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Communication & Performance

College of Arts & Sciences

Special Online Summer Storytelling Institutes for 2020! 

Because of COVID-19, this year's Institutes will be offered online and we have adapted the schedule to be more conducive for those sheltering at home while still including the same number of contact hours as a standard face-to-face Institute. While it’s fun to come in person and take these like mini-retreats, at least by using Zoom, there are no travel expenses and we are offering special rates for a
Most Unusual Summer!

Each Institute is capped at 15 participants so register or reserve your space soon!
The 2020 master classes, to be held via Zoom, are:

Susan O'Halloran

Susan O'Halloran

Social Justice Storytelling:
Moving from Lectures
to Stories of People & Causes

with Guest Instructor Susan O’Halloran

June 8 – 13
1:00 – 4:00 EDT (Mon-Sat)

Storytelling Institute I
(STOR 5830-910, CRN 52584)


Sean Buvala

Sean Buvala

Marketing from the Outside In:
Contemporary Strategies to Grow Your Storytelling Business
with Guest Instructor Sean Buvala

June 22 – 27
1:00 – 4:00 EDT (Mon-Sat)

Storytelling Institute II
(STOR 5830-911, CRN 52586)

For Full Descriptions and Registration Info Click Here

      Why study Storytelling?

to develop a professional career as a performer, to foster dialogue across diverse populations, or to enhance work as teachers, community workers, business leaders, corporate trainers, ministers, counselors, and social justice workers.

The Appalachian region is rooted in the art of storytelling. Inspired by the storytelling revival of the 1970s and the successful National Storytelling Festival in nearby Jonesborough, Dr. Flora Joy established storytelling as an academic program in the 1980s with a focus on education. The program has grown to be recognized for its interdisciplinary applications and has broadened its career training scope. Today, students may pursue an undergraduate  storytelling minor, a graduate storytelling certificate, or the Communication and Storytelling Studies master’s degree. They have opportunities to learn from professional tellers through the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough and through intensive storytelling institutes offered at ETSU. Students can attain mastery as performers and proficiency in storytelling applications across a wide range of occupations.

Students in the ETSU Storytelling Program concentrate on performance skill and craft in order to pursue a professional storytelling career, to foster dialogue across diverse populations, or to enhance their work as teachers, community workers, business leaders, corporate trainers, ministers, counselors, and social justice workers. 

Our students also have the opportunity to be join TaleTellers, an ETSU student organization that serves our region by bringing storytelling off campus and into the community. Members hone their skill and talent as they gain experience telling for festivals, slams, schools, and community groups. Membership is open to all ETSU students.

Out of state students who join the National Storytelling Network pay in-state tuition rates through NSN.

Storytelling Programs

Master’s in Communication & Storytelling Studies: 
 View the course requirements here.

Graduate Certificate in Storytelling
View the course requirements here.

Minor in Storytelling:
 View course requirements here. 

Creative Arts Scholarship 
View requirements and online application here.

Short intensive master classes in the field of contemporary storytelling.

Storytelling students present their storytelling to your organization.

Book by ETSU storytelling student to be made into movie
An East Tennessee State University graduate student in storytelling has learned that an award-winning book she self-published in 2012 is to be made into a major motion picture.

Storytelling revises curriculum
Graduate students in East Tennessee State University’s Storytelling and Communication Studies programs this fall are enjoying a newly revised curriculum that will help them develop skills applicable in a wide segment of the job market.

Story Slam’s First Ever National Winner
This past weekend, the first ever National Story Slam took place in Chicago. The winner, Nancy Donoval, represented the Twin Cities. We share Donoval's winning story “Bump.”

Why Storytelling Matters:

  • From The Chronicle of Higher Education, Why Storytelling Matters in Fields Beyond the Humanities
  • If you are unable to access the article, a full text version can be found here.

Storytelling in the News:

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