tishaturk: (pen)
[personal profile] tishaturk
I am happy to report that the University of Minnesota IRB Human Subjects Committee has approved my plans to interview vidders and vidwatchers! So, beginning this summer, I will be conducting interviews (in person when possible, but also by email or phone).

I'm interested in interviewing anybody who's willing to talk to me, including people who feel, or have felt in the past, that they don't (yet) know enough about vids to talk about them, who want to be able to leave substantive feedback about vids but sometimes have trouble doing so, etc. That is, I am not specifically looking for "expert opinions" on vids; I just want to talk to fans about their experiences making and/or watching vids, and especially about how they learned to make and/or watch vids.

My goal is to use these interviews to think about vidding and vidwatching as literacy practices. I'll be posting more about this idea in the next few weeks, but here's the short version:

Increasingly, scholars who study literacy point out that print literacy, although still indispensable, is not the only kind of literacy that educators need to be thinking about; we need to be teaching multimedia literacies (sometimes called new media literacies or multiliteracies), not just print literacy.

When I think "multimedia literacy," I think of vids. A lot of the mental work that we do when we watch or make vids is similar to the work that we do when we read or write print texts, in the sense that both sets of activities require us to make sense out of signs or symbols, to draw upon what we already know and connect it to what we're reading and watching, to process and interpret information, and this is the sense in which vidding and vidwatching are literacy practices. But of course making and watching multimedia texts (like vids) are also different from writing and reading print text. For one thing, vids require us to handle more different kinds of information at once: words, images, audio. So fandom has a long history of people learning to make and to watch complex multimedia texts that have lots of different rhetorical purposes and effects.

One of the things that composition studies scholars have done over the last thirty years is to study how experienced writers write in order to figure out what they know or do that inexperienced (student) writers don't know or do; scholars then use that information to figure out what teachers need to teach and how they might go about teaching it. Substitute "vidders and vidwatchers" for "experienced writers," and you get a sense of what I'm trying to do. We make and watch vids voluntarily, on our own time, because we enjoy it. It seems to me that educators who want to know how best to teach multimedia literacy could learn a lot from looking at people who already do multimedia literacy.

One of the assumptions that I am making, based on my own experiences as a fan, is that making and watching vids involves a lot of cognitive and rhetorical work (even if we’re not always conscious of that work as we’re doing it). So what I want to know is: Why do we do this work? What helps us learn to do this work? What makes doing this work worthwhile (creatively, intellectually, emotionally, socially)? More specifically: How do people get interested in vids? How do we learn to make sense of vids? How do vidders learn to vid? What do vidders actually do when they vid? What draws us to vids, and what keeps us interested? Obviously there's not going to be a single clear answer to any of these questions; fans are nothing if not various and idiosyncratic. What I'm hoping is that somewhere in the inevitable variety of responses there will be interesting patterns for me to think about and report on—both to the academic community and to the vidding community.

Please note: I am not yet formally asking for interview volunteers; I will do that in a separate post. But I welcome any and all comments, and I am happy to answer any questions either about my interview plans or about this research more generally.

ETA: I've now posted a call for interview volunteers.

Date: 2010-06-17 04:35 pm (UTC)
laurashapiro: a woman sits at a kitchen table reading a book, cup of tea in hand. Table has a sliced apple and teapot. A cat looks on. (Default)
From: [personal profile] laurashapiro
This is so deeply cool. I can't wait to see what you come up with.

I can say that for myself, I started vidding because there were ideas I wanted to share that I was unable to put into words -- and I was/am a pretty decent writer. I had ideas that were beyond my capabilities with text, or ideas that didn't fit within previously established fannish text formats like fanfiction or show meta. Things I wanted to say without starting a flamewar. (:

I am atypical in having had a film background so actually making vids has never been difficult for me. Talking about them has actually gotten *more* difficult as time goes on because of the way vids have changed. Often they are now too fast for me to read! Or to read well, anyway. And the further away I get from popular music (I can't remember the last time I listened to the radio), the more challenging vids can be for me.

Anyway. This is super-cool. I'm thrilled that the committee has approved this project!

Date: 2010-06-17 10:28 pm (UTC)
laurashapiro: Final Cut Pro logo (vidding)
From: [personal profile] laurashapiro

Date: 2010-06-17 09:38 pm (UTC)
littleheaven: (Vidding by Charmax)
From: [personal profile] littleheaven
Ooh, I think I'll volunteer when the call goes out, because I think I'm the kind of person you're after. I find myself quite lost when trying to analyze or leave considered feedback. I often feel intimidated trying to discuss vids around more accomplished vidders.

Congrats on the approval, this sounds like such an interesting project.

Date: 2010-06-17 10:53 pm (UTC)
littleheaven: (Vidding by Charmax)
From: [personal profile] littleheaven
The oddest thing about vidding for me is that as I've gotten better at it, it's become exponentially harder. I virtually psyched myself out of it for over a year because I was just thinking about it all too hard. And when I see something I like, I often have a hard time expressing why. So I am looking forward to putting my hand up at volunteer time. I'm hoping that it might be of some benefit to us both :o)

Date: 2010-06-18 09:18 pm (UTC)
littleheaven: (Default)
From: [personal profile] littleheaven
Funnily enough I just did a personality profile through work which said I find solutions through talking about the issues, so it would definitely be helpful.

ROFL, I am with you on the whole "paralyzing terror" aspect. Sometimes vidding is one of the few activities where it's better to disengage the brain first. *g*

Date: 2010-06-18 01:04 am (UTC)
cathexys: dark sphinx (default icon) (Default)
From: [personal profile] cathexys
\o/\o/\o/ Go you!!!!

I'll definitely volunteer, bc I feel like vid watching's real work (detour into faceblindness etc etc)

Date: 2010-07-02 11:22 pm (UTC)
deathisyourart: (GK - Ferrando says O RLY)
From: [personal profile] deathisyourart
I'm a little late to this post, but this project sound awesome! I can't wait to read what comes out of your interviews. :D

Date: 2010-06-17 09:34 pm (UTC)


tishaturk: (Default)
Tisha Turk

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