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Hearing the Voices of the Deserters: Activist Critical Making in Electronic Literature

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Date Issued:
2019
Abstract/Description:
Critical making is an approach to scholarship which combines discursive methods with creative practices. The concept has recently gained traction in the digital humanities, where scholars are looking for ways of integrating making into their research in ways that are inclusive and empowering to marginalized populations. This dissertation explores how digital humanists can engage critical making as a form of activism in electronic literature, specifically in the interactive fiction platform Twine. The author analyzes the making process of her own activist Twine game The Deserters and embeds the project within digital humanities discourses on activism and social justice, hypertext, electronic literature, critical making, and hacker culture. The Deserters is a text-based digital game based on the experiences of the author's family as refugees from East Germany. The player's objective in the game is to research a family's history by searching the game-world for authentic documents, including biographical writings, journal entries, photographs, and records, thereby retracing historical events through personal experience. The Deserters aims at inspiring a compassionate and empathetic stance towards immigrants and refugees today. The author reflects on the ethical, narrative, aesthetic, and technical choices she made throughout the creation process of The Deserters to create a critical activist game. The results of the analysis demonstrate that Twine offers a unique environment for composing politically impactful personal narratives. From the project, the author derives best practices for activist critical making, which emphasize the importance for makers to imagine the needs and perspectives of their audience. The work expands digital humanities' theoretical and practical toolkit for critical making.
Title: Hearing the Voices of the Deserters: Activist Critical Making in Electronic Literature.
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Name(s): Okkema, Laura, Author
Salter, Anastasia, Committee Chair
Beever, Jonathan, Committee Member
Fanfarelli, Joseph, Committee Member
Moulthrop, Stuart, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2019
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Critical making is an approach to scholarship which combines discursive methods with creative practices. The concept has recently gained traction in the digital humanities, where scholars are looking for ways of integrating making into their research in ways that are inclusive and empowering to marginalized populations. This dissertation explores how digital humanists can engage critical making as a form of activism in electronic literature, specifically in the interactive fiction platform Twine. The author analyzes the making process of her own activist Twine game The Deserters and embeds the project within digital humanities discourses on activism and social justice, hypertext, electronic literature, critical making, and hacker culture. The Deserters is a text-based digital game based on the experiences of the author's family as refugees from East Germany. The player's objective in the game is to research a family's history by searching the game-world for authentic documents, including biographical writings, journal entries, photographs, and records, thereby retracing historical events through personal experience. The Deserters aims at inspiring a compassionate and empathetic stance towards immigrants and refugees today. The author reflects on the ethical, narrative, aesthetic, and technical choices she made throughout the creation process of The Deserters to create a critical activist game. The results of the analysis demonstrate that Twine offers a unique environment for composing politically impactful personal narratives. From the project, the author derives best practices for activist critical making, which emphasize the importance for makers to imagine the needs and perspectives of their audience. The work expands digital humanities' theoretical and practical toolkit for critical making.
Identifier: CFE0007421 (IID), ucf:52701 (fedora)
Note(s): 2019-05-01
Ph.D.
Arts and Humanities, Dean's Office CAH
Doctoral
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): critical making -- digital humanities -- creative scholarship -- electronic literature -- activism -- social justice -- Twine -- interactive fiction -- hypertext -- history -- autoethnography -- personal narrative -- qualitative research
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0007421
Restrictions on Access: public 2019-05-15
Host Institution: UCF

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