An artwork by Ireashea Bennett depicting a photograph of an apartment building about to be demolished, with the word “Hope” collaged on top.

Transmedia Stories: Narrative Methods for Public Health and Social Justice

This publication is a much-needed intervention into discourses of transmedia that illuminates how media engagement and speculation can shape policies and perspectives. The project immerses readers in the materials that comprise transmedia pedagogy and collaboration, and in doing so, elucidates the processes and possibilities of original practice and research. Unlike much of the existing scholarship in digital media studies, Transmedia Stories is unique in connecting readers directly to sites of media production and introducing them to the voices and perspectives of a diverse range of collaborators.

The authors' key argument is that popular ways of twenty-first century thinking, such as design thinking and participatory culture, and specific techniques such as speculative design, do not grapple sufficiently with cultural difference, including along lines of race, gender, and sexuality. Beyond the people, youth of color, whom this publication centers in the context of digital media and design, the project also seeks to demystify the methods by which narrative and game-based work is created. Through visual, audio, and interactive features, as well as detailed accounts of social interventions, this publication hopes to demonstrate how large-scale design projects might be conducted with youth of color in ways that are ethical and efficacious.

Patrick Jagoda is Professor of Cinema & Media Studies, English, and Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Chicago.

Ireashia Bennett is a multidisciplinary storyteller whose work takes the form of new media and multimedia essays. They are currently pursuing an MFA in Film and Media Arts at Temple University.

Ashlyn Sparrow is a game designer who currently serves as Assistant Director of the Weston Game Lab, which is located in the Media Arts, Data, and Design Center at The University of Chicago.