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Storytelling in the Digital Age


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Presented 4/2/2010 at PCAACA, St. Louis, MO Libraries, Museums and Archives

Presented 4/2/2010 at PCAACA, St. Louis, MO Libraries, Museums and Archives

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  • 1. Storytelling in the Digital Age Katie Elson Anderson, Rutgers PCA/ACA April 2, 2010
  • 2. Loss of the Art of Storytelling?
    • “ Less and less frequently do we encounter people with the ability to tell a tale properly” – Walter Benjamin, 1968
    • Is technology taking away from the storytelling experience?
    • Are oral traditions and traditional storytelling being destroyed?
  • 3. Storytelling: Is the act of communicating an event, or sequence of events to an audience using words and/or physical movement. uses words, uses actions, is interactive, presents a story, encourages the active imagination of the listeners. –National Storytelling Network Explain, educate, enlighten Pass on historical, cultural, and moral information Provide escape and relief from struggle to survive
    • William Bascom’s “Four Functions of Folklore”:
      • Provide escape from reality
      • Validate one’s culture
      • Educate
      • Maintain Conformity
  • 4. History
    • Emerged from:
    • A need to share experience with others
    • A need to provide entertainment
    • A need for form and beauty
    • A need to record history and social norms
      • -Pellowski
    Everyone a storyteller. Used Technologies available: songs, chants, words, gestures, chants, drawings, pictures Specialists honed their skills: bards, minstrels, ashiks, griots
  • 5. From Oral to Written 1919 Grimm Brothers- Kinder und Hausmaerchen Oral replaced by literary or enhanced? Evidence that literary traditions are influenced by oral traditions. Jack Zipes, 1994 Wider audience Reading aloud vs. storytelling Increased Sharing Traditional: Legend- History Myth- Spiritual Fairy Tale- Magical Non-Traditional: Urban Legends Personal Narrative
  • 6. Libraries and Museums 1899- Carnegie Library, Pittsburgh: One of the earliest examples of regular story-hours. Children’s Librarians trained in Storytelling at Carnegie Library and Pratt Institute Museum Story Hours: Boston Museum of Fine Arts:1911 Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1917 Decline in the 60’s of traditional story hours, replaced with reading out loud. Staffing? or Technology?
  • 7. Technology Storytelling changes with each new technology available. Audio: Tape Recorders Radio Podcasting Recapturing Oral Tradition Wider Audience More exposure StoryCorps Visual: Pictographs Drawings Visual Stories Photosharing: Flickr Video: Digital Storytelling: Center for Digital Storytelling Education Marketing YouTube
  • 8. Twitter Twovel Facebook Novel Multi-User Gaming Storytelling is a social event. Social Technology is storytelling. YouTube Storytelling is Sharing Comments, Conversation, Communication Engaging, Emotional, Educational Experience vs Witness
  • 9. Everyone can tell a story . The Universe of Storytelling: Sharing Collaboration Democratization
  • 10.  
  • 11. References Anderson, Katie E. (2010) “Storytelling”. 21st Century Anthropology: A Reference Handbook, edited by H. James Birx. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications ( forthcoming ). Bascom, W. (1965b). Four Functions of Folklore. The Journal of American Folklore , 67 (266), 333-349. Benjamin, W. (1968) The Storyteller. In Arendt, H. (ed) Illuminations (pp.83-109). New York: Schocken Books. Fields, A. & Diaz, K. (2008). Fostering Community through Digital Storytelling: A Guide for Academic Librarians. Westport, Conn: Libraries Unlimited, 2008. Pellowski, A. (1990). The world of storytelling . Bronx, NY: H.W. Wilson. Zipes, J. (1994). Fairy tale as myth . Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. Images