Social Media Narrative:
Issues in Contemporary Practice

hosted by
The Rutgers Camden Digital Studies Center
and Judy Malloy and
the Rutgers Camden DSC Class in
Social Media Narrative:
Lineage and Contemporary Practice

Facebook, November 16 - 21, 2016

Panelists' Pages

J udith Adele - Avatar Repertory Theater
James J. Brown, Jr - Social Media Harassment
Jay Bushman - The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
Robert A. Emmons, Jr. - YOUTUBE CHANNEL
Joy Garnett - Lost Library
Dene Grigar - 24-Hr. Micro-Elit Project
Matt Held - Facebook Paintings
Antoinette LaFarge - Mixed Reality Performance
Deena Larsen - Marble Springs Wiki
Mark Marino - Netprov
Cathy Marshall - Who owns social media content?
Chris Rodley - The Magic Realism Bot
Chindu Sreedharan - Epic_Retold
Katrin Tiidenberg - Identity on Tumblr
Marco Williams - The Migrant Trail
Rob Wittig - Netprov
Alice Wong - DisabilityVisibility

From November 16 - 21, 2016, the Rutgers Camden Digital Studies Center (DSC) Social Media Narrative: Issues in Contemporary Practice Facebook-based panel brought together a distinguished group of innovative creators, theorists, and researchers in the field of contemporary social media-based creative practice. Thanks to DSC Director, Jim Brown, and DSC Associate Director, Robert Emmons, the DSC Facebook group offered an informal meeting place that allowed students and panelists to come together in a familiar environment that everyone was comfortable with negotiating. There was an audience of other DSC group members, some of whom participated in the discussion from time to time, and while the panel was taking place, interwoven posts of events by other DSC group members enriched the information stream.

In addition to the importance of bringing together practitioners in a relatively new field and of giving students an in situ experience of participating in a social media-based discussion of creative practice on social media, the Social Media Narrative panel built a nexus for an informal archive to immerse students, critics and theorists in a field that can be difficult to approach in an environment where social media platforms are transient islands in a content-diverse infosphere.

The panel is archived in this special section of content | code | process that includes panelists' bios and statements, as well as transcripts of the conversations that evolved around their work during the panel. A Resources Page and an issue-oriented Introduction are also available.

Judith Adele (Ada Radius) - Avatar Repertory Theater

J udith Adele (Ada Radius in virtual worlds) and Iain McCracken (Sodovan Torok in Second Life ) co-founded Avatar Repertory Theater in 2008. Working in Second Life, Kitely, and the OpenSim virtual world grids, Avatar Repertory Theater creates immersive, virtual worlds, which connect actors, directors, designers, playwrights and producers from around the world in live performances. Recent productions include Robert Frost's North of Boston.

Avatar Repertory Theater is a project of New Media Arts Inc, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. ART has its own website as well:, linked to and from the parent website.


Image: MadameThespian Underhill in Second Life is sitting at her work table, manipulating her avatar and speaking her lines as Rosalinde/Ganymede in As You Like It -- in a live show A.R.T. performed in Second Life a few years ago as a part of Shakespeare at the Pavilion.

James J. Brown, Jr. -- Social Media Harassment

J ames J. Brown, Jr. is Assistant Professor of English and Director of the Digital Studies Center at Rutgers University-Camden. His research focuses on digital rhetoric and software studies, and he is author of Ethical Programs: Hospitality and the Rhetorics of Software (University of Michigan Press, 2015), which examines the ethical and rhetorical underpinnings of networked software environments.


Jay Bushman - The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

J ay Bushman is Transmedia Producer and a staff writer for The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, the first YouTube-distributed series to win a Primetime Emmy Award (for Outstanding Achievement in Original Interactive Content). Jay has been a consultant, creative lead, and content strategist for Google, HBO, Disney, Bad Robot, Paramount, and Lucasfilm.


Robert A. Emmons, Jr. - YOUTUBE CHANNEL

R obert Emmons, Associate Director of the Rutgers Camden DSC, is a documentary filmmaker. His films include: Enthusiast: The 9th Art, Smalltown USA, Wolf at the Door, YARDSALE!, Goodwill: The Flight of Emilio Carranza (2007), and De Luxe: The Tale of Blue Comet (2010. Goodwillhas had the privilege to be screened as part of the Smithsonian exhibition: Our Journeys/Our Stories: Portraits of Latino Achievement at the New Jersey Historical Society and won "Best Homegrown Documentary Feature" at the 2008 Garden State Film Festival. In 2009 he received Mexico's Lindbergh-Carranza International Goodwill Award as a "Messenger of Peace" for his work on Goodwill. From February to August of 2010 Emmons created two short documentaries a week. The 52 short documentaries formed the weekly internet series MINICONCEPTDOCS and can be viewed on his YOUTUBE CHANNEL. Emmons teaches courses in film and media. His latest documentary, Diagram for Delinquents is about Fredric Wertham and comic books in the 1950's. Emmons is currently editing his forthcoming documentary, Sickies Making Films in collaboration with director Joe Tropea.



Dene Grigar - The 24-Hr. Micro-Elit Project

D ene Grigar is Professor and Director of The Creative Media & Digital Culture Program at Washington State University Vancouver. Her research focuses on the creation, curation, preservation, and criticism of Electronic Literature, specifically building multimedial environments and experiences for live performance, installations, and curated spaces; for the Library of Congress and Modern Language Association, among other venues) desktop computers; and mobile media devices. With Stuart Moulthrop (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee) she was the recipient of a 2013 NEH Start Up grant for a digital preservation project for early electronic literature, entitled Pathfinders, which culminated in an open source, multimedia book for scholars. She is President of the Electronic Literature Organization and Associate Editor of Leonardo Reviews.

The 24-Hr. Micro-Elit Project was a performative collaborative work for which she edited her stories about living in Dallas, Texas into Twitter-sized literary texts and posted one every hour for 24 hours -- inviting others to contribute.


"I'll have my Facebook portrait painted by Matt Held"

M att Held is a visual artist, whose work, among many other projects, includes Facebook portraits and the curated exhibition "Where's My Jetpack?" -- inspired by the mythology of the Jetpack.

He is recipient of the Brooklyn Arts Council/ New York City Department of Cultural Affairs grant, and his "I'll have my Facebook portrait painted by Matt Held" project has been featured on Art Fag City, Modern Art Notes, Two Coats of Paint, Juxtapoz online, ArtNews, WIRED, New York Magazine, The New York Observer, The Daily News, NY1, as well as on European publications including Spreeblick, Focus Online, Jetze, Myself, Sleek Mag, derStandard, ZeitZuender and Italian culture blog, Polkadot.

The image is Matt Held's portrait of artist and Internet activist/innovator, An Xiao Mina.


Antoinette LaFarge - Mixed Reality Performance

A ntoinette LaFarge is an artist and writer working with impersonation, virtuality, and history as her main subjects. Her work takes form as computer-mediated performance, interactive installation, digital prints, and writing. Recent new media projects include Far-Flung follows function (2013), Galileo in America (2012), Hangmen Also Die (2010), and WISP (World-Integrated Social Proxy, 2009-10). She co-curated two early exhibitions on computer games and art: SHIFT-CTRL: Computers, Games, and Art (2000) and ALT+CTRL: A Festival of Independent and Alternative Games (2003), the latter supported by an NEA grant.

LaFarge's work has been seen internationally in venues from UpStage to documenta, and her writing has appeared in a range of journals and anthologies. She is currently engaged on a series of projects that spring out of her work as a Wikipedia editor. Recent writing about new media includes essays on avatarism, imposture as living fiction, and social proxies. More information is available on her webpage at

She is professor of digital media in the Art Department, Claire Trevor School of the Arts, UC Irvine.


Deena Larsen - Marble Springs Wiki

C olorado native Deena Larsen has been a central voice in the writing and understanding of new media literature. Her hypertext, Marble Springs, (Eastgate Systems 1993) about the lives of women in a Colorado mining town, was published by Eastgate Systems in 1993. Her work has also been published by Ihe Iowa Review Web; Drunken Boat; Cauldron and Net; Riding the Meridian; Poems that Go; The Blue Moon Review; New River, and The Electronic Literature Collection. Her current work is the Rose Project, which in her words "ascribes meaning to letters, adding nuances to language." Her archives, The Deena Larsen Collection, are housed at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities at the University of Maryland.

Marble Springs was migrated from HyperCard to the Wikidot version, Marble Springs 3.0 in 2011.


Mark Marino - Netprov

M ark C. Marino is a new media writer, whose work has appeared in the James Joyce Quarterly, the Electronic Literature Collection, The Iowa Review Web, Hypperhiz, The New River Journal, and SpringGun Press. Marino's current work also includes netprovs (often with Rob Wittig) and electronic literature for children, created with his family. A noted collaborative scholar in the digital humanities, he teaches writing at the University of Southern California, where he directs the Humanities and Critical Code Studies Lab, including the Critical Code Studies Working Group. Additionally, in 2011, he taught Game Studies and Critical Code Studies as a Fulbright Specialist at the University of Bergen. His works creatively explore contemporary culture and issues. Inventive, interesting, and utilizing a wide range of software and applications, among many others, they include Stravinsky's Muse; Labyrinth: The Rulebook without Game; 12 Easy Lessons to Better Time Travel, and The LA Flood Project, a collaborative locative narrative.


Cathy Marshall - Who Owns Social Media Content?

U ntil the lab's closing , Cathy Marshall was a principal researcher at Microsoft Research, Silicon Valley. She is currently an adjunct professor in the Computer Science Department at Texas A&M University. Before joining Microsoft, Cathy was a hypertext researcher at Xerox PARC at the dawn of the Internet era. She has given keynotes at WWW, ACM Hypertext, Usenix FAST, TPDL, and numerous other meetings and conferences.

Recent papers include: Marshall, C.C. and Shipman, F.M. "Exploring the Ownership and Persistent Value of Facebook Content," Proceedings of CSCW 2015, New York: ACM Press. Marshall, C.C. and Shipman, F.M. "An Argument for Archiving Facebook as a Heterogeneous Personal Store", Proceedings of Digital Libraries 2014, IEEE Press, September 2014. Marshall, C.C., 'Social media, personal data, and reusing our digital legacy", in Personal Archiving: Preserving Our Digital Heritage, D. Hawkins, ed., Medford, New Jersey: Information Today, 2013.


Chris Rodley - The Magic Realism Bot

C hris Rodley is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney, where he is studying the impact of social media on writing. He also teaches digital media classes there and at the University of New South Wales. Chris's work at the intersection of literature and technology includes the flash fiction generator Magic Realism Bot, co-authored with Ali Rodley; and the data art projects Everything Is Going To Be OK, B.E.T.T.Y., and Death of an Alchemist, which were co-authored with Andrew Burrell. He is currently a contributor at BuzzFeed.


Chindu Sreedharan - Epic Retold: Story of a Twitterfiction

Chindu Sreedharan is the programme leader for MA Media and Communication at the School of Journalism, English and Communication, Bournemouth University, UK. He holds a PhD in crisis reporting, and is also interested in literary journalism and social media. Recent projects include Aftershock Nepal), which chronicles the life of earthquake survivors in Nepal after the 2015 earthquake; and TIWIS a collection of "social stories" that aims to demystify student life in Britain. A former journalist, Chindu is an experimental storyteller interested in digital narratives, particularly on stories on social media. He keeps an eye out for up-and-coming social platforms, and while his current interests are 360-degree stories and multimodality on Steller, he is best known for Epic Retold, an experimental novel written on Twitter.

The project (@epicretold), which began on July 29, 2009, is a retelling of the Indian epic Mahabharata, a "distributed narrative" that lasted 1605 days. Epic Retold has also been published in a print book form by Harper Collins India.


Katrin Tiidenberg - Identity on Tumblr

K atrin Tiidenberg is a researcher and lecturer splitting her time between Aarhus University in Aarhus, Denmark and Tallinn University in Tallin, Estonia. This semester she is co-teaching a master's course on Digital Identities with Annette Markham and a PhD course on the emotional, relational and visual labor of "Negotiating Identity in Social Media" with Nancy Baym and Annette Markham.

Her work focuses on visual self presentation on social media, in particular the gendered, sexuality-, and embodiment related aspects of it. She publishes on selfie practices on Tumblr and Instagram, and whether sharing selfies can be a way of pushing back against dominant normative ideologies.

Her research blog is available at


Marco Williams - The Migrant Trail

NYU Arts Professor, Marco Williams, is an award-winning documentary and nominated fiction film director. His directing credits include: The Undocumented (2013), Inside the New Black Panthers (2008), Banished (2007), Freedom Summer (2006), I Sit Where I Want: The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education (2004), MLK Boulevard: The Concrete Dream (2003), Two Towns of Jasper (2002), Making Peace; Rebuilding our Communities (1995), The Pursuit of Happiness: With Arianna Huffington (1994), Without A Pass (1992), In Search of Our Fathers (1991), From Harlem To Harvard (1982).


Rob Wittig - Netprov

R ob Wittig's background combines Literature, Graphic Design and Digital Culture. In the early 1980s, he co-founded the legendary IN.S.OMNIA electronic bulletin board with the Surrealist-style literary and art group Invisible Seattle. IN.S.OMNIA was one of the earliest online art projects of the digital age. In 1989 he received a Fulbright grant to study the writing and graphic design of electronic literature with French philosopher Jacques Derrida in Paris. Rob's book based on that work, titled Invisible Rendezvous, was published in 1995. Alongside his creative projects, Rob worked for 15 years as a writer, designer and creative director in major publishing and graphic design firms in Chicago. In 2008 Rob's web project "Fall of the Site of Marsha" was among the first works of electronic literature to be archived in the Library of Congress. He is currently developing high-design, collaborative fiction projects in a form called netprov, networked improv narrative. In 2011 he earned an M.A. in Digital Culture from the University in Bergen, Norway (equivalent to an American M.F.A.) Rob teaches in the Departments of Art and Design and Writing Studies at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.


Alice Wong - DisabilityVisibility

Alice Wong is a sociologist, research consultant, and disability activist based in San Francisco, CA. Her areas of interest are accessible healthcare for people w/ disabilities, Medicaid policies and programs, storytelling, and social media. She is the Founder and Project Coordinator for the Disability Visibility Project (DVP), a community partnership with StoryCorps and an online community dedicated to recording, amplifying, and sharing disability stories and culture.

Alice is also a co-partner of #CripTheVote, a nonpartisan online movement activating and engaging disabled people on policies and practices important to the disability community. You can find her on Twitter: @SFdirewolf



Rutgers Camden Digital Studies Center Class in Social Media Narrative

A lyson Amour, Yvonne Anim, Sierra Clark, Alexandria Decastro, Andrew Fiorella, Breeann Gibbs, Alexis Kouser, Tangier Moore, Victoria Pagan-Perez, Walter Parker, Samantha Procida, Joseph Sansone, Gabriella Scafidi, and Zachary Zampino

Judy Malloy - Host

R utgers Camden Digital Studies Center Fellow Judy Malloy is a poet/researcher who works at the conjunction of hypernarrative, generative literature, social media narrative, magic realism, artists books, and information art. She has taught at Princeton as a distinguished fellow and as visiting faculty in the digital arts at San Francisco Art Institute. Her research and practice includes artist/consultant in virtual communities and the document of the future at Xerox PARC; Content Coordinator for Arts Wire, a program of the New York Foundation for the Arts; and Editor of the MIT Press compendium, Social Media Archeology and Poetics.

Her pioneering hyperfiction, Uncle Roger, was first told on social media in 1986, and her work has been exhibited and published internationally including, among many others, the Library of Congress; Sao Paulo Biennial; Walker Art Center; Hammer Museum; Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Eastgate Systems; E. P. Dutton, MIT Press; and The Iowa Review Web.

Judy Malloy
Digital Studies Fellow
Digital Studies Center
Rutgers Camden University
Last Update: May 17, 2017


content | code | process, February, 2017

Judith Adele
(Ada Radius)
- Avatar Repertory Theater

James J. Brown, Jr.
Social Media Harassment

Jay Bushman
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Robert Emmons

Joy Garnett

Dene Grigar
The 24-Hr. Micro-Elit Project

Matt Held
Facebook Paintings

Antoinette LaFarge
Mixed Reality Performance

Deena Larsen
Marble Springs Wiki

Mark Marino

Cathy Marshall
Who owns social media content?

Chris Rodley
The Magic Realism Bot

Chindu Sreedharan

Katrin Tiidenberg
Identity on Tumblr

Marco Williams
The Migrant Trail

Rob Wittig - Netprov

Alice Wong

Rutgers Camden DSC
Class in Social Media Narrative

Judy Malloy