Digital Writing Workshops

What would it look like to write a research paper that utilizes the rich interactivity we experience everyday on the World Wide Web? To build a digital project for a class assignment where readers can more fully explore your evidence and argument through digital media, maps, visualizations, and augmented reality? What are the affordances of interactive media for research and scholarship, and for writing, storytelling, and communication, more generally?

Join us for a series of workshops and talks at the Ahmanson Lab on emerging practices and tools in digital communication, wtiting, and scholarship. This series is meant to bridge digital praxis and theory, to help students work as well as think digitally. Workshops will offer hands-on training in digital methods and platforms -mapping, interactive timelines, data visualizations, and online scholarly writing- while talks will inform training sessions by offering broader questions and theories about the nature of interactive media.

All workshops are aimed at beginners; no prior experience is required. 

All events will be held at the Ahmanson Lab located on the third floor of Leavey Library (LVL 301).

Interactive Media and the Politics of Fun

Kiki Benzon, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of the Practice of Cinematic Arts

October 3, 3:00-4:30pm
Ahmanson Lab | LVL 301

We are surrounded by opportunities to interact—with each other, our environments, and systems both concrete and intangible. Digital media have opened the door to an array of new interactive experiences, where virtual and online spaces become new domains for communication, collaboration, and creative expression. Augmented reality technology invites us to interact with a palimpsest of virtual and physical worlds; digital games provide vast arenas for world-building, social development, and unfettered play; and cinema and television divert us from sequential, single-platform storytelling to collectively authored weaves of narratives that extend across multiple media platforms. Indeed, interactive media may be generative, instructive, entertaining, or activating—but are there costs? Who is included in these interactions, and who is excluded? How might virtual exchange impact our sense of civic responsibility? This lecture will offer both an exploration of emerging practices and technologies in interactive media and, importantly, a provocation to critically analyze the political and cultural implications of these practices and technologies.


Introduction to Digital Writing with Scalar

October 24, 3:00-4:30pm
Ahmanson Lab | LVL 301

In this workshop, participants will learn about use cases and emerging genres in digital scholarship. Participants will then work with Scalar, an open-source, multimedia authoring platform developed at USC. The session will introduce the platform, showcase the various ways it has been used to create online student research projects, scholarly publications, exhibits, and games, and lead participants through a hands-on workshop.


Introduction to Interactive Timelines

November 14, 3:00-4:30pm
Ahmanson Lab | LVL 301

In this workshop participants will get an overview of research-based use cases for interactive timelines; using timelines for documentation, collection building, analysis, and argumentation. Participants will then get hands-on training with online, interactive timelines including TimelineJS, Timeline Currator, and Tiki-Toki.

RSVP to events in this series.