Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Creators, Audiences, and New Media: Creativity in an Interactive Environment
by Bell, Isaac, M.A., University of Kansas, 2014, 89; 1568906
Abstract (Summary)

Composition and media scholars have in the past examined the participants and steps in the creative process as distinct roles and actions, with a separation between creators and audiences, including gatekeeping audiences (such as editors and publishers). The act of creation was viewed as taking place in isolation. The media emphasis on traditional genres such as print books has limited the examination of the distribution of these works. New media scholarship explores the ways media creation software and online distribution can complicate creativity and provide new venues for distribution. In this thesis, I claim that the new media environment has changed the traditional creator and audience roles, with boundaries being crossed regularly. Creators may be inspired by the ideas of a particular audience, the distribution of their works might bypass gatekeepers, and the audience may use these works in their own creations. The Internet allows us to observe and examine these changes both in real-time and after the fact.

Chapter One, “Creator/Audience Roles and New Media Interactivity,” presents a framework for discussion that incorporates several existing definitions of audience roles, with a look at more recent perspectives on how audiences dynamically interact with creators. In the process, the conceptual limits of bounded roles such as “publics” and “fandoms” will be examined, and the complicating factors of new media interactivity will be established. Chapter Two, “Permeable Boundaries: The Shifting Roles of Creation, Reception, and Utilization,” examines how audience actions allow readers and creators to cross these conceptual boundaries, sparking creative impulses. Attention is also paid to the different kinds of value for creativity and interaction established by fandoms. Chapter Three, “Creativity, Information Technology, and New Media,” looks at the ways in which the availability and relatively easy use of digital tools and the Internet have allowed more people to perform and share their creative acts. This chapter will include case studies that illustrate how online creators deal with the difference between traditional and new media versions of success and integrate digital tools and distribution to find creative fulfillment; the chapter will also examine the benefits and problems inherent in a high level of creator-audience interaction, such as the successful use of social media to create new opportunities for releasing media works while opening oneself to criticism from unintended audiences.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Reiff, Mary Jo
Commitee: McKitterick, Chris, Neill, Anna
School: University of Kansas
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Kansas
Source: MAI 54/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Multimedia Communications, Rhetoric
Keywords: Audience, Creativity, Digital, Interaction, Internet
Publication Number: 1568906
ISBN: 9781321332070
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