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English Teaching and New Literacies Pedagogy

Interpreting and Authoring Digital Multimedia Narratives

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Edited By Len Unsworth and Angela Thomas

English Teaching and New Literacies Pedagogy: Interpreting and Authoring Digital Multimedia Narratives is about the fusion of media and narrative, and explores theoretical and practical dimensions of young people’s engagement with contemporary forms of text. It showcases a range of critical interpretative approaches for integrating multimedia narratives into English teaching contexts, including animated films such as Shaun Tan’s The Lost Thing, digital novels such as Inanimate Alice and 5 Haitis, and a virtual treatment of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. English teachers across grade levels will recognize the valuing of literature and will appreciate the practical pedagogy and fostering of creativity as students are encouraged to explore new forms of narrative. In the context of developing expertise in knowing how multimodal texts work, students can apply that knowledge in their own authoring of digital multimedia narratives.
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Chapter 3: Digital Fiction

Extract

← 38 | 39 → CHAPTER THREE

Digital fiction is a contemporary narrative form, one that embodies the tradition of narrative yet uses the affordances of new technologies to create new kinds of narratives. It can combine art, music, film, and Web design with a multilayered complexity that, according to Campbell (2008), is both compulsive and immersive. The multimodal meaning-making resources are woven together to create narratives that can, Campbell (2008) argues,

also change and mutate depending on a user/reader’s interactions. It is as if the physical entity that is text itself has changed from static to liquid, has learnt to move around and react in response to other media—and is thus able to form new narratives-in-motion which require different methods of both writing and reading. (para. 4)

Digital narratives, digital fiction, or e-literature is a contested term. According to Strickland (2009), the purest definition of e-literature is as follows:

What is meant by e-literature, by works called born-digital, is that computation is required at every stage of their life. If it could possibly be printed out, it isn’t e-lit…[it] relies on code for its creation, preservation, and display: there is no way to experience a work of e-literature unless a computer is running it—reading it and perhaps also generating it. (para. 1–2)

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