GVU Brownbag presentation by Krystina Madej

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Krystina Madej

Visiting Assistant Professor School of Literature Media and Communication, Georgia Tech


Introducing Interactivity, Collaboration, and Authoring in Social Media (Springer, December 2, 2015)


At the forefront of narrative innovation are social media channels – speculative spaces for creating and experiencing stories that are interactive and collaborative. Media, however, is only the material access point, to the expressiveness of narrative content. Wikis, messaging, mash-ups, and social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others) are on a trajectory of participatory story creation that goes back many centuries. These forms offer authors ways to create narrative meaning that reflects our current media culture, as the harlequinade reflected the narrative material culture of the 18th century, and as the volvelle reflected that of the 13th century.

In Interactivity, Collaboration, and Authoring in Social Media I first prospect the last millennium for antecedents of today’s authoring practices. I do so with a view to considering how today’s digital manifestations are a continuation, perhaps a reiteration, perhaps a novel pioneering, of humans’ abiding interest in interactive narrative. I then take the reader inside the process of creating a collaborative, interactive narrative in today’s social media through an authoring experience undertaken by a group of graduate students. The engaging mix of blogs, emails, personal diaries, and fabricated documents used to create the narrative demonstrates that a social media environment can facilitate a meaningful and productive collaborative authorial experience and result in an abundance of networked, personally expressive, and visually and textually referential content. The resulting narrative, After Love Comes Destruction, based in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, shows how a generative narrative space evolved around the students’ use of social media in ways they had not previously considered both for authoring and for delivery of their final narrative artifact.


Dr. Madej research area is narrative, in particular narrative as material culture, narrative structure, and user experience of narrative across media.  Her current work is in somatic engagement for young children with digital narratives, the Disney master narrative, and social media collaborative authoring.  She has co-authored "Disney Stories: Getting to Digital" (2012) with Newton Lee and co-edited "Engaging Imagination and Developing Creativity," which is now in its second edition (2015), with Dr. Kieran Egan. She teaches at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, the Center for Digital Media in Vancouver, and for the Erasmus Program at the University of Lower Silesia, Wroclaw, Poland. 


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