Events

Authors Shira Chess and Eric Newsom: "The Slender Man: The Uncanny Lure of the Digital Campfire"

Monday, October 12, 2015; 1:30pm - 3:30pm

Location: TA 130

Presented by: Authors Shira Chess and Eric Newsom

When two twelve-year-old girls lured another into the woods after a sleepover in May 2014 and stabbed her numerous times in the name of the Slender Man, a monster manifested through stories told and shared on the internet, the world found itself suddenly faced with a new faceless bogeyman. But omitted from the fear mongering reports on the nightly news was the reality of what had made the Slender Man so captivating: the collective work of storytellers crafting tales using multiple media, cultivating and spreading a complex and fluid mythology across the web. Join us as we examine the ways in which the creation of the Slender Man demonstrates a new way of storytelling that recalls the folklore practices of a pre-mass media age while making use of the affordances of digital media, and to find out what happens when your subject of research becomes the center of a nationwide media panic overnight.

Shira Chess is an Assistant Professor of Mass Media Arts in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. She received her PhD in Communication and Rhetoric from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is co-author of Folklore, Horror Stories, and the Slender Man: The Development of an Internet Mythology, which interrogates the Slender Man myth as a mode of folklore in the digital age. Other areas of research include video games, identity, and feminism. She has been published in Critical Studies in Media Communication; The Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media; Feminist Media Studies; New Media & Society; Games and Culture; and Information, Communication & Society as well as several essay collections.

Eric Newsom is an Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Central Missouri, where he teaches courses in both media studies and media production. He earned his Ph.D. in Communication and Rhetoric from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His interest in digital storytelling has led him to both scholarly and creative endeavors. He is co-author of Folklore, Horror Stories, and the Slender Man: The Development of an Internet Mythology, and, with comic creators Greg Rucka and Rick Burchett, publishes the webcomic Lady Sabre & the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether.

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