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Transmedia Narratives


Scaglioni M.

Docente titolare del corso


From publishing to television, from music and radio to cinema and advertising, from the Web to videogames, contemporary media industry pays a growing attention to transmedia narratives: far from being a completely new phenomenon, present-day transmedia storytelling rely on an increasing “convergent media environment”, where different media link each other and where consumers are often involved in an active and participant manner. The course addresses both the category of narrative and “transmediality” from a theory and history framework, looking at fictional and non-fictional narratives. Having discussed the defining features of narratives and the role of narrative experience in the definition of cultures, identities and communities, the course examines how narrative experience can be translated and transferred across different media and, above all, how it can be developed and projected since the beginning across different media, considering the constraints and opportunities of each one. On this basis, the course approaches the strategic design of transmedia narratives and the management of a transmedia franchise.

Key-concepts and specific case-histories will serve as benchmarks.
As key-concepts, the course will approach, among others, the followings:

  • transmedia storytelling vs. cross-platform narratives;
  • transmedia genres (such as fantasy, crime, sci-fi and so on);
  • transmedia characters;
  • transmedia (fictional) universes;
  • transmedia brands and franchises;
  • transmedia creators and producers;
  • transmedia consumers and fans;
  • transmedia industrial strategies.

Case-histories will include:

  • the origins of transmedia narratives, from Disney to comics superheroes;
  • contemporary transmedia narratives in novels, cinema, television, web and games (from Star Wars to Harry Potter, from The Matrix to Lost and Breaking Bad, and so forth);
  • “spreadable content” and the case of audience engagement;
  • transmedia television and the “complexification” of contemporary tv narratives;
  • transmedia in music and the song as “spreadable content” (i.e. the case of talent shows narratives);
  • branded entertainment, product placement and advertising;

Reference book
H. Jenkins, S. Ford, J. Green, Spreadable Media, New York University Press, 2013.

coursework 30%, final exam (oral) 70%

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