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Doc. Dissertation
ETD: Participatory storytelling and the   ETD: Participatory storytelling and the... - Doctoral Dissertation (4 K)
Creator Newsom, Eric Thomas .
Title Participatory storytelling and the new folklore of the digital age
Degree PhD
Department Dept. of Communication and Media
Is Part of Rensselaer Theses and Dissertations Online Collection
Publisher Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
Date 2013-08
Language ENG
Description August 2013
School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Abstract This dissertation asserts that the internet and widespread digital media have provided a place for storytelling that was not present in the age where television was the dominant provider of narrative, and that the type of storytelling that happens in that place recalls oral traditional, not mass media, models. By looking at three qualities of traditional storytelling--variability, performance, and collectivity--I demonstrate that the relationship between author, text, and audience is becoming more fluid and dynamic. I suggest that, considering these shifts toward modes that recall traditional storytelling, the best perspective from which to view these changes is that provided by folklore studies, as it provides a holistic framework for examining the teller, the story, the audience, the ways they influence each other in the act of telling, and the formation of communities around stories over time.
Drawing on a century's worth of folklore studies, my examination of variability in digital stories challenges the notion of text as a fixed object of study, and looks at ways that contemporary creators seek to facilitate variations on their own stories. My look at performance suggests that each digital storytelling event is a unique co-cooperation between teller and audience, the story being the product of the tensions and interactions taking place during that event. My study of collectivity identifies the role of communities in guiding the creation, meaning, reception and distribution of digital stories over time, and how those stories serve to guide the creation of those communities in turn. Finally, I focus on a series of stories surrounding a horror character called Slender Man to demonstrate the nature of digital folklore, tracing issues of variation, distribution, interactivity, mediation, community formation, and ownership as they developed across a specific storytelling effort.
Contributor Zappen, James Philip
Deery, June
Sheldon, Lee
Century, Michael
Subject Communication and rhetoric
Type Electronic thesis
Rights This electronic version is a licensed copy owned by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. Copyright of original work retained by author.
Access Rights Restricted to current Rensselaer faculty, staff and students. Access inquiries may be directed to the Rensselaer Libraries.
Record number 000007700
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Rensselaer Theses and Dissertations > Complete Online Collection
Rensselaer Theses and Dissertations > School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

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