RMeS Summer School 2015: Transmedia Storytelling

RMeS Summer School 2015: Transmedia Storytelling

When? June 17 – 19, 2015
Leiden University, The Netherlands
For? PhD Candidates and RMa Students
ECTS? 2 ECTS / 5 ECTS (with paper)
Organizers? Prof. José van Dijck and Dr Peter Verstraten
Speakers? Prof. Ernst-Jan van Alphen, Prof. Jan Baetens, Dr Peter Burger, Prof. Sean Cubitt, Dr Karin van Es,  Prof. Sonja de Leeuw, Prof. Eggo Müller, Dr Willemien Sanders and Dr Jan Simons.

We are pleased to invite our PhD and RMA members to subscribe to our yearly Summer School program. This year, the program will be organized at Leiden University, and we are very grateful to be hosted at their facilities. As always, we present you an attractive program full of workshops and lectures, which you can enroll for credit. This year’s theme will be Transmedia Storytelling, a theme that cuts across various media—film, television, digital media, journalism—and builds on a wide specter of media theories. We have managed to round up a cast of interesting speakers who are both nationally and internationally known for their expertise in this area. Please join us for the Fifth edition of the RMeS Summer School; we are looking forward to welcome you in Leiden!

Transmedia Storytelling

The jumbled narratives of films like Short Cuts (Robert Altman, 1993) and Magnolia (Paul T. Anderson, 1999) can be regarded, in retrospect, as precursors to new tendencies toward storytelling in the era of digital reproduction. These so-called ‘mosaic films’ with their contiguous approach adhere to a logic we have come to connect with hypertext and the practice of surfing—jumping from one link to the other. The emergence and ubiquitous deployment of new media tools has had a serious impact on conventional storytelling paradigms. Lev Manovich, among others, has explored the limits of traditional narrativity in his examinations of the tension, if not opposition, between narrative and database/archive. The presumption that the ‘original’ story-format is self-evidently superior has given way to the idea that, as Henry Jenkins has asserted, a story can unfold across multiple platforms, with each new transmedia extension making a valuable contribution to the whole cluster. A transmedia story can encompass novels, films, news items, comics, television series, videogames and more; these narrative extensions invite a large interpretive community to consider each new text not as a mere derivative but as a distinctive part of a ‘saga’.

During the three days of the Summerschool, participants (PhDs/RMAs) will engage in the manifold aspects of transmedia storytelling; we have invited speakers and workshop leaders who will guide us through theories and practices connecting this theme to film, photography, television, new digital media, journalism and comics. As always, we have invited several renowned international guests; this year, professors Sean Cubitt (Goldsmiths/London) and Jan Baetens (Leuven University/Belgium) have accepted our invitation to give keynote lectures and workshops.

Taking the Summer School for credit

This class is for both research master students and PhD candidates. Although most lectures and workshops target a PhD level, RMAs are encouraged to fully participate. If you participate in the RMeS Summer School for the full three days of lectures, workshops and excursions, you will be awarded 2 EC. RMA-students can extend their credits to 5 EC when they decide to write a paper (5,000 words) which will be graded.


Wednesday 17 June 2015
Lipsius 147

11:00-11:10  Opening Summer School by Prof. José van Dijck (UvA, academic director RMeS).

11:10-13:00  Dr Peter Burger (UL):
Workshop/Lecture Narrative and counter-narrative: vernacular responses to mainstream journalism


14: 15 – 15: 15  Excursion to the building De Nieuwe Energie: Dr Peter Burger (UL).

‘The New Energy’ is an interesting new building/workspace in Leiden which houses a number of creative industry start-ups as well as media and communication businesses (including a local newspaper Leidsch Dagblad). Peter Burger will show us around in this new setup and we will talk about the cross fertilization of creative industries with several entrepeneurs and occupants of spaces in this building. (www.nieuweenergieleiden.nl)

15:45-17:30  Prof. Ernst-Jan van Alphen (UL):
Lecture/Workshop The Decline of Narrative, and the Rise of the Archive

Thursday 18 June 2015
van Wijkplaats 2 / 002

9:00-10:30  Prof. Jan Baetens (KUL):
Lecture/Workshop The Drawn novel: a historical case study in transmedia storytelling


11:00-12:45  Prof. Sean Cubitt (Goldsmiths, London):
Workshop Fields: storytelling in the age of data


14:00-15:15  Prof. Sean Cubitt (Goldsmiths, London):
Public keynote lecture Digital Formalism


15: 30-17:00  Round Table discussion: Prof. Sean Cubitt, Prof. Jan Baetens and Dr Jan Simons about Transmedia Storytelling.


Friday 19 June 2015
Matthias de Vrieshof 2 / 004

9:00-10:45  Dr Jan Simons (UvA):
Lecture/Workshop Storytelling and group formation in the digital age


11: 15-12:30  Prof. Sonja de Leeuw (UU) or Dr Willemien Sanders (UU) and Prof. Eggo Müller (UU):
Lecture EUscreenXL: Engaging with Audiovisual Heritage Online


13:30-15:00  Prof. Eggo Müller (UU) and Dr Karin van Es (UvA):
Workshop Revaluing Television Audiences

15:00 – 17:00  Dr Maryn Wilkinson (UvA):
Master Class for RMA students who are planning to write a paper for the Summer School.