What might happen in a person’s life to lead her or him to set a goal of making the world better—and what might then happen to them after they’ve made that commitment? Using stories of people’s lives—biographies and autobiographies, life history studies and interviews collected by members of the class—this course will explore these big questions. What values drive the people whose lives we are studying, and how did they come to hold those values? Are there “triggering events” that catalyze a commitment to working for change? How do they sustain that commitment over the course of their lives—what Myles Horton calls “the long haul”? And what power do their stories have for other people? After exploring these issues in the life-stories of a diverse range of other people, class members will move the focus to their own lives, considering how their own lives have been shaped and what impacts they seek to have in the larger world.
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