Monday, December 16, 2013

What I've been learning so far from my storytelling course with iVersity?

So I have begun a new journey to improve my craft of storytelling by signing up for the online course "The Future Of Storytelling" on  at iversity This course is interdisciplinary and taught by German professors, but done in English. And so far, the course has been transformational and inspirational.

One of my favourite moments in the course so far, is the lecture by/interview with Dr. Hans-Christoph Hobohm. In his session, Dr. Hans-Christoph Hobohm, an information science professor, presented in a library space, the origins and history of storytelling. Hobohm in his short 22 minutes video summarised much of what I have learned from my readings on storytelling from both my comprehensive examination and self-directed studies. He also added a new dimension or perspective to what I already knew. Hobohm suggests that storytelling, contrary to what Walter Benjamin and others have argued [1], has never ceased from being around us.  Hobohm in talking about storytelling from past to present, indicates that how stories have been told have changed with technology, but that stories and storytelling are continuously being told in every human epoch and generation.

I particularly enjoyed when Hobohm discussed storytelling in library and information science. He suggested that librarians are awakening to the idea that 'libraries are houses of stories' and as such have been inviting authors and people to tell their stories in libraries. He also talks about storytelling in knowledge management, archival science and oral storytelling. Here he discusses stories as a way of capturing information, tacit knowledge and even wisdom.

I also learned from him about Story cubes, a board game for storytelling (See This game has dice, which instead of having dots, the dice have pictures. When we roll the dice, we must tell a story based on whatever pictures come up. As I saw this game, I knew that I would love to acquire it and use it for not only teaching future courses or classes in storytelling, but also in developing my own storytelling skills as well as those of my children.

The change in my outlook was evident today when I stopped by Indigo Chapters bookstore to look for the Story Cubes in hope of purchasing the last remaining one in stock at my London store. IndigoChapters no longer was a book store to me, but a 'storeroom of stories'. Games and books were transformed into stories competing for my engagement and finances. However, I left the store without any items, but hoping that one day, my own stories would be in that bookstore, screaming out for someone to purchase it.


1. Walter Benjamin (1969) discusses that the production of print literature, movies and television for the masses has killed storytelling. However, while one can contend that oral storytelling culture has suffered from print literature and movie production, one could also argue that with movies and novels come a new form of storytelling, which is the position that Hobohm and my online storytelling course maintains.


Benjamin, W. (1969). Illuminations, ed. and with an Introduction by Hannah Arendt. Trans. by Harry Zohn. New York: Schocken Books.

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