The Department of English in the College of Arts and Humanities will debut a minor in digital storytelling and poetics this fall that will empower students from a range of academic backgrounds to make and tell stories in digital and new media spaces.
Students will learn to write and design creatively using digital tools—from code to artificial intelligence (AI) text generators to social media. That will provide an edge for students interested in pursuing fields like content creation, gaming or software and web development and design, said Professor of English and Digital Studies Matt Kirschenbaum, a core faculty member in the minor.
“There are all kinds of different media formats out there, but a lot of what we do online is still reading and writing text,” he said. “And that’s where the English department comes in. If students can approach writing for the web with intentionality and imagination, they’ll be more adept and creative.”
Scott Trudell, director of undergraduate studies in the Department of English, helped to create the program structure, and said the minor will require students to have a grounding in the analysis of digital texts.
“That combination—of making and analyzing—is at the heart of the minor,” Trudell said. “Whether digital fiction, poetry, video games or AI-generated writing, students will learn how those stories are fashioned through the media in which they’re produced.”
Course offerings include titles such as “Videogames and the Boundaries of Narrative,” “Digital Fictions” and “Storytelling with Code.” Students must also submit a portfolio of works to complete the minor. It aligns with the campuswide Arts for All initiative, which aims to create new opportunities for students and faculty across disciplines to fuse the arts, technology and social justice.
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