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Creating Imagined Communities with Multimedia Storytelling

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Shea Stuart

on 20 July 2015

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Transcript of Creating Imagined Communities with Multimedia Storytelling

Creating Imagined Communities with Multimedia Storytelling
In the eighteenth-century, the novel becomes a means for women to explore various life choices. The private life, once novelized, becomes public and consumable and replicable. Each reader, however, consumes privately.
Multimedia storytelling continues the work of the novel in culture, but it allows that private reading experience to become public consumption and reflection. Characters perform beside users in social media and create an imagined community.

Imagined Communities
Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities-- concept based on the “interplay between fatality, technology, and diversity” (43). Writers create the prose fiction which provides “the technical means for ‘re-presenting’ the kind of imagined community that is the nation” (25). The rising middle-class of the eighteenth-century allowed for a market based print culture and the development of the novel to express the concerns of a new group of people.

Networked Public
danah boyd – “the spaces and audiences that are bound together through technological networks (i.e. the Internet, mobile networks,etc.). Networked publics are one type of mediated public; the network mediates the interactions between members of the public. Media of all stripes have enabled the development of mediated publics” (125)
Persistance, searchability, replicability, imagined audiences (“Why Youth Heart Social Network Sites”)

Transmedia Storytelling
Henry Jenkins -- “transmedia story unfolds across multiple media platforms, with each new text making a distinctive and valuable contribution to the whole” (“Searching For The Origami Unicorn”)
Pierre Levy – “distinction between authors and readers, producers and spectators, creators and interpreters will blend to form a reading-writing continuum,” each “helping to sustain the activities of the others” (Collective Intelligence)
Franchise transmedia (The Matrix) and integrated transmedia (LBD)

Performance of Self
Goffman (via Hogan), “Presentation of Self in Everyday Life”

Actors – individuals engaged in social interaction
Front stage – where performance takes place
Back stage – where performance is planned

In novels, we see “back stage” through omniscient narration; in LBD, the “back stage” is also a “front stage” performance; costume drama

Pride and Prejudice retold and reimagined through multiple platforms. http://www.lizziebennet.com/story/

April 2012-March 2013 (100 episodes)

“My Name is Lizzie Bennet…”
Fan Participation
First Q&A
LBD Seahorses (as opposed to "Janeites")

Fans could respond to characters and participate at both “back” and “front stage” levels.
Fans of show/characters rather than of Austen.
40 million YouTube viewers

Contact Me
Shea Stuart
Gardner-Webb University
Anderson, Benedict R. O'G. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso, 1991. Print.

Anderson, Michael. "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries Brings Jane Austen to YouTube." Wired.com. Conde Nast Digital, 23 May 2012. Web. 01 Oct. 2013.

boyd, danah. (2007) “Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life.” MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Learning – Youth, Identity, and Digital Media Volume (ed. David Buckingham). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Brillenburg, Wurth Kiene. Between Page and Screen: Remaking Literature through Cinema and Cyberspace. New York: Fordham UP, 2012. Print.

Green, Hank, and Bernie Su. "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries." The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Oct. 2013.

Hogan, Bernie. "The Presentation of Self in the Age of Social Media: Distinguishing Performances and Exhibitions Online." The Presentation of Self in the Age of Social Media: Distinguishing Performances and Exhibitions Online. Oxford UP, n.d. Web. 01 Oct. 2013.

Hoogendoorn, M.J. "Mixing Media: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries as a Postmodern Adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice." Mixing Media: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries as a Postmodern Adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Universiteit Utreich, n.d. Web. 01 Oct. 2013.

Jenkins, Henry. "Searching for the Origami Unicorn." Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York UP, 2006. 92-130. Print.

Lévy, Pierre. Collective Intelligence: Mankind's Emerging World in Cyberspace. New York: Plenum Trade, 1997. Print.

Wiltshire, John. Recreating Jane Austen. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 2001. Print.

Cultural studies concept

The novel works within culture – provides answers, or provides a space to explore problems and probe solutions that may not exist yet

Novel allows readers to try on selves, live out possibilities; reader as judge

Work of the Novel
LBD continues that work
boyd argues, “Learning society’s rules requires trial and error, validation and admonishment; it is knowledge that teenagers learn through action, not theory.” Networked publics allow that trial and error.

Through Lizzie’s vlog, young people can learn via her mistakes and through their own. By participating in the story, they can agree/disagree with Lizzie, be duped by George Wickham, encourage Jane to stand up for herself.

Lydia’s elopement with Wickham is updated as a sex video – the crisis is that Wickham has created a site for a sex video he made with Lydia; he will release it unless paid off.

“A critical reflection on what happens when you expose yourself on {the Internet}” and “a learning experience.” (Hoogendoorn, “Mixing Media”)

Adaptations recreate an original text for a new audience. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries allow for a reimagining of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. By allowing the audience to participate in the imagined community of the story, The LBD continues the work of the original novel, challenging existing social structures and inviting constructions of community that work for a 21st century readership.
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