The Self and the Institution

The Transformation of a Narrative Genre

Birgit Hertzberg Kaare

Abstract

Media researchers have not been much preoccupied with a genre named Digital Storytelling. Since its origin in the early 90s, it has spread from California to the rest of the United States and has been evolving for several years now as a media practice around the globe. I therefore want to draw more attention to digital storytelling, here understood as a specific genre developed at the Center for Digital Storytelling (CDS) in California and defined as a short, first-person video narrative that combines voice recordings, still and moving images, and music or other sounds (www.storycenter.org). Such storytelling is regarded as both a movement and a method; and it is in its idea a short personal story, about the self. In the subtitle of his book Digital Storytelling, the leader of the center, Joe Lambert, highlights that this type of narratives are Creating Community through Capturing Lives of individuals (Lambert 2009). This genre is embedded in a democratic and empowering ideology. Along these lines, the main concern of this article is to discuss whether a change can be observed in the digital storytelling genre from an individualistic perspective to a more collective perspective - a shift from narrating selves to narrating communities. In examining this question, this work draws upon 45 films produced by bachelor students at the University of Oslo in 2010 and 2011.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Burgess, J. & Klaebe, H. (2009) ‘Digital Storytelling as Participatory Public History in Australia’, in Hartley, J. & McWilliam, K. (eds.) Story Circle: Digital Storytelling around the World (pp. 155-166). Malden, MA: Willey-Blackwell.

  • Carpentier, N. (2009) ‘Digital Storytelling in Belgium: Power and Participation’, in Hartley, J. & McWilliam, K. (Eds.) Story Circle: Digital Storytelling around the World (pp. 188-204). Malden, MA: Willey- Blackwell.

  • Center for Digital Storytelling (CDS) www.storycenter.org.

  • Guignon, C. (2004) Being Authentic. London: Routledge.

  • Hartley, J. & McWilliam, K. (eds.). (2009) Story Circle: Digital Storytelling around the World. Malden, MA: Willey-Blackwell.

  • Hull, G. (2003) ‘At Last, Youth Culture and Digital Media: New Literacies for New Times’, Research in the Teaching of English, 38 (2), 229-233.

  • Hull, G. & Katz, M.-L. (2006) ‘Crafting an Agentive Self: Case Studies of Digital Storytelling’, Research in the Teaching of English, 41 (1), 43-81.

  • Hull, G. & Nelson, M.E. (2005) ‘Locating the Semiotic Power of Multimodality’, Written Communication, 22 (2005), 224-261.

  • Kaare, B.H. (2008) ‘Youth as Producers: Digital Stories of Faith and Life’, Nordicom Review, 29 (2), 189-201.

  • Kaare, B.H. & Lundby, K. (2008a) ‘Mediatized Lives: Autobiography and Assumed Authenticity in Digital Storytelling’, in Lundby, K. (ed.) Digital Storytelling, Mediatized Stories: Self-representations in New Media (pp. 105-122). New York: Peter Lang.

  • Kaare, B.H. & Lundby, K. (2008b) ‘The “Power of Configuration” in Digital Storytelling’, in Gächter, Y. et al. (eds.) Erzählen - Reflexionen im Zeitalter der Digitalisierung/Storytelling. [Reflections in the age of digitalization.] (pp. 99-110). Innsbruck: Innsbruck University Press.

  • Lambert, J. (2006, 2009a) Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Community. Berkeley: Digital Dine Press.

  • Lambert, J. (2009b) ‘Where it all Started: The Center for Digital Storytelling in California’, in Hartley, J. & McWilliam, K. (eds.) Story Circle: Digital Storytelling around the World (pp. 79-90). Malden, MA: Willey-Blackwell.

  • Lindstad, M. (2006) Digital historiefortelling. [Digital storytelling.] Master’s thesis, IMK, University of Oslo. http://www.duo.uio.no/sok/work.html?WORKID=47689

  • Lowenthal, P. (2009) ‘Digital Storytelling in Education: An Emerging Institutional Technology?’, in Hartley, J. & McWilliam, K. (eds.) Story Circle: Digital Storytelling around the World (pp. 252-259). Malden, MA: Willey-Blackwell.

  • Lundby, K. (ed.) (2008) Digital Storytelling, Mediatized Stories: Self-representations in New Media. New York: Peter Lang.

  • Lundby, K. (2009) ‘The Matrices of Digital Storytelling: Examples from Scandinavia’, in Hartley, J. & McWilliam, K. (eds.) Story Circle: Digital Storytelling around the World (pp. 176-187). Malden, MA: Willey-Blackwell.

  • McWilliam, K. (2009) ‘The Global Diffusion of a Community Media Practice: Digital Storytelling Online’, in Hartley, J. & McWilliam, K. (eds.) Story Circle: Digital Storytelling around the World (pp. 37-75). Malden, MA: Willey-Blackwell.

  • Mead, G.H. (1934) Mind, Self and Society: From the Standpoint of a Social Behaviorist. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Meadows, D. (2003) ‘Digital Storytelling: Research-based Practice in New Media’, Visual Communication: Reflections on Practice, 2 (2), 189-193.

  • Meadows, D. & Kidd, J. (2009) ‘The BBC Digital Storytelling Project’, in Hartley, J. & McWilliam, K. (eds.). Story Circle: Digital Storytelling around the World (pp. 91-117). Malden, MA: Willey-Blackwell.

  • Tacchi, J. (2009) ‘Finding a Voice: Participatory Development in Southeast Asia’, in Hartley, J. & McWilliam, K. (eds.) Story Circle: Digital Storytelling around the World (pp. 167-175). Malden, MA: Willey- Blackwell.

  • Thumim, N. (2006) Mediated Self-representations: “Ordinary People” in “Communities”, in Herbrechter, S. and Higgins, M. (eds.) Returning (to) Communities: Theory, Culture and Political Practice of the Communal (pp. 255-274). New York: Rodopi.

  • Tolson, Andrew (2001) ‘Being Yourself: The Pursuit of Authentic Celebrity’, Discourse Studies Vol. 3 (4), 443-457.

  • Watkins, J. & Russo, A. (2009) ‘Beyond Individual Expression: Working with Cultural Institutions’, in Hartley, J. & McWilliam, K. (eds.) Story Circle: Digital Storytelling around the World (pp. 269-278). Malden, MA: Willey-Blackwell.

OPEN ACCESS

Journal + Issues

Search