Friday, December 08, 2006

Virtual, possible, other worlds

This post is not really about narrative as such. But as my husband has got into exploring second life I thought I better put something about it here. In narrative theory, the trope of the world has become increasingly explored, with text world theory, possible world theory, storyworlds and so on. Why is this? What is it about the notion of a 'world' that is so attractive and topical? In part, the narrative work is clearly a reflection of the interdisciplinary influence of artificial intelligence, philosophy and computer science, it is part of the 'cognitive turn' in narratology, and more broadly the increasingly diffuse contextualisation of narrative. But maybe it is all the more salient because of the new media technologies where gaming, virtual realities and the mutliplicities of hypertextual narratives (or at least some of them) encourage us to conceptualise this as part of our 'everyday' 'real world' environments. Well, that's my thought for today.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Narratives, digital media and creative writing

Well, having been submerged in numerous projects, I've finally got back to this. I found the work of the N-Lab, while looking at Sue Thomas's impressive array of research projects. I'm not a creative writer at all, but the workshop in June looks really interesting. I've also been thinking about how I can use more storytelling in my own teaching, and how digital technology can both be a vehicle and stimulus for this. At the minute, my use of technology in teaching is really a text repository that students can interact with, linked with a series of discussion forums. But, to be honest, this has not really been that successful, or at least not in the way that I would like it to be. I don't really feel like a 'techie' person, but am constantly haunted by the sense that there is so much digital material 'out there' that I could integrate much more successfully than I already do.