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Jason Mittell: “Strategies of Storytelling in Transmedia Television”
Tuesday, February 4, 2014 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm EST
As television series have become more complex in their narrative strategies, television itself has expanded its storytelling scope across screens and platforms, complicating notions of medium-specificity at the very same time that television seems to have a more distinct narrative form. This presentation explores how television narratives have expanded and been complicated through transmedia extensions, including video games, novelizations, websites, online video, and alternate reality games. Through specific analyses of transmedia strategies for Lost, Breaking Bad, and The Simpsons, the lecture considers how transmedia storytelling grapples with issues of canonicity and audience segmentation, how transmedia reframes viewer expectations for the core television serial, and what transmedia possibilities might look like going forward.
Jason Mittell is Professor of American Studies and Film & Media Culture at Middlebury College. His books include Genre and Television: From Cop Shows to Cartoons in American Culture (Routledge, 2004), Television and American Culture (Oxford University Press, 2009), How to Watch Television (co-edited with Ethan Thompson, NYU Press, 2013), and Complex Television: The Poetics of Contemporary Television Storytelling (forthcoming from New York University Press, online at MediaCommons Press). He maintains the blog Just TV.