Digital Storytelling as Cultural Anthropology

Mediums & Messages:
digital storytelling as cultural anthropology

WRIT/ANTH 101/114 & 102/115  •  Justin Armstrong

This year-long seminar/workshop offers students the opportunity to explore the practices of digital storytelling in the context of cultural anthropology, presenting a comprehensive overview of the ways that digital technologies, storytelling and cultural analysis intersect. Students produce several short photo/video narratives that examine and illustrate a particular aspect of cultures both at home and abroad. The course offers a chance for students to develop hands-on skills in video production, ethnographic methods, audio production (including producing their own soundtracks), and web design. From a theoretical perspective, the course also serves as a means of problematizing our continued participation in an increasing digital/virtual realm.

After teaching this course for the first time, there are only a few minor adjustments I plan on implementing. Namely, a more direct presentation/critique model whereby students present and comment on each other's work in a more formalized setting. I also plan on employing 3D printing, instant photography and bookbinding into the upcoming iteration of this course. Overall, it was a great success, to the extent that last year's students have adopted the current group, forming a unique mentorship connection that happened very organically and without my prompting.

The students produced this website to catalog the output of the course: Digital Storytelling

Video camera iconWatch a brief video overview of this project: