Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Connecting the Stars: Chinese Star Stories and the Art of Storytelling through a Cultural and Personal Lens
by Aldern, Mary Hsi, M.A., Prescott College, 2012, 192; 1531601
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis explores the role of auto ethnography in researching and analyzing Chinese cosmology myths. Star stories are more than entertainment; they provide a visual means of recognizing and honoring cultural traditions from around the world.

While Chinese myths told in America are disconnected from the original contexts from which they emerged, Chinese cosmologies are still connected through stars and constellations to the celestial part of their original setting. These star stories are largely unfamiliar to American audiences, including outdoor and experiential educators and cultural Chinese American groups, who will find it to be of interest. The material will also appeal to the various cultural entities and social mediated communities who engage in global interactions that influence one another in their intercultural exchanges.

I use phenomenological data from this research to develop and enrich my personal storytelling style, reflecting on my heritage and examining my identity in the personal, cultural, and spiritual dimensions. I then perform the collected star lore tales at outdoor youth camps for under served youth and communities in California. In this way, I test oral storytelling as a means of engendering new learning about environmental sustainability. The results reveal meaningful ways that these stories and storytelling help participants cultivate awareness and caring for personal and cultural sustainable relationships with the environment and each other.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Stotter, Ruth
Commitee: Fong, Mary, Greenblum, Ellen
School: Prescott College
Department: Humanities
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 51/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Asian American Studies, Folklore, Astronomy
Keywords: Asian american, Auto ethnography and phenomenology, Chinese, Chinese american, Constellations and astronomy, Cosmology and storytelling, Cultural and ethnic identity, Folklore, Mythology, Outdoor and experiential education, Personal identity, Stars
Publication Number: 1531601
ISBN: 9781267842428
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