Research Project Spotlight: Exploring transatlantic (small town) stories through a range of multimedia and immersive technologies

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With an interest in community-based writing and with the goal of offering students opportunities for growth in their storytelling abilities, creative writing prof Michael V. Smith has partnered up with Anna Kiernan from the University of Exeter to run a publishing opportunity for students from each campus.

This collaboration is made possible with funding from the UBC Okanagan-Exeter Excellence Initiator Grant.

“This research and development work seeks to identify the potential for exploring transatlantic (small town) stories through a range of multimedia and immersive technologies,” explains Smith.

Kiernan reached out to Smith to invite him to be part of organizing a cross-Atlantic issue of Exeter’s online magazine The Lit. She was looking for someone to collaborate with at UBCO, and liked that he is a creative writer that had digital media experience.

Smith is interested in media as a low-barrier storytelling tool – as well as storytelling that grows out of a specific place, so their theme issue of “Small-Town Stories” will feature videopoems (experimental films) generated by UBCO students, featured alongside writing by Exeter students. This is a unique opportunity for students from both campuses to connect from different locations across the Atlantic. Opportunities like this open up new possibilities for students.

Kiernan and Smith will showcase their work when visiting each other’s campus in the Spring, to build the relationship across their campuses, and to find other shared projects, such as site-specific work, or collaborative making. If this grows in the right direction, there may be possibilities for an exchange so that our students visit University of Exeter and theirs come here, for an across-the-pond dialogue.

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