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Digital Stories @ UMBC

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Globalized Communication, Fall 2008

Students in this graduate seminar explored the intersections of communication and culture within a framework of global digital exchanges and new media. We investigated the unique challenges and opportunities in the public sphere of the internet for global and intercultural communication, collaborative knowledge production, political and personal stories and narratives, and participatory media. Two students made place-based digital stories that are described and linked here.

Negotiating the Ameristani Kitchen by Autumn Reed
This story takes place in my and Amar's kitchen in Millersville, a suburb south of Baltimore in Maryland, USA. In appearance the kitchen is typical of what one would expect to find in the United States, but the food cooked within is anything but typical. Food is not the only thing made in this space, but also cross-cultural and cross-gender connections. The multiethnic foods prepared in this space serve as a mediator both linking and mixing the East with the West and the male with the female. This kitchen is a borderland; a place where barriers are broken down and stereotypes transcended and not only those of an American female but also those of a Pakistani male, for culture flows in both directions. Therefore, at one level, this story is about two individuals working out their differences in the kitchen, but at another level, it serves as an example of the potential that we have, as cultural beings, to learn from one another.

The Secret by Lori Edmonds
I had been wanting to make a video about raising "my" children for some time. Partly, I wanted to do this because I wanted to document that very rewarding and crazy time of my life and partly I wanted to do it because I had a very unique family and I thought others would find the story interesting. I was nearly finished writing it when a horrible event occurred with one of my children that I had not expected. I decided not to tell my original story after all but with encouragement returned to my original plan because it would also help me to emotionally deal with it. The result is one story that, in some ways, tells many stories. Yet, it is a simple story of life with its twists, turns, predicaments, and secrets.
Thank you for being part of my audience. This story was made for you. If you are one of my children, I hope this reminds you of the experiences we have had together and the power of our relationship because of the experiences we have shared. If you are watching this as a native of the Westside, I hope you enjoy seeing your city through my eyes. If you have not lived in this city (or another like it) I hope you are intrigued by the power of this place. When I speak of power, I'm referring to the unlikely way that the previous history of this space spilled over into our lives. I am also talking about the ability this space had to knit together the lives of four people and their four different stories. I hope that you are moved as your unique experiences interact with this story. In that way, the power of that place will continue to live.