Digital Narratives | 802 Online

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Digital Narratives

Posted By on Tue, Sep 4, 2007 at 3:56 PM

Classes have already begun — at the University of Vermont, anyway — and here's one I wish I could take. It's called Composing Digital Narratives, and it's taught by English prof (and blogger) Richard Parent. Here's an overview, from the syllabus:

Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously declared that“hard-core” pornography is hard to define, “but I know it when I seeit.” Digital narrative is a little like that — it’s hard to define, butyou know it when you see it. Or do you? In a later case, Stewartadmitted that his “I know it when I see it” standard was unworkablefrom a legal standpoint. What are we to make of novels written entirelyin text-message, for instance? It might appear that since text-messagesare natively digital, of course a novel written exclusively intext-messages would be digital. In China, Qian Fuzhang has published anovel, Out of the Fortress, written in only 4200 charactersand readable only on cell phones. In Finland, Hannu Luntiala has alsowritten a novel entirely in text-messages, yet the publisher of thiswork, The Last Messages, has published the novel in codex form.  Is this work a digital narrative?

In this course, we will explore the very wide field of digitalnarrative by examining what others have done. We will examine thespectrum of technological tools we have available to us as digitalcomposers. And we will experiment, combining our own imaginations withthese technologies to tell stories no one has told before in ways noone has told them before.

Parent puts assignments and readings and resources on the course blog , so we can sort of see what they're up to. They talk about web-based narratives and games like Zork. In their last class, they apparently watched this "Sims2 machinima" on Male Restroom Etiquette.

One thing I found on their blog that piqued my interest: this digital poetry from Young-Hae Chang.

Anybody out there remember poetry slams? I helped organize the poetry slams in Burlington years ago. Chang's work reminds me of the slams. It's computerized, of course, and meant to be experienced one person at a time, as opposed to slam, which is a performing art. But this digital narrative embodies the spirit of slam — the way it reinvigorated the form by introducing rebellious idea that you could judge poetry, assign it a numerical value. I look at WHAT NOW? and I think of how we used to sit packed into in the Rhombus Gallery, watching teams of touring poets from Providence and Santa Cruz. This seems like an off-shoot of that.

I wish I had the time and money to take this class.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

About The Author

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Bio:
Deputy publisher Cathy Resmer is an organizer of the Vermont Tech Jam. She also oversees Seven Days' parenting publication, Kids VT, and created the Good Citizen Challenge, a youth civics initiative. Resmer began her career at Seven Days as a freelance writer in 2001. Hired as a staff writer in 2005, she became... more

More By This Author

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in 802 Online

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2021 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Advertising Policy  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation