How successfully do different kinds of storytelling engage audiences with the complexities of the Anthropocene?
University of Westminster
Year of enrolment: 2019
My research aims to answer Timothy Morton's call to identify a form of storytelling that makes it possible to engage with the complexities of the Anthropocene by examining the extent to which different storytelling industries (one per chapter – literature, film, visual art, activism and theatre) have successfully engaged different audiences.
The works I will refer to in my thesis require us to “scale up our imagination of the human” and enable us to interact in new, diverse ways as readers and viewers as a part of a global community (Chakrabarty, 2017). My theory is that I will find that most of these works are transglossic as they embed the reader in a ‘mesh’ themselves, allowing them to become immersed in and by the work, both within and ‘outside’ the ‘text’ (Upstone, 2018). This is where my research becomes unique and original as, alongside a close critical reading of sample works, I will draw upon my fifteen years’ experience in marketing to use social media analytics software to track engagement beyond/outside the text for the first time in a humanities context.
I will measure the success of these works in two ways: firstly, a close reading of the text itself, which examines the extent to which it engages with Anthropocenic concepts of enchantment and disenchantment. Secondly, by using social analytics software to capture data and examine reader engagement beyond/outside the text. This interdisciplinary approach will allow me to look in microscopic detail at how different readers or viewers engage, interact with, develop and evolve the narrative beyond/outsidethe text and to identify potential trigger moments that may illustrate behaviour change in the real world.
Charlene Sharp is currently a Course Leader and Lecturer in Journalism and PR at Staffordshire University. Alongside lecturing, Charlene works has worked as a PR and social media consultant for various brands, including Sony Pictures, Amazon Prime, Sky Arts, BT, Disney Interactive, Warner Bros, Eidos Interaction and many more. This has enabled her to work on the PR campaigns for leading film and TV titles such as the Peter Rabbit Movie, Smurfs, Amazing Spider-Man, Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Django Unchained, Breaking Bad and House of Cards.