Surrey University Stag

TRANSMEDIA NARRATIVES - 2023/4

Module code: ELI2044

Module Overview

First defined by media scholar Henry Jenkins in 2003, transmedia storytelling is the process of creating, sharing and developing fictional content across a range of media and communication platforms, including film, television, print and social media. Transmedia storytelling is an outcome of the structure of the contemporary media and entertainment industries, which are dominated by global media conglomerates, such as the Disney corporation, that aim to maximise audience engagement with their creative properties. For example, fans of the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ can consume different iterations of the Marvel stories and characters that extend beyond the films via spin-off television series, new comics, short films, animations and websites. These act as extensions to the existing story as it moves from one medium to another. This is one of the key things that distinguishes transmedia storytelling from traditional adaptation of, for example, a book to a film. Transmedia storytelling has also been celebrated as a narrative model that promotes collaborative authorship and participatory spectatorship from fans, who frequently contribute to official and unofficial extensions of narrative storyworlds.

In this module we will be exploring the concept of transmedia storytelling and how fictional storyworlds are created and extended across multiple, global media platforms. After establishing the key concepts of transmedia storytelling, we will look at a range of case studies. These will vary according current trends in popular culture, but might include Harry Potter, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Gossip Girl, Star Wars, James Bond, Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead.

Please Note:


  • This is not a creative writing module.

  • Students may need access to one or more streaming platforms in order to access material that we will be examining in our case studies. This will be advised at the beginning of the semester, but might include Disney+, AmazonPrime, Netflix, etc.


Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

HONESS ROE Bella (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

JACs code:

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None

Module content

This is a list of potential topics that might be covered in this module. Specific topics might vary year-on-year


  • Defining transmedia storytelling and worldbuilding

  • The business of transmedia

  • Transmedia cohesion and branding

  • Transmedia authorship

  • Transmedia audiences

  • Transmedia TV

  • Transmedia publishing

  • Transmedia games

  • Transmedia toys & social media

  • Transmedia spaces


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 2500-word write-up of a transmedia extension project 100

Alternative Assessment

n/a

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate both orally and in writing their developing understanding and knowledge of transmedia storytelling and narratives. Active weekly participation in the seminars’ ongoing discourse surrounding the module’s topic allows students to develop their skills in thoughtful and informed debate and discussion via oral exploration of the weekly readings and case studies with the module convener and their peers – this discussion takes place in small groups as well as with the whole class.

Throughout the semester, students will work in small groups to develop a transmedia extension for a current media property. This involves selecting a media property (e.g. film, TV series, comic book, novel, etc) that you feel has the potential for extension via one or more media. You will present your proposal for your extension(s) in a formative group presentation at the end of the semester, on which you will receive qualitative feedback. You will then hand-in as your final summative assignment an individual and independently written 2500-word write-up of your transmedia extension project that frames the project through research and scholarly sources on transmedia storytelling. For students who wish to receive formative feedback on their writing, there is an optional formative writing assignment on a transmedia extension case study that is due mid-semester.

The summative assessment for this module consists of:
 


  • 2500-word write-up of a transmedia extension project (LO1-4)





Formative assessment and feedback


  • In-class participation in verbal analysis of case studies and weekly readings (LO1-4)

  • Seminar sessions on developing your transmedia extension project (LO1-4)

  • Group presentation of a transmedia extension project (LO1-4)

  • 1000-word transmedia extension case study analysis (optional - for feedback on writing) (LO1-4)


Module aims

  • The module aims to: give an overview of the key concepts associated with transmedia storytelling
  • examine the industrial contexts in which transmedia storytelling proliferates
  • consider how audiences and fans consume and contribute to transmedia storytelling
  • explore a range of current and recent case studies of transmedia storytelling

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 By the end of the module students will be able to: define what transmedia storytelling is KCPT
002 Utilise appropriate theories and concepts to understand the context of transmedia storytelling KCPT
003 Identify current and recent examples of transmedia storytelling and the ways in which they are extensions of storyworlds KCPT
004 Express their understanding of transmedia storytelling and its place in contemporary popular culture verbally and in writing KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:


  • Give students the opportunity to explore transmedia storytelling and its role in the contemporary entertainment industry and popular culture

  • Encourage students to develop their skills and confidence in expressing their ideas verbally through weekly discussion in small and large groups

  • Expose students to a variety of examples of current and recent transmedia storytelling from contemporary culture

  • Develop students’ skills in critical reading and viewing of (trans)media cultural properties and the written texts and scholarship surrounding them
     



The learning and teaching methods include:


  • Seminars

  • Lectures

  • Reading and viewing using lecturer’s guidance

  • Participation in discussion of examples of transmedia storytelling and associated readings

  • Researching and preparing presentations and written assessments


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ELI2044

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

Employability: Students work collaboratively in small groups to develop their transmedia project idea. This develops key transferable employability skills in working with others on project-like tasks that require cooperation and problem solving. As with all modules on this programme, students develop key transferable skills in critical thinking, communication, writing and analytical reasoning through the learning and teaching and assessment strategies.

Digital Capabilities: The module develops an awareness of the different channels of cultural delivery (for example, online, broadcast media, film, print media), and how they interrelate. This awareness is developed through the teaching material and the research students carry out for their assessments. Students also engage with Surrey’s VLE and other digital platforms as part of their engagement with the module.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: Through studying how stories are expanded across different media platforms and how transmedia narrative universes are proliferated for both creative and economic reasons, students will develop their awareness of contemporary, global landscape of cultural production and the economic structures that determine cultural production and proliferation.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: The formative group project enables students to develop their confidence in sharing and exploring their own cultural interests in response to that of their peers’. The group task requires resourcefulness and resilience in working as a group, an activity that requires compromise and communication as well as mutual support and respect.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
English Literature BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature with Creative Writing BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.