Narratives of Identity & Relationship

"Who am I, and why am I like this?" In Narratives of Identity & Relationship, we explore these two questions in depth, using the framework of story to guide our exploration. Stories are central to establishing our sense of identity, shaping our relational choices, and defining our-selves within a complex and changing world.

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  • Coursework Overview

    The coursework for this Endeavor community involves taking a one-unit course in the fall semester and a half-unit course in the spring semester, both taught by Dr. Johnson.

    Fall 2022 Semester Spring 2023 Semester
    FYS 100: Narratives of Identity and Relationship (1 unit) IDST 190: Narratives of Identity and Relationship Seminar (.5 unit)

    FYS 100 satisfies a general education requirement; students are required to take one first-year seminar (FYS) during each of their first two semesters at Richmond.

    IDST 190 is a half-unit project based course part of the Endeavor program.

  • Specific Course Information

    FYS 100: Narratives of Identity and Relationship

    All around us we hear others telling their stories of gender and sexuality, friendship and family, faith and doubt, race and ethnicity, desire and satisfaction, and over time we come to understand ourselves in and through what we hear. As we interact with others we catch reflections of our own story, glimpsing ways others define us and drawing what we see into the stories we’re always writing about ourselves, whether we know it or not. With a particular focus on the role and significance of communication and relationship in shaping identity, this discussion-based course helps students reconsider themselves.

    IDST 190: Narratives of Identity and Relationship Seminar

    In addition to weekly meetings, each student will choose a person about whom much is known and significant biographical information is available. This person may be a celebrity, a cultural hero/icon, a religious figure, or otherwise of note. Each student will research their selected person with the goal of shaping answers to our two main course questions (Who am I, and Why am I like this?) for/about this person. Students will shape the answers they derive into podcast episodes of 6 to 10 minutes, ultimately making contributions to the Meaningful Life podcast developed by fellow Richmond students.

  • Faculty Information

    Dr. Scott Johnson is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, as well as the Faculty Director for the First and Second Year Experience.

  • Roadmap Short Course Information

    As part of the Endeavor program, you will participate in the popular Roadmap to Success pre-orientation program, where you will take a short course led by Dr. Johnson.

    Short Course Description: Communication and Connection in College

    The close personal relationships you form will, in many ways, define your college experience, and they’ll be crucial to creating a happy life in the years ahead. So how do we create close personal relationships? And how do today’s communication technologies (texting, email, blogs, Snapchat, Facebook, Tinder, Twitter, cell phones) fit in? Through our devices, we’re more connected to others than ever before, yet some say we’re more distant from others as well. Can both be true? Together we’ll explore the basics of relational communication, and we’ll examine the influence of the various technologies on college relationships. We’ll also look at ways those technologies—and a few other things—can help or hinder your success here at Richmond.