The Semiotics of Digital Storytelling

Marisa S. Olson :

Mentor: Professor Michael Mascuch, Rhetoric

Combining research with creative expression, Marisa will be exploring digital storytelling, a new multimedia narrative form that uses images, film, text and sounds that are electronically stored and retrieved via computers. She will be investigating the structural/narratological characteristics of this new medium in order to theorize the points of divergence between analog and digital narratives and to test her hypothesis that digital storytelling endows authors and readers with greater agency. She will be looking most attentively at digital stories that are autobiographical, in order to study the nature of digitally-generated literary subjectivities. As a companion to her thesis, Marisa will also be creating her own digital story under the tutelage of the co-directors of the Center for Digital Storytelling, which has recently formed a partnership with the UC Berkeley School of Education. Her project promises to speak to a wide variety of people both inside and outside the academy who are interested in the future of communication in the digital age.