Date of Award
By using adaptations of Jane Austen’s classic novel Pride and Prejudice (1813) as a frame of reference, my thesis will demonstrate that transmedia narratives are most effective in tandem with original texts that have a history of successful adaptations due to the perpetual audience of fans and their previous knowledge of the story to meaningfully, as well as canonically, interact with the narrative. This thesis will first introduce theories surrounding adaptations and look at previous Pride and Prejudice adaptations in light of a devoted fan base. It will then introduce the concept of transmedia narratives and examine the culture of fans and their interactions with texts in the digital age. Lastly, I will analyze the success of the Internet production company Pemberley Digital and their transmedia YouTube adaptation of Pride and Prejudice that boasts a view count of 82.2 million views and secured an Emmy. This analysis will apply the theories on transmedia, fandom, and adaptation introduced in the first three sections to demonstrate that interactive transmedia narratives are most effective when they have an established fan base, which is most easily found in popular texts prone to adaptations. Digital storytelling will only continue to grow, especially as upcoming generations favor online streaming and independent producers as opposed to the cable television shows created by the larger media corporations. The research contained within this thesis will show the importance of appealing to wider audiences by creating richer, more immersive narratives through transmedia and paratexts that encourage collective authorship.
Brodbeck, Margaret, "Fans and Adaptation: An Analysis of the Use of Interactive Storytelling in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries" (2019). Undergraduate Honors Thesis Collection. 491.