21W.763J | Spring 2014 | Undergraduate

Transmedia Storytelling: Modern Science Fiction


Required Text

[SC] = Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. Scholastic Press, 2010. ISBN: 9780439023528. [Preview with Google Books]

Note: This section is intended to give an integrated overview of the course and how its different components fit together.  Not every class session includes every kind of resource (instructor’s notes, readings, etc.).

SES # In-Class activities READINGS, screenings, and playings


Instructor’s Notes: What is Transmedia? (PDF)

2 Instructor’s Notes: Science Fictions – The Genre and the Media (PDF)  

Center of Narrative I

Instructor’s Notes: Building the World (PDF)

Dragon Explanation.” Excerpted from The Flight of Dragons. Directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin, Jr. Color, 96 min. 1982.

Stableford, Brian. “The Third Generation of Science Fiction.” Science Fiction Studies 23, no. 3 (1996): 321–30.

Schroeder, Chawna. The Reader Writer Contract. 2009.


World Building Exercises In Various Media

Handout: Worldbuilding Worksheet (PDF)

[SC] pp. 1–85.

Complete intro of Zombies, Run.


Center of Narrative II

Instructor’s Notes: Building the Characters (PDF)


Center of Narrative III

Instructor’s Notes: Building the Story (PDF)

[SC] Complete.

Center of Narrative IV

Instructor’s Notes: What Makes it Speculative Fiction? (PDF)

8 Instructor’s Notes: Media Axis I – Information (PDF)

Complete week 3 of Zombies, Run.

Laetz, Brian, and Joshua J. Johnston. “What is Fantasy?Philosophy and Literature 32, no. 1 (2008): 161–72.

9 Instructor’s Notes: Media Axis II – Sensory Information & Iconography (PDF) Richard III - Scene 2,” “Richard III - Scene 3,” and “Richard III Scene 12.” Excerpted from Richard III. Directed by Richard Loncraine. Color, 104 min. 1995.
10 Guest speaker Sarah Zaiden, narrative illustrator and super-hero scholar My So Called Secret Identity, website for the comic / transmedia project co-authored by Sarah Zaiden. See especially the About Cat and Sound & Vision sections.

Instructor’s Notes: Media Axis III – Arc of Story (PDF)

First Expansion Assignment Due (PDF)

Karp, Jesse. “How do Graphic Novels Work?” Chapter 2 in Graphic Novels in Your School Library. American Library Association, 2011. ISBN: 9780838910894. [Preview with Google Books]

Imagination, Sensation, and Shapes of Experience

Instructor’s Notes: Engaging the Audience for Repeat / Expansion Involvement (PDF)

13 First Expansion Presentations (very short) McCloud, Scott. The Visual Magic of Comics. TED Talk. TED.com. February, 2005.

Instructor’s Notes: Hunger Games – Book / Film / Digital Expansion in Real Life (PDF)

Handout: Hunger Games Screening – Questions (PDF)

15 Instructor’s Notes: Games and Immersive Experience (PDF)

Werris, Wendy. “’Hunger Games’ Producer Nina Jacobson on the Journey from Page to Screen.” Publishers Weekly, 2012.

Vary, Adam B. “5 Things You Should Know About The Curious New Marketing Campaign For ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’.” Buzzfeed, 2013.

Look at Capitol Couture.


Folk process as Fanfic and Audience Participation in Creation in Multiple Media

Instructor’s Notes: Fairy Tale, Folk Process, and Fan Fic (PDF)

Punday, Daniel. “Involvement, Interruption, and Inevitability: Melancholy as an Aesthetic Principle in Game Narratives.” SubStance 33, no. 3 (2004): 80–107.

Art and Commerce

Repetition vs. Expansion

18 Work in Teams  

Work in Teams (cont.)

Critical Essay Due (PDF)

20 Work in Teams (cont.)  
21 Work in Teams (cont.)  
22 Work in Teams (cont.)  
23 Work in Teams (cont.)  

Final Projects Due

Team presentations of final projects


Team presentations of final projects (cont.)

Working in the real world


Last Day

Wrap Up


Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2014
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Projects with Examples
Written Assignments with Examples
Presentation Assignments with Examples