Histoire publique Histoire numérique et l’historiographie

Why use interactive digital storytelling in academia?

20 Mars 2019

Lecture by Sandra Gaudenzi (University of Westminster, University College of London).

This conference is part of the C²DH's HANDS ON HISTORY series.


If the 21st century has to adapt to digital communication, academia still needs to learn to use digital storytelling to its full potential.

In the last 15 years the Web has radically changed the way scholars do research, write and teach. But very little has been done to use interactive storytelling as an instrument of thought and methodological mapping in academia. Even when televisions and newspapers have produced successful examples of interactive storytelling in the form of web-documentaries, educational games or fact data-visualisations, scholars find it difficult to step out of the standard divulgation forms of public presentations and academic writing. Why is so? Is it because of the technical challenges of digital media production or just for lack of practice and training?

This talk will not touch the vast domain of e-learning, but rather explore the idea of “digital interactive storytelling as a tool for thought”. Following the evolution of storytelling from linear to interactive, we will question if interactive storytelling could help scholars think in terms of polyphony of voices and non-causality. Using existing examples of history based interactive projects, we will question how the hypertext, the interactive documentary, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, can help us understand, and communicate, history differently. This talk will use case studies from the BBC, Arte Television, The Shoah Foundation and The Guardian to engage into an open discussion on how the interactive media could be helpful for the communication of complexity. It will also give practical advise on how to engage with this exciting new way of sharing stories and suggest that involving the audience is a way to “make sense together”.


Sandra Gaudenzi is a world expert in interactive narratives. Coming from TV production, she has been consulting, mentoring, researching, lecturing, writing, speaking and blogging about interactive factual narratives for the last twenty years. She is Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster in the new Digital and Interactive Storytelling LAB - a place to explore, experiment and excel in the storytelling forms of our digital culture - and at UCL (University College of London). She is a Visiting Fellow at the Digital Cultures Research Centre (UWE, UK) where she co-directs the i-Docsconference and website, and with whom she co-edited her recent book “i-docs: the Evolving Practices of Interactive Documentary”. She is also Head of Studies of !F Lab (Interactive Factual Lab) – a Creative Europe training scheme for interactive documentary makers, where people can incubate and prototype their interactive projects.




Wednesday, 20 March 2019, 14.00 - 15.00


Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History
University of Luxembourg - Maison des Sciences humaines
4th floor
Belval Campus
11, Porte des Sciences
L-4366 Esch-sur-Alzette