new spring 2011 class: digital storytelling

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Digital Storytelling
AFRO 3910 Topics in the African Diaspora (Section 1)/GWSS 3390 Topics: Visual, Cultural, and Literary Studies (section 2), taught by Walt Jacobs.


Course Description:
Storytelling is a tool for preserving memory, writing history, learning, entertaining, organizing, and healing. Digital stories are short, first person video-narratives created by combining recorded voice, still and moving images, and music or other sounds. Digital storytellers are those who have a desire to document life experience, ideas, or feelings through the use of story and digital media. In this course we will learn how to make digital stories and become digital storytellers. Our specific focus will be to construct stories about "sociological ghosts," the strong but usually invisible and unexamined forces in our lives that limit our thoughts and actions. We will create projects to engage our sociological ghosts in order to remix identities, construct new meanings, and expand connections with others and the world. Students will learn to produce creative work and gain technical proficiency in Mac-based editing. Students will produce digital stories that will be shared on the course blog. No technical expertise is necessary!


In this course, students will:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the theoretical and practical issues of digital storytelling
  • Analyze the ethical and moral dimensions inherent in representing human lives
  • Consider the impact of digital tools, methodology, and content of digital stories on individuals, community, and social justice movements
  • Gain a firm grounding in basic digital media production tools, and develop skills with tools of technology (hardware and software)
  • Understand the concepts and methodologies of media making, visual literacy, photographic composition, and principles of video editing
  • Demonstrate creativity, analytical thinking, and technical skill in digital storytelling


Main learning activities:

  • In class screenings, hands-on lab workshops, and discussions
  • Short response posts on course blog
  • Creation of two digital stories (introductory standardized "My Place at the U of M" story, and a more open-ended sociological ghost story)
  • Short analytical process papers about the digital stories
  • Final group creative project; specifics to be determined based on our class experiences and interests


Examples of the types of digital stories we will make:


Course Texts:
Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Communities
Ghostbox: A Memoir
The Language of Blood

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This page contains a single entry by Walt Jacobs published on November 1, 2010 6:20 PM.

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