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Beyond the Blue Podcast: Clay Morgan Explains ‘The Power of Story’

By:    Published 9:45 am / March 12, 2012

We all love a good story. English teacher and author Clay Morgan explains the background, evolution and context of storytelling in this week’s Beyond the Blue podcast, “The Power of Story.” This presentation is an example of a Foundational Studies course that he is teaching this fall.

Listeners can access the website featuring a series of faculty podcasts at BeyondtheBlue.BoiseState.edu or go directly to Morgan’s presentation. Visitors can download all podcasts and subscribe to receive automatic downloads of new content whenever they open iTunes.

In this podcast, Morgan addresses questions about what story is. Are we born with story instincts, in the way we have instincts for language? Is story necessary for us to be truly human? Morgan proposes that story simulates human life, inside the human mind, by engaging the senses, triggering emotions and creating awareness of consequence and meaning. Story is shared, experiential, chronological thinking. It is the most primal, the most powerful and the most subtle system of logic, persuasion and communication. Story is how humans inhabit time, how cultures and individuals remember, and how we plan and dream.

Morgan is a charter member of the faculty in the Foundational Studies Program. He also coordinates Boise State’s Story Initiative and co-founded Story Story Night, the monthly storytelling evening in downtown Boise. Morgan has published seven books, including the novel “Santiago and the Drinking Party,” the young adult novel “The Boy Who Spoke Dog,” and written NASA’s official history of Shuttle-Mir, which earned him NASA’s Public Service Medal for exceptional contributions to the mission of NASA. He was the first writer to win the Idaho Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.

This podcast is part of a series of presentations related to Boise State’s Foundational Studies Program. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Martin Schimpf provides an introduction to the new general education program that focuses on essential learning and shared experiences. The Foundational Studies Program begins in fall 2012 and features an interdisciplinary curriculum that focuses on problem solving, communication, innovation and teamwork, ethics and diversity, and disciplinary outcomes. Upcoming podcast topics will be from faculty members on sample Foundational Studies Program classes.

The Beyond the Blue website has been developed to showcase the expertise and innovative spirit that exists in many fields at Boise State. Known for its unique blue turf and nationally ranked football program, Boise State is demonstrating creativity beyond the blue in faculty podcasts intended to introduce a variety of topics to casual listeners.

New faculty podcasts are being added on a regular basis, including:

The website contains bonus video and editorial content about the university, including its growth, research initiatives and student life. A related collection of faculty interviews also is accessible from the Reader’s Corner radio show hosted by Boise State President Bob Kustra on Boise State Public Radio.