Storytelling in the Digital Age


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

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Storytelling in the Digital Age

  1. 1. Storytelling in the Digital Age Katie Elson Anderson, Rutgers PCA/ACA April 2, 2010
  2. 2. Loss of the Art of Storytelling? <ul><li>“ Less and less frequently do we encounter people with the ability to tell a tale properly” – Walter Benjamin, 1968 </li></ul><ul><li>Is technology taking away from the storytelling experience? </li></ul><ul><li>Are oral traditions and traditional storytelling being destroyed? </li></ul>
  3. 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 <ul><li>William Bascom’s “Four Functions of Folklore”: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide escape from reality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Validate one’s culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Educate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintain Conformity </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. History <ul><li>Emerged from: </li></ul><ul><li>A need to share experience with others </li></ul><ul><li>A need to provide entertainment </li></ul><ul><li>A need for form and beauty </li></ul><ul><li>A need to record history and social norms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>-Pellowski </li></ul></ul>Everyone a storyteller. Used Technologies available: songs, chants, words, gestures, chants, drawings, pictures Specialists honed their skills: bards, minstrels, ashiks, griots
  5. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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
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