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Transmedial Projects, Scholarly Habitus, and Critical Know-How in a British University in China

Melissa S. Brown, Clifton Evers, David H. Fleming, Filippo Gilardi, James Reid


‘Transmedial’ education programs are still in their infancy, and what conceptual shifts they require to function and whether they aid in learning and teaching continues to be up for debate. This article evaluates employing a ‘transmedial project’ assessment and incorporating ‘transmedia pedagogies’ to assist students to become creators of knowledge within the cultural milieu of a British University situated in Mainland China. The ‘Transmedial Projects’ are inspired by Transmedia Storytelling, which media scholar Henry Jenkins defines as “the unfolding of stories across multiple media platforms, with each medium making distinctive contributions to our understanding of the world” (2006, 293). This article primarily interrogates group discussions among teaching staff, which draw on participant observation notes (gathered between 2014 - 2016). Student Evaluation of Modules (SEM) and Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) commentary also inform the discussion, as do two focus groups with students. We will also discuss the culturally-specific ‘scholarly habitus’ and move towards ‘critical know-how’ which were the conceptual starting points that inform the transmedial approach which we employed. We subsequently explore a number of issues and benefits which we felt arose from our implementation of this transmedial approach. For example, while some students ‘reverse-engineered’ projects to fit taught theories and perpetuate a tradition of teacher-led training, there was also the emergence of more autonomous learning accomplished by ‘thinking through making’.


Transmedia, Pedagogy, Scholarly Habitus, Critical Thinking, Assemblage, China

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ijtl-2017-003-gila

International Journal of Transmedia Literacy (IJTL)
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (22/10/2014 n. 328)
Online ISSN 2465-2261 - Print ISSN 2465-227X

Editor in Chief: Matteo Ciastellardi
Managing Editor: Giovanna Di Rosario
Managing Committee: Matteo Andreozzi, Stefano Calzati, Ugo Eccli, Cristina Miranda de Almeida.

Board Committee: Alan Albarran (University of North Texas, United States), Rogério Barbosa Da Silva (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil), Giovanni Baule (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Laura Borràs Castanyer (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain), Derrick de Kerckhove (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Henry Jenkins (University of Southern California, United States), Marsha Kinder (University of Southern California, United States), Raine Koskimaa (University of Jyväskylä, Finland), George Landow (Brown University, United States), Paul Levinson (Fordham University, United States), Asún López-Varela (Universidad Complutense, Spain), Lev Manovich (City University of New York, United States), Nick Montfort (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States), Marcos Novak (UCLA - University of California, Los Angeles, United States), Massimo Parodi (Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy), Bruce W. Powe (York University, Canada), Kate Pullinger (Bath Spa University, United Kingdom), Marie-Laure Ryan (Indipendent Scholar), Alexandra Saemmer (Université Paris 8, France), Carlos Scolari (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain), Susana Tosca (IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark), Alessandro Zinna (Université Toulouse II, France)

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