Maximum Class Size: 19. All sessions in the Mac Lab

Writing today more than ever is a multimodal form of expression. The language of new media complements, supports, and sometimes supplants the written word. Yet the most effective forms of storytelling might also depend upon the subject matter, context, audience, and objectives of that form of writing. This course explores digital storytelling methodologies, theory, and practice, beginning with early hypertext fiction and web documentaries and extending into contemporary mobile applications, and virtual worlds creation. Background readings will include media theorists such as Janet Murray, Lev Manovich, Richard Bartle, and Scott McCloud as well as pragmatic guides to digital storytelling techniques. Throughout the course, we will examine the cultural impact of new media narratives, their implications for print culture, and explore core digital storytelling affordances - text, video, audio, design, space, animation, interactivity - with the goal of creating our own critically informed, creative work. All students will have hands-on experience developing digital narratives and creating digital critiques by using a set of online tools and software packages designed for these purposes, which will take place alongside written exploration of the subject matter. We will adapt existing stories and create new ones over the course of the semester. Final projects will be related to historical and cultural themes in the history and culture of Venice. No specific digital media authoring experience required. Order of topics may vary based on student interests, prior experience, and availability of resources. Course takes place in the Mac Lab.

Technical Topics Covered:
• Web 2.0 and Digital Publishing
• Multimodal Presentation Strategies
• Time-Based Media: Audio and Video Documentary Design
• Spatial Media: Digital Maps and Timelines
• Data Visualization and Infographics
• Mobile Media
• Social Media
• Virtual Worlds and Games
• Convergence Culture

Possible Lab and Final Project Remediation Subjects:
• Don’t Look Now, Daphne Du Maurier (story and film)
• The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare
• Paintings of Canaletto and other great artists (image recapture exercise)
• Donna Leon novels
• Death in Venice, Thomas Mann
• Story of My Life, Giacomo Casanova; Heath Ledger adaptation
• Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino
• The Wings of the Dove, Henry James
• Venetian history events as learned from other courses
• Films such as The Italian Job, Casino Royale, Stabat Mater etc.
• Videogames, TV shows, etc. focused on Venice
• Others???

Learning Outcomes:
• Familiarity with theories of digital storytelling as applied to contemporary media forms
• Knowledge of the history of digital storytelling and contextualization within the history of information and communications technology and traditional media
• Awareness of the range of digital media production techniques available to writers/authors today
• Hands-on ability to author using a variety of multimodal authoring tools
• Critical engagement with contemporary mediascapes and awareness of their affordances for fiction and non-fiction storytelling
• Ability to conceptualize and design a digital story project from brainstorming to final product development.