My Talk at De Montfort University

Recently I gave a talk for the Online MA in Creative Writing and New Media at De Montfort University, Leicester. It is “designed for writers interested in experimenting with new formats and exploring the potential of new technologies in their writing” and run by “Professor Sue Thomas, writer and former Artistic Director of the trAce Online Writing Centre, and Kate Pullinger, acclaimed novelist and new media writer”. I was in esteemed company too, with other guest lecturers including legends such as Howard Rheingold, Carolyn Handler Miller, Marjorie Coverley Luesebrink (M.D. Coverley), Randy Adams, Rita Raley, Alan Sondheim and Maurice Suckling. Wow!

I didn’t travel there — the whole course is online. Instead, I recorded an audio lecture and created a matching powerpoint and then spent the next week talking with the students in the forum. In the talk ‘A New Total Work of Art?’ I spoke about…you guessed it cross-media entertainment (insert any term you use). I went through highlights of the theoretical and creative history of cross-media since oral culture. The creative component covered cross-media works from the commercial, independent, artistic, narrative, game and marketing sectors. The theory was a mix of theories based on certain artforms and from different fields: narratology, media studies etc. I then gave a brief introduction to some of the design issues/gave guidance on designing cross-media worlds.

It was sooo good to talk about these ideas with writers and to chat for a few days afterwards. The hot topic in particular was the nature of art in the commercial realm. This is of course an issue for many and as a researcher and creator in the area, I have alot to say about it. I do not support the idea that art and commerce exist in a dichotomy, nor that any intermingling immediately improves or depletes a project. I look at what works and what doesn’t and why. 

I’m not going to say anymore as I don’t like discussing my research theories in the blog format. But I just wanted to share how much I enjoyed getting down to the nitty gritty of cross-media. Often I give talks for industry or academia and walk away. Granted, academics follow up with related theories, and industry folk want that information on tap in the form of consulting. But getting the chance to have a continued conversation over a week with people who are really thinking about it was delightful.


3 Replies

  • Christy I was one of the fortunate people to hear this talk and I absolutely loved it!!!! I would love it even more if I could share it with my students later in the year!!! Thanks for giving me a sneak peek listen… and you’d best upload it for your other readers to listen to otherwise they might realise they are missing out on something AMAZING!!!!! 🙂
    Seriously, thanks, you are a STAR!!!

  • Wow. How much do I owe you for that comment? Thanks for the ace words Angela. And I’d love to share it with your students. np! 🙂

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