Senior Fellows program sponsors lecture by Emmy Award-winning storyteller Gioia Timpanelli


Becca Gamache

Storyteller and author Gioia Timpanelli discusses the importance of folklore and storytelling in a lecture Thursday afternoon. Timpanelli incorporated various stories and fables into her presentation, exemplifying different types of oral tradition.

Tatiana Marceleno

Emmy Award-winning storyteller and author Gioia Timpanelli spoke about the importance of the ancient art of storytelling in a lecture Tuesday. 

In the presentation titled, “The Art of Storytelling,” Timpanelli discussed how the telling of both ancient and modern stories  brings individuals together.

“Stories and storytelling allow us to keep in touch and to be together, because it is not a singular art from me to you,” Timpanelli said. “It’s you to your neighbor, you to me, all of us together.” 

Timpanelli discussed different types of oral traditions including myths, poetry, fables and romances. According to Timpanelli, folktales also have connections with how life is perceived today.

“The old stories give a vivid sense of how we’re living, even now,” Timpanelli said. “They may have been told 4,000 years ago, but they are still so good.”

The lecture was sponsored by Senior Fellows, an honors program in the College of Communication. Students in the program were encouraged to attend the lecture to learn about the art of storytelling.

Before the lecture, public relations junior Anna Gerber said she was looking forward to hearing Timpanelli tell different types of traditional stories. She also said she hoped Timpanelli would provide information and facts about mythological stories.

Journalism professor Tracy Dahlby’s class, “Storytelling in Digital Times,” is a course in the Senior Fellows program with a curriculum designed around guest speakers. Dahlby said he thinks the lecture by Timpanelli helped make students more aware of how their lives are influenced by stories.

“We have a lot of distractions in our lives, and sometimes we forget about the power of stories,” Dahlby said. “We go to the movies, we read novels, our friends tell us stories and they all have an impact on us.” 

Timpanelli said some stories appeal to us in particular ways, and when they do, there is a connection made to our lives. Dahlby said he hopes this was one of the points that students could relate to after attending the lecture.

“In some stories, if something isn’t the same, the story that talks about that isn’t going to do much for us,” Dahlby said. “But if you hear a story that really helps complete us in a way or answer a question, then that’s the one we’re going to be interested in.”  

Published on March 6, 2013 as "Author lectures about modern, ancient stories".