The Work of Narrative in the Age of Digital Interaction: Revolutions in Practice and Pedagogy

  • Alec Charles
Chapter
Part of the Teaching the New English book series (TENEEN)

Abstract

There are three main challenges in the teaching of narrative development in the area of new media: (1) the interactive, multilinear and ludic natures of new media platforms do not necessarily lend themselves to traditional narrative structures; (2) the emphasis which these media put upon users’ otherwise unmediated forms of self-expression is not necessarily conducive to classical structures of narrative communication; and (3) many of the promises which these media forms have made in relation to narrative advances not only have not been realized and are perhaps unrealizable, but are also not always entirely desirable. Bolter and Grusin’s scepticism as to the potential of introducing ‘interactivity to the novel’ is, for example, echoed by Koskinen’s rebuttal of ‘interactive narratives’—‘no one in his right mind can write an alternative ending to the story of Jesus Christ’. Yet these challenges also represent opportunities. The questions which these technologies pose as to how we teach narrative open up possibilities as to the development of narrative structures, practices and modes of reception—beyond blogging and citizen journalism, beyond Wikipedia, social media, virtual worlds and video games: not amateurish ‘produsage’ but a late postmodern incarnation of Roland Barthes’ notion of scriptibilité. Such opportunities may promote ways to teach writing which themselves underpin the development of cultural identity and critical thought.

Works Cited

  1. Alleyne, Brian. 2015. Narrative Networks: Storied Approaches in a Digital Age. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, Kim, and Jonathan Cook. 2015. Challenges and Opportunities of Using Digital Storytelling as a Trauma Narrative Intervention for Children. Advances in Social Work 16 (1): 78–89.Google Scholar
  3. Arsenault, Dominic, and Bernard Perron. 2009. In the Frame of the Magic Cycle: The Circle(s) of Gameplay. In The Video Game Theory Reader 2, ed. Bernard Perron and Mark Wolf, 109–131. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Barthes, Roland. 1974. S/Z. Translated by R. Miller. New York: Farrah.Google Scholar
  5. ———. 1977. Image-Music-Text. Translated by S. Heath. London: Fontana.Google Scholar
  6. Bolter, Jay, and Richard Grusin. 2000. Remediation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  7. Bradbury, Kelly. 2014. Teaching Writing in the Context of a National Digital Literacy Narrative. Computers and Composition 32: 54–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bubb, Jeremy. 2012. Back to the Future: Multi-Image Screen Narrative in a Digital Age. Journal of Media Practice 13 (1): 45–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Charles, Alec. 2014. Interactivity 2. Oxford: Peter Lang.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ching, Kory, and Cynthia Ching. 2012. Past is Prologue: Teachers Composing Narratives About Digital Literacy. Computers and Composition 29: 205–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Clark, Wilma, Nick Couldry, Richard MacDonald, and Hilde Stephansen. 2015. Digital Platforms and Narrative Exchange: Hidden Constraints, Emerging Agency. New Media & Society 17 (6): 919–938.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Conrad, Marc, Alec Charles, and Jo Neale. 2011. What Is My Avatar? Who Is My Avatar? In Reinventing Ourselves: Contemporary Concepts of Identity in Virtual Worlds, ed. Anna Peachey and Mark Childs, 253–273. London: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Couldry, Nick, Hilde Stephansen, Aristea Fotopoulou, Richard MacDonald, Wilma Clark, and Luke Dickens. 2014. Digital Citizenship? Narrative Exchange and the Changing Terms of Civic Culture. Citizenship Studies 18 (6–7): 615–629.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Curran, James, Natalie Fenton, and Des Freedman. 2012. Misunderstanding the Internet. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. de Man, Paul. 1984. The Rhetoric of Romanticism. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Derrida, Jacques. 1984. Two Words for Joyce. In Post-Structuralist Joyce, ed. Derek Attridge and Daniel Ferrer, 145–159. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Dreon, Oliver, Richard Kerper, and Jon Landis. 2011. Digital Storytelling: A Tool for Teaching and Learning in the YouTube Generation. Middle School Journal 42 (5): 4–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Elsaesser, Thomas. 2014. Pushing the Contradictions of the Digital: Virtual Reality and Interactive Narrative as Oxymorons Between Narrative and Gaming. New Review of Film and Television Studies 12 (3): 295–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Emert, Toby. 2014. Hear a Story, Tell a Story, Teach a Story: Digital Narratives and Refugee Middle Schoolers. Voices from the Middle 21 (4): 33–39.Google Scholar
  20. Fenty, Nicole, and Elizabeth Anderson. 2016. Creating Digital Narratives: Guideline for Early Childhood Educators. Childhood Education 92 (1): 58–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ferrer, Raquel Herrera. 2011. Proposal of Strategies to Develop a Taxonomy of Digital Narrative. Hipertext.net, 9. http://www.upf.edu/hipertextnet/en/numero-9/taxonomy-digital-narrative.html
  22. Flottemesch, Kim. 2013. Learning Through Narratives: The Impact of Digital Storytelling on Intergenerational Relationships. Academy of Educational Leadership Journal 17 (3): 53–60.Google Scholar
  23. Gazarian, Priscilla. 2010. Digital Stories: Incorporating Narrative Pedagogy. Journal of Nursing Education 49 (5): 287–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Genvo, Sebastien. 2009. Understanding Digital Playability. In The Video Game Theory Reader 2, ed. Bernard Perron and Mark Wolf, 133–149. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. Joyce, James. 1939. Finnegans Wake. London: Faber and Faber.Google Scholar
  26. Kajder, Sara. 2004. Enter Here: Personal Narrative and Digital Storytelling. The English Journal 93 (3): 64–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Keen, Andrew. 2008. The Cult of the Amateur. London: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.Google Scholar
  28. Klimmt, Christoph, and Tilo Hartmann. 2006. Effectance, Self-Efficacy and the Motivation to Play Video Games’. In Playing Video Games: Motives, Responses and Consequences, ed. Peter Vorderer and Jennings Bryant, 133–145. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  29. Koskinen, Ilpo. 2007. The Design Professions in Convergence. In Ambivalence Towards Convergence, ed. Tanya Storsul and Dagny Stuedahl, 117–128. Göteborg: Nordicom.Google Scholar
  30. Lawrence, Joshua Fahey, Melissa Niiya, and March Warschauer. 2015. Narrative Writing in Digital Formats: Interpreting the Impact of Audience. Psychology of Language and Communication 19 (3): 201–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lotherington, Heather. 2011. Digital Narratives, Cultural Inclusion and Educational Possibility: Going New Places with Old Stories in Elementary School. In New Narratives: Stories and Storytelling in the Digital Age, ed. Ruth Page and Bronwen Thomas, 254–276. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Manovich, Lev. 2001. The Language of New Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  33. Newman, James. 2002. The Myth of the Ergodic Videogame. Game Studies 2 (1). http://www.gamestudies.org/0102/newman/
  34. Nilsson, Monica. 2010. Developing Voice in Digital Storytelling Through Creativity, Narrative and Multimodality. Seminar.net –International Journal of Media, Technology and Lifelong Learning 6 (2): 148–160.
  35. Ohler, Jason. 2006. The World of Digital Storytelling. Educational Leadership 63 (4): 44–47.Google Scholar
  36. Papacharissi, Zizi. 2010. A Private Sphere: Democracy in a Digital Age. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  37. Pedersen, E. Martin. 1995. Storytelling and the Art of Teaching. English Teaching Forum 33 (1): 2. http://dosfan.lib.uic.edu/usia/E-USIA/forum/vols/vol33/no1/P2.htm
  38. Ranieri, Maria, and Isabella Bruni. 2013. Mobile Storytelling and Informal Education in a Suburban Area: A Qualitative Study on the Potential of Digital Narratives for Young Second-Generation Immigrants. Learning, Media and Technology 38 (2): 217–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Robin, Bernard. 2006. The Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling. In Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2006, ed. C. Crawford, R. Carlsen, K. McFerrin, J. Price, R. Weber, and D. Willis, 709–716. Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education.Google Scholar
  40. ———. 2008a. Digital Storytelling: A Powerful Technology Tool for the 21st Century Classroom. Theory into Practice 47 (3): 220–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. ———. 2008b. The Effective Uses of Digital Storytelling as a Teaching and Learning Tool. In Handbook of Research on Teaching Literacy Through the Communicative and Visual Arts, ed. James Flood and Shirley Brice Heath, 429–440. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  42. Ryan, Marie-Laure. 2011. The Interactive Onion: Layers of User Participation in Digital Narrative Texts. In New Narratives: Stories and Storytelling in the Digital Age, ed. Ruth Page and Bronwen Thomas, 35–62. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sadik, Alaa. 2008. Digital Storytelling: A Meaningful Technology-Integrated Approach for Engaged Student Learning. Educational Technology Research and Development 56: 487–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Skouge, James, and Kavita Rao. 2009. Digital Storytelling in Teacher Education: Creating Transformations Through Narrative. Educational Perspectives 42 (1/2): 54–60.Google Scholar
  45. Tendero, Anotonio. 2006. Facing Versions of the Self: The Effects of Digital Storytelling on English Education. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education 6 (2): 174–194.Google Scholar
  46. Tiffin, John, and Lalita Rajasingham. 1995. In Search of the Virtual Class. Abingdon: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. ———. 2003. The Global Virtual University. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Underberg, Natalie, and Elayne Zorn. 2013. Digital Ethnography: Anthropology, Narrative, and New Media. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alec Charles
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WinchesterWinchesterUK

Personalised recommendations