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Podcast Episode 7

Leadership and the Humanities Podcast
Episode 7: Storytelling and Story-Reading

As we think about the ways in which we disseminate our national myths, it is important to recognize that they come through more than just histories, good or bad. As I mentioned in the last podcast, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow…

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  1. Kayla O'Connell Kayla O'Connell

    In this week’s podcast episode, Dr. Bezio discusses entertainment and the process in which we attempt to figure out the lessons intertwined in these pieces. Entertainment isn’t “just entertainment” since every story has a lesson. Whether the lesson is obvious or subtle, there still is a message being portrayed. Dr. Bezio explains the process of close reading and how it is beneficial to our understanding. With so many symbols and different interpretations of events, how do we know that we are analyzing the information correctly? Since everyone has different opinions and reactions to events, is there only one correct analysis?

  2. Margot Roussel Margot Roussel

    Do you think the lesson is ever not intended? Does this somehow invalidate it?

  3. Olivia Cosco Olivia Cosco

    In this podcase, professor Bezio discuses story telling and story reading. She also discussed how we interpret these stories and said that entertainment (a story) is never just entertainment. By this, she means that there is always a lesson, which people can interpret. Later, professor Bezio talked about close reading and the first step is to look at what is said or shown. She then uses the example from Romeo and Juliet that a rose, no matter what it’s called, will always be a rose. I know this is true, but I also know people interpret stories in different ways, so my question is, how do we know we are interpreting the correct lesson from stories.

  4. Julia Borger Julia Borger

    Podcast 7 on Storytelling and story-reading was very intriguing, as Dr. Bezio talked about the lessons we learn from entertainment and stories through close reading. My question after listening is, what is type of lesson is more powerful- big universal lessons that everyone should easily pick up when watching/listening/reading a work, or subtler smaller messages that the viewer must ponder and come to the revelation of through deep thought and analysis?

  5. Zachary Andrews Zachary Andrews

    Dr. Bezio’s podcast this week was a great change of pace. I liked how not only did we talk about history but we also talked about the lessons and stories that are meshed in with novels, movies, poems, and more. I’m wondering, should we listen and follow lessons that were written/said by people/leaders who did immoral/inhumane acts? They are lessons none the less; however, are the lessons learned from that leader’s actions/words invalid (for a lack of a better word) due to the things that they have done?

  6. Christopher Wilson Christopher Wilson

    I found Dr. Bezio’s steps to close reading extremely insightful as they prompt you to ask yourself purposeful questions to assist you in determining the meaning or lesson of a form of entertainment. This is crucial because, in our tech-centric society, we are constantly encountering various forms of entertainment that influence our actions and the way we think about things- both in the present and as we predict our future. On that note, I have observed that as human beings, we often forget to consider the context of an entertainment piece because our lizard brains- our human impulses- want us to strictly focus on how we feel after viewing a particular movie or listening to a certain song. Moreover, why is the majority so alarmed when minority groups within a society begin to voice differences in interpretation of the various signs and symbols they encounter? Shouldn’t this be expected if you consider that people come from different upbringings? Does this notion of context alter our perceptions of leaders who commit bad deeds that we feel are unethical, such as owning slaves or oppressing all people who are not upper-class white men? What does this reveal about ourselves and the roles we play in shaping the future?

  7. Zariah Chiverton Zariah Chiverton

    As Professor Bezio explained, there are 6 steps to close reading. Ever since we were kids, everything we watched and read was with the purpose of teaching us some sort of lesson. Naturally, we became very good at close reading without even realizing it. This was always forced upon us in ways we didn’t realize. Do we have to spend time in our adulthood to reprogram our minds differently to maybe catch lessons or bigger picture ideas that we missed?

  8. Olivia Cranshaw Olivia Cranshaw

    I thought the steps we learned for analyzing media, both written and visual, are extremely helpful and important, especially with the rise of media and the symbolic meaning we have today in our culture. This made me wonder why are those who create media responsible for accurately representing history? What is the breaking point between interpretative art and informative art? Who determines which history that should be represented is correct or okay to show per age, or does culture define this?

  9. William Coben William Coben

    Podcast episode number 7 was quite interesting as it strayed away from more of the history that we have been so intensely focused on, and talked about more societally relevant topics like media, the move industry, etc… I found it very insightful that Dr. Bezio so promptly pointed out that there is always a meaning, and I believe she is right. Listening to this made me question my own thinking as to why I would’ve thought that there would be media without purpose, that would be pointless. However, my question for the podcast then is, would there be any value in creating media that is “pointless or moral-less,” to receive the human body and mind of the stresses of constantly learning and evolving? Life is challenging, especially at the pace in which people function today, so my question touches on if there would be any benefit to taking a break, and truly doing meaningless things.

  10. Julia Leonardi Julia Leonardi

    This was a different podcast from the ones before. I thought this idea of camera angles making the viewer feel powerful something very interesting. It is something I’ve never really thought about. I really liked the bringing in of Shakespeare (because I really like reading his plays). It also makes me wonder how much the media actually manipulates me?

  11. Delaney Demaret Delaney Demaret

    In this podcast, Dr. Bezio explains that all forms of entertainment teach a lesson one way or another. Some are intentional, some are unintentional. Is there something to be said for the different levels responsibility assigned to creators of various pieces of entertainment? For example, Lin-Manuel Miranda has been assigned a great deal of accountability for his retelling of American history, while other forms of entertainment are not subject to the same amount of scrutiny. How do we, as citizens in a society that constantly consumes new forms of media, apply a fair and proportionate amount of accountability and responsibility to creators of popular entertainment?

  12. Tess Keating Tess Keating

    Even with close reading is it ever even possible to know the real meaning behind some things? People have different interpretations of things (what first comes to mind to me is the Bible) so who is to say who’s is right?

  13. Jeffrey Sprung Jeffrey Sprung

    Podcast Episode 7 focuses on the concepts of storytelling and story interpretation (close reading). In the podcast, Dr. Bezio strongly argues that forms of entertainment, such as poems, novels, and movies are never created purely for entertainment. Instead, Dr. Bezio asserts that all forms of entertainment are produced for a reason in order to drive home a lesson to an audience, which I completely agree with. Furthermore, Dr. Bezio, outlines how humans use close reading in order to form a response to various types of entertainment. My question is can close reading or analyzing a form of entertainment go too far? If every single part of a poem, novel, or movie is analyzed, can a message be elicited by the consumer that was not intended by the creator of the form of entertainment?

  14. Alexander Barnett Alexander Barnett

    In this podcast, I heard Dr. Bezio mention that many people entertain the “bonus step” of how something makes them feel before going through the other steps of close reading. Especially with social media, I feel as if people sometimes make judgments and reactions without thinking through what they are doing. Is it always dangerous to go off of your initial reaction? What would our world be like if everyone followed close reading protocol before they reacted to something?

  15. Annie Waters Annie Waters

    Your mention of Reader Response theory as the “bonus step” has me curious as to how close reading relates to other critical lenses in literature. If we refer to a critical lens that is more societally or politically relevant, say, critical race or feminist theory, is that just a specific method of applying close reading to a given work?

  16. Christina Glynn Christina Glynn

    In podcast 7, Dr. Bezio talks about the six steps to close reading. In the bonus step, it talks about gut reactions. Where do gut reactions come from? Past experiences? Human nature?

  17. Alexandra Oloughlin Alexandra Oloughlin

    I found this podcast very relevant to me, as I always struggled with what close reading actually meant. By breaking down close reading into six basic steps, I now have a better strategy to approach reading and works of art. I was also struck by the note on personal reactions and why usually the first feeling we get about a reading, movie, art (ect.) Does our gut reaction bias our close reading to shape it towards an interpretation that benefits what we need from the text?

  18. Carly Cohen Carly Cohen

    I found this podcast very helpful because it explained in depth how to accurately closely read. Every single piece of text, every movie, every type of entertainment has a lesson to teach and if we are not closely paying attention to the message, we can miss it. What if the audience picks up on an unintended message? What if everyone follows close reading protocols but come out with different messages?

  19. Sophia Peltzer Sophia Peltzer

    The points brought up in podcast 7 make a very interesting point about the way history is meant to be interpretted, and how entertainment is never just made for entertainment’s sake. This ties in with our discussions from previous classes and podcasts about how the way we look at history, and whose histories we look at, can tell hundreds of different stories about the same event. To me, this podcast raised questions of how we view our typical, traditional historical events – the Revolution, as shown in 1776 and Hamilton, but also other classic tales of American history. Are there other stories, such as the stories of the World Wars or even more modern stories such as those of the Obama and Trump administrations that are being told to us inaccurately? How do we know what is the actual truth, and what we are meant to get from the stories we hear? What types of lessons from these stories do we subconsciously take in without realizing, and how to they shape our perception as Americans?

  20. Charley Blount Charley Blount

    I understand that entertainment is not just entertainment, but are some parts of entertainment just supposed to be entertaining? Are some facets of entertainment (specifically with respect to the close reading steps) overanalyzed in order to reach conclusions that the creator did not intend or expect to create? If this overanalysis exists, does it simply fall under the umbrella of the “bonus step” or is it counterproductive to the creator’s intent? Or both?

  21. Samuel Hussey Samuel Hussey

    How can someone trust their gut reaction to something without relying too heavily on their implicit bias?

  22. Jack Kirkpatrick Jack Kirkpatrick

    I understand that you hate the saying “its just entertainment”, and I agree. As a part Film major I believe more than most other people movies have messages and lessons to be learned. However, I feel as if some entertainment mediums are taken more seriously than others in terms of learning lessons and sending a powerful message. Books, for example, I feel are taken more seriously than most entertainment platforms, and books hold the most information. However, after listening, do you think society today treats movies properly in terms of their “seriousness” vs just being seen as entertainment? I feel as if Hollywood is largely still viewed as entertainment. Today, movies like black Panther, 42, and even the all female fight scene in Avengers: End Game, I believe are not treated like messages or lessons but rather most people just view it as “entertainment”. Whether its a lack of education to know to dig into a work of english(book, script etc) I feel people just dont see movies the way we view movies, do you think Hollywood is taken seriously enough? I really enjoyed the steps you brought us through and the mention of cave paintings being so valuable because it was essentially our first medium for messages before we could speak, and as a BIG film guy, this was my FAVORITE podcast 🙂

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