Saturday, February 5, 2011

Week 4: Narrative Theory & Temporality

What is narrative and how is it affected by new media developments. The focus will be on time-based narratives with a close reading of Cruising by Ingrid Ankerson and Megan Sapnar.

Basing our discussion on the week’s readings we’ll critique these main ideas:
  • feminism
  • nonlinearity
  • temporality
  • transiency
  • rhizomatic
  • time-based narrative
  • multimodality

Discussion Questions:

Q1. How can we define nonsequentiality/multi-linearity, interactivity, narrative?
Q2. To what extent are these aspects determined by the text, the reader, the digital format?
Q3. What kinds of narratives are especially suited for a multi-linear/interactive format? Are there stories that can only be told in an online format?
Q4. Read Cruising. Analyse the structure of the narrative (is it non-linear, multi-linear?). How does it engage the reader? What are the textual mechanisms by which the text achieves engagement?

Required Readings:
Espen Aarseth, “Nonlinearity and Literary Theory,” Bill Marsh, "Reading Time: For a Poetics of Hypermedia Writing," Ingrid Ankerson and Megan Sapnar, Cruising, Jessica Laccetti, "Where to Begin? Multiple Narrative Paths in Web Fiction."

Recommended Readings:
Ingrid Ankerson and Megan Sapnar, “Author Description, Cruising.”

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