Welcome to ENGL293: Writing in the Wireless World at the University of Maryland!  This course is themed around Transmedia Storytelling and Argumentation.

Transmedia storytelling is a rapidly growing mode of storytelling in which elements of a story are distributed through different media platforms to create a unified and coherent narrative while utilizing the unique properties of each medium to help the reader experience the story in the most effective way possible. While blockbuster franchises such as the Marvel Universe and Star Wars have been using this mode for fiction, transmedia is also increasingly being used in commercial marketing campaigns, such as Chipotle’s Scarecrow campaign. Our goal in this class is to explore how transmedia storytelling methods can be used for argumentation and activism to further a social cause.

Transmedia structure

Image credit: Robert Pratten, Flickr

In this course, you will learn to analyze and produce digital transmedia compositions that utilize text, images, sound, and video. The principles of rhetoric as applied to new media will allow you to examine and design digital artifacts appropriate to your purpose, audience, and context. By integrating rhetoric and technology, the course allows you to use rhetorical concepts as tools to evaluate, interpret, and make strategic choices in transmedia composing. Ultimately, this knowledge enables you to become a more critically and rhetorically informed viewer, listener, and authors of multimedia arguments in your daily life, and to recognize the potential for transmedia storytelling and argumentation for advocacy.

As a Scholarship in Practice course, we will also be putting our digital writing skills to use as gamerunners in the NSF-sponsored educational alternate reality game The Tessera, produced by a collaboration between UMD, BYU, Tinder Transmedia, and the Computer History Museum.


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