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abstracts and papers

fourth media in transition conference

may 6-8, 2005 at mit, cambridge, ma


Some say storytelling is at the heart of social life and personal identity. It is common today to speak of political candidates' "competing narratives," or of a group or culture's need to invent "a new narrative" for changing times. Stories are embedded in our commercials and our newscasts. Ancient narratives of humiliation and revenge are said to drive the lives of millions. New and emerging technologies have given global reach to stories old and new.

This fourth Media in Transition conference explores storytelling as a cultural practice, a social and political activity as well as an art form.

We want to talk about why some stories last, how they migrate across media forms within their own societies as well as other cultures and historical eras. We hope to encourage speculation about the ways in which stories are deployed in periods of media in transition, and about the way some stories easily inhabit different media simultaneously while other stories seem less adaptable.

We aim to stimulate a conversation among scholars, journalists and media professionals who may often speak only to their own tribal groups.

Previous Media in Transition conferences:

Media in Transition conference (October 8-10, 1999)

MiT2:globalization and convergence (May 10-12, 2002)

MiT3:television (May 2-4, 2003)