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Thursday, April 7, 2011

THE PINOCCHIO REVOLUTION


THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA OKANAGAN
COLLEGE OF GRADUATE STUDIES

THESIS DEFENSE ANNOUNCEMENT

In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

Master of Arts in Education

Melissa Hart

will defend the thesis entitled

THE PINOCCHIO REVOLUTION: BEYOND THE E-BOOK --WHEN PROTAGONISTS COME
TO LIFE

Abstract

Fall down a rabbit hole and enter into a digital world where reality and fantasy intermingle and avatars are not only phenomenological but also tactile.
Beyond the eBook: The Pinocchio Revolution-When Protagonists Come to life delves beyond the e-Book into a digital fiction unrecognizable in the
traditional sense of fiction. This thesis focuses on research that examines the covert fiction practiced on Facebook. This fiction involves cybercitizens
that are stuffies (in the United Kingdom they are referred to as fluffies)-stuffed animal toys. The stuffies do not represent an actual human individual
but rather, an autonomous fictional character created by a (covert) human being. However, the characters' identities often intertwine with that of their
human creator.
The ethnographical research uncovers a secret world where the boundaries between fantasy and reality are blurred. The role of identity, authority,
agency, audience and the evolution of story: the hypertextual (multi layered digital texts, graphics, audio and links to other sites) ways in which the
story is "written" are examined. Facebook story is both fiction/non fiction and offline/online distinctions are blurred as offline and online worlds
become indistinguishable. It is a novel and covert approach to creating fiction-the participants are violating Facebook policy by their mere
existence, as all Facebook members must be an actual human being with a minimum age of 13 (Facebook, 2009). This adds a dimension of tension
to the story as authors create with the constant threat that their "work" and cyber identity may vanish at any moment.
This study challenges the multifaceted role of researcher as participant, covert creator and researcher. Theories that influence the study are the
theories hybridity and intertextuality and socio semiotic theory; all included in the broader multiliteracies theory. In addition, the theory of popular
culture as everyday culture theory is considered. Furthermore, as the cybercitizens are both tactile and phenomenological, the theory of
phenomenological immersion is explored in the paper.
The research will benefit the areas of Education, Media, Literacy and the Arts. Exploring new ways in which story is evolving through a multiliteracies
theory is important for educators. They will learn new and innovative ways in which students practice literacy, writing skills and artistic expression
within new media. Facebook fiction includes but is not limited to online: prose, poetry, video, audio, photography, multi-authoring, role-playing, and
social interaction. As well as offline: art creation, set design, costume design, travel and social interaction. Especially interesting to educators and
new media designers will be the formation of online identity and the relationships between identity, cyberidentity, cybercitizenship and
cybercommunity and cyberartifact.

Faculty, students and the general public are welcome to attend.

Labels:

2 Comments:

Blogger John's pic of the day said...

Good luck with your defense Melissa (I mean fuzzy duzzy wuzzy)..

April 7, 2011 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger Mix Hart said...

They postponed it because the external couldn't make it--end of the month now. But Perhaps you're right and I should bring Fuzzy Buzzy along for the defense--although her beauty may distract from my presentation.

April 8, 2011 at 1:30 PM  

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