Transmedia Stories: Narrative Methods for Public Health and Social Justice

Table of Contents

Transmedia Stories: Narrative Methods for Public Health and Social Justice was written by
Patrick Jagoda with Ireashia Bennett and Ashlyn Sparrow.
section header: Narrative Methods for a Transmedia Era

Chapter One, the Introduction to Transmedia Stories: Narrative Methods for Public Health and Social Justice, frames techniques, methods, and practices taken from the arts and humanities that can be used to generate new knowledge and interventions within the social sciences and public health. This introduction offers overviews of the book's core methods, including story circles and digital storytelling, narrative video games, transmedia history, speculative design, and mixed reality alternate reality games. It also introduce the labs in which the book's core cases were created, the shared site of the South Side of Chicago, and the collaborative method that yielded this book.

Read Chapter One: Narrative Methods for a Transmedia Era
Chapter Author: Patrick Jagoda

section header: Story Circles & Digital Storytelling

Chapter Two offers an overview of story circles and digital storytelling methodologies. First, story circles are a facilitated process for soliciting self-reflective participation through a series of oral and written prompts related to an overarching theme. Second, digital storytelling is organized around a production-driven workshop, in which participants craft a script and use video editing tools to integrate images and audio. This chapter focuses on the case study of South Side Stories (2012-2014), which used these methods to explore how identity, space, and context shape young people’s sense of self, relationships, sexuality, and health.

Read Chapter Two: Story Circles & Digital Storytelling
Case Study: South Side Stories
Chapter Authors: Alida Bouris and Patrick Jagoda with added close readings by Evan Wisdom-Dawson
Full Project Team

section header: Narrative Games

Chapter Three focuses on how serious narrative video games can be used as a part of participatory methods and as research interventions. The case studies in this chapter are Lucidity (2013) and Bystander (2016-2018): two video game prototypes that tackle issues of sexual violence and sexual harassment.

Read Chapter Three: Narrative Video Games
Case Study: Lucidity and Bystander
Chapter Authors: Patrick Jagoda with video essay directed with Seed Lynn
Full Project Team

section header: Transmedia History

Chapter Four explores collaborative multimedia collage making as a way of understanding and reimagining history. The chapter uses the case study of the first year of Transmedia Collage: Histories of Violence and Futures of Health on Chicago's South Side (2017-2018), a collaboration between the University of Chicago's Transmedia Story Lab and the University of Illinois at Chicago's History Moves initiative. The project explored how a climate of structural violence has impacted the health and well-being of youth of color and the communities they live in on Chicago's South Side.

Read Chapter Four: Transmedia History
Case Study: Transmedia Collage
Chapter Author: Patrick Jagoda
Full Project Team

section header: Speculative Design

Chapter Five takes up the practice of future-oriented speculative design, which is more exploratory and constructive than the problem solving approach emphasized in most forms of design. This chapter takes up the case of South Side Speculations, the second year of the Transmedia Collage program (2018-2019). This project sought to disrupt dominant narratives about "the future" as a monolithic concept that is often adopted by technologists and policymakers by encouraging youth of color to use design methods in order to imagine and create futures of the South Side of Chicago.

Read Chapter Five: Speculative Design
Case Study: South Side Speculations
Chapter Author: Patrick Jagoda
Full Project Team

section header: Alternate Reality Games

Chapter Six examines the educational and social potential of alternate reality games (ARGs), which are large-scale, participatory narratives designed for multiple players. ARG narratives use transmedia storytelling, whereby elements of the story are distributed and conveyed across different media, both in person and online. This chapter focuses on the design, curriculum, and objectives of an ARG entitled S.E.E.D. (2014) that sought to transmit STEM knowledge and career interest, new media literacies, and political participation and civic engagement to underrepresented youth.

Read Chapter Six: Alternate Reality Games
Case Study: S.E.E.D.
Chapter Authors: Patrick Jagoda with documentary film directed by Philip Ehrenberg and interactive timeline created with Ashlyn Sparrow
Full Project Team

section header: Fourcasting the Future

The Coda explores how transmedia storytelling and the growth of live-streaming platforms such as Twitch could open up new possibilities for narrative methods that include improvisation with larger audiences. These concluding remarks gesture toward the next step of ARG design taken up by another group at the University of Chicago, the Fourcast Lab, which has organized this form around live-streaming and performance techniques in order to tackle issues such as climate change, diversity and inclusion, and COVID-19.

Read Coda: "Fourcasting" the Future
Chapter Author: Patrick Jagoda

Works Cited

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