in the Stuart A. Rose Library to launch “Stories From the Pandemic,” a project of Emory Telling and Hearing Our Stories (ETHOS). 

Telling stories helps heal, and hearing stories that are both the same and different from our own helps provide perspective and empathy. Our society and the context that shape our individual lives are dramatically changing during the pandemic. Telling stories about these transformations is vital to feeling connected, and hearing them helps to better understand diverse experiences and perspectives. We encourage the telling of stories that most matter to narrators as we live through a pandemic. Using the "story circle" model and oral history, Stories from the Pandemic leverages the power of stories to create a shared personal and intellectual experience that will help the Emory community understand and cope with events during this time of crisis. 

ETHOS is a coalition of Emory faculty and administrators working to build community through stories.  ETHOS events often include featured speakers followed by facilitated story circles with the purpose of nurturing a sense of community and enlivening the academic conversation. 

The Engaged Learning Program and the IDEAS (Interdisciplinary Exploration and Scholarship) Fellows Program in the Institute for the Liberal Arts have led this effort, which acts on the knowledge that stories connect individual lives to social, institutional and cultural contexts and help communities create shared meaning. 

Storytelling is also a community-sourced pedagogy, a strategy used in community-based organizing that is also highly effective in campus communities. At Emory, ETHOS has drawn from the story circle model developed by Roadside Theater and further adapted by the national consortium Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life. ETHOS events are often intentionally diverse with regard to participants’ roles at Emory (a mix of faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, staff, administrators) because we have learned that hearing stories from someone whose perspective is, at least on the surface, quite different from one’s own allows for profound connection across those perceived differences. 

Visit the "Stories From the Pandemic" website

The Stories from the Pandemic Project stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and all who are fighting for racial and social justice. 

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