Narrative traditions of the digital st/age: learning from Indigenous cultures

Swift, Elizabeth ORCID: 0000-0002-9566-5472 (2024) Narrative traditions of the digital st/age: learning from Indigenous cultures. New Techno Humanities / Science Direct. doi:10.1016/j.techum.2024.01.003 (In Press)

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All the world's a stage, said Jaques in Shakespeare's pastoral comedy, As You Like It, but the history of world literature tells a different story. Vast and ancient civilisations have been systematically excluded from records of stories told within our dominant literary tradition, which has focussed, rather, on narratives serving to define a particular view of aesthetic production and reception. ‘World literature’ excludes narratives which do not follow systematic rules – rules so embedded in tradition that we no longer notice them. The digital age, however, has thrown up new challenges for literature, concerning the relationship between author and reader. Increasingly, established modes of literature and drama are not fit for purpose in a world where immediacy and interactivity are valued above hierarchical storytelling. This paper argues that, in learning to understand how narratives might operate in a digital age, there is much to be learned from storytelling cultures that pre-date ‘world literature’. It explores ancient narrative traditions from Indigenous Australia, North America and France, and explains how they can model certain kinds of immersive and interactive practices that are increasingly familiar in our digital age. It interrogates current storytelling practices that incorporate virtual reality and digital interactivity, and argues that the novel modes of engagement they provoke demonstrate the evolving relationship between artistic production and reception. The research draws on studies undertaken by academics from Indigenous cultures as well as incorporating new work from digital researchers and cognitive scientists.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Interactive; Performance; Spectator; Storytelling; Indigenous; Digital
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Creative Practice and Theory
Depositing User: Elizabeth Swift
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2024 11:19
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2024 11:27

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