“Listen to Your Eyes”: Multimedia Story-Telling and the Future(s) of Academic Publishing


Round Table

Time & Location

Session 2
Wed 11:00–12:30 Fritz-Reuter-Saal



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We propose to launch the results of a two-tier EuroSEAS-KITLV workshop on multimedia storytelling for researchers, followed by a roundtable on the uses and challenges of multimedia or ‘multimodal’ formats in scholarly publishing.

Background: The launch is the culmination of two events. In May-June 2018, EuroSEAS organized a workshop, titled ‘Listen to your Eyes’, at the University of Milano-Bicocca in Milan. At this workshop, which was led by the award-winning multimedia journalist Martijn van Tol, researchers working in/on Southeast Asia gathered to experiment with creating multimedia stories on the basis of their research, using innovative software. Integrating text, image and sound, these ‘scrollable’ online stories offer accessible yet powerful crosscuts of ongoing research, ranging from filmmaking and censorship in Indonesia to the visual and aural impact of small-town urbanization in Vietnam. In May 2019, a follow-up event will be held at KITLV, Leiden, to further enhance these stories and finalize them for online publication.

Launch: The session will start with a launch of the stories. After a brief presentation of the project by David Kloos, two workshop participants will present their individual projects to the audience through a screening and a brief reflection on the workshops.

Round Table: The stories created during the workshops are journalistic in scope. They make ongoing research accessible to a global audience through a multimedia form. In the roundtable, we want to take the experiment a step further and discuss how this format – and the software now available – might serve ongoing innovation in scholarly publishing. Some major journals, like American Anthropologist, have introduced ‘multimodal’ sections on their website. Other journals, like Brill’s new journal Bridging Humanities, offer a platform for multimedia productions and ‘co-created’ projects. Overall, however, scholarly journals lag behind journalistic platforms that have been much more radical and accommodative in terms of integrating media in new narrative forms. This roundtable seeks to bring together a select groups of people from academia and the world of publishing to engage with the following questions: What are the affordances of multimedia publishing? What are the main challenges and constraints? How can we imagine academic publications that employ transmedia or multimodal formats to engage with scholarly debates and theory, without reverting back to text-dominated forms for communication?

In conclusion to the roundtable, the audience will be invited to take out their mobile phones, tablets, and laptops to view/read all the stories of the workshop participants online.

Charlie Rumsby: The Waters of Death and Life
David Kloos: Personal Touch, Professional Style
Miriam Le: Urban Bricolage and the City In-Between
Rosalia Engchuan: Queer Short Film in Indonesia