• Anjuli Joshi Brekke University of Washington
Keywords: Affect, Digital Storytelling, Sound Studies, Difference, Podcasts


This project explores the potential of creating, sharing and listening to oral stories online to open affectively charged spaces for listening across difference. In a world in which we are increasingly able to tailor the technologies that surround us to echo back our own voices and worldviews, we seem less willing to slow down and listen deeply to the voices of those whose presence risk placing our tidy worlds into turmoil. This project explores the affective political potential of both the processes of production and dissemination of the multiplatform oral history project StoryCorps. Drawing together recent work on affect from rhetorical studies, cultural studies and new media studies, this project uses textual analysis to analyze how the various StoryCorps platforms (NPR segments, the podcast, the StoryCorps me app) generate affective archives that invite different forms of interactivity from listeners. This paper explores the affective power of mediated voice to bring minoritized experiences and calls for equity to the ears of broader publics. It is significant because it highlights the boundaries and possibilities of digital storytelling as a way to connect with others across difference. The boundaries remind us of the persistence of structures of marginality that limit the seemingly democratic practices of storytelling in a digital age; the possibilities gesture to the power of minoritized voices to disrupt entrenched narratives. The significance of these stories rests in their claim to be at once particular and generalizable, and the digital format enables their travel in new ways and to new audiences.
How to Cite
Brekke, A. J. (2018). SPREADING THE WORD: TRACING THE AFFECTIVE ECOLOGY OF DIGITAL ORAL STORIES. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 2018. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2018i0.10475
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