The MFA in Writing program's Digital Storytelling course, taught in spring 2016 by Faith Adiele, brought together graduate writers, artists and makers to hone their narrative skills and develop their own digital projects. The Bay Area is the center of electronic and digital literature (literary work created exclusively on and for devices with screens) and storytelling, but while the dazzling technologies may be new, interactive storytelling is one of the earliest forms of human interaction. We explored e-lit's antecedents and traditions, ranging from non-Western traditions like the griot, talk-story, and testimonio, to the democratized oral history movement of the 1970s; from the physicality of Book Arts to platforms and networks that offer open-source, global activist alternatives to pricey technology. The course was open to all grad students and had participants from Architecture and Design MBA.
We received training from Yosmay del Mazo of StoryCorps, Thaddeus Howze of Quora, Chieh-Ju Pai in the Film Dept, with additional support and training by digital scholarship librarian Lisa Conrad. This was an attempt for writers/artists/makers to speak a shared language across the college, and heralds the beginning of further college-wide collaborations.
At the end of the semester we held a final-projects presentation and contest at the Simpson Library, on the San Francisco campus. Judges Leslie Roberts, Dean of Design, Juvenal Acosta, Dean of Writing and Humanities & Sciences, Faith Adiele, Associate Professor, Lisa Conrad, Digital Scholarship Librarian, and the audience voted for their favorite works
1st place - DeShara Suggs-Joe, for “This is a Poem for People Who Think They Can Heal Themselves”
2nd place - Melissa Lozano, for “Delicates”
Audience Favorite - Adam Parks, for “This Writing Life”