New Media Narratives: Master’s Module at the University of Alberta

Disclosure: I am designing and teaching this module and there is a deep focus on the *theory* of transliteracy.

This graduate level module will be of interest to new media practitioners/writers/artists as well as those hoping to leverage aspects of new media technology and thinking in their creative practise. 

Note: You don't need to be a U of A student in order to take this course. See the information on Open Studies at the end of this module outline.

Online Graduate Course – Winter 2011

New Media Narratives: Writing and Publishing in a Developing Field

 (COMM 597)

An elective course offered by the Graduate Program in

 Communications and Technology, University of Alberta

Course Description and Objectives

This course will provide students and practitioners with insights into the role of new media in the practises and processes of writing and experimenting with new narrative formats and platforms. The course will focus on the very nature of narrative and how new media affects story; its creation and dissemination.  A key aspect centres on a critical assessment of current developments in new media narrative alongside interpretations, transformations and challenges of traditional concepts and functions of publishing.  As such, a main aim of the course is to promote and transform the thinking of narrative in light of new media.  An element necessary to this transformative thinking revolves around the developing concept of transliteracy. As noted by Thomas, Joseph, Laccetti et al., transliteracy may be seen as a unifying perspective for literacy today: it is the “ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks.”

This video of Kate Pullinger can give prospective students an idea of how writers might interact with new media in a transliterate way:


By the end of this course,  students will: 

  • Show a critical awareness of the connections between writing, publishing and new media
  • Critically evaluate the changing role of the writer alongside new media platforms and tools
  • Critically apply the concept of transliteracy to their own writing and thinking of narrative 

Delivery Format and Resources

This course will be offered in Winter Term of 2011. Materials will include a readings package. Online articles and reference to relevant web sites will be provided. Pre-reading will be required.

For more information contact Susan Petruszczak at 

(780) 492-1538 or

You may also contact the course leader, Dr. Jessica Laccetti, with specific course content queries:

Enrollment is limited to 20. Early registration is suggested due to delivery format. Closed to telephone registration.

Open Studies at the University of Alberta

Through Open Studies you can take university-level credit courses on a part-time basis without following a specific degree or diploma program. Open Studies students can take up to six units of course weight in each term. Many courses from a wide variety of subject areas and disciplines are available to students who choose this option.

People of any age and varied educational backgrounds choose Open Studies. It allows students the opportunity to develop skills useful to their profession, to upgrade their postsecondary qualifications, and to take courses purely for personal interest. 

Admission Requirements

Normally documents are not required because there is no competition for admission. Students require only an interest in the courses and, in some cases, there may be course prerequisites to be met. Official documents are usually required only to establish evidence of English language proficiency and/or in cases where a student has previously been required to withdraw from a postsecondary institution.

Students must submit an Application for Admission by the appropriate deadline for the term in which they wish to begin taking courses.

Previously Required to Withdraw 

Students who have been required to withdraw from any postsecondary institution because of unsatisfactory academic standing must provide official transcripts. A minimum of 15 units of transferable course weight with a GPA of 2.0 or better must have been completed since having been required to withdraw. Students who have been required to withdraw (or equivalent by University of Alberta standards) more than once from any postsecondary institution or program are not eligible for admission to Open Studies.

English Language Proficiency

Because the U of A wants you to succeed, our admissions policy ensures that all students, regardless of citizenship, have the language skills they need to understand, participate and learn in our classes. The primary language of instruction in our classes, with the exception of those at the Facultý Saint-Jean, is English. For more information on the English Language Proficiency policy refer to the U of A Calendar. Information on writing ELP examinations is also available.

For more information, please visit: