Historicising Transmedia Storytelling: Early Twentieth-Century Transmedia Story Worlds, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Historicising Transmedia Storytelling

Early Twentieth-Century Transmedia Story Worlds, 1st Edition

By Matthew Freeman


210 pages

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Hardback: 9781138217690
pub: 2016-12-07
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Tracing the industrial emergence of transmedia storytelling—typically branded a product of the contemporary digital media landscape—this book provides a historicised intervention into understandings of how fictional stories flow across multiple media forms. Through studies of the storyworlds constructed for The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan, and Superman, the book reveals how new developments in advertising, licensing, and governmental policy across the twentieth century enabled historical systems of transmedia storytelling to emerge, thereby providing a valuable contribution to the growing field of transmedia studies as well as to understandings of media convergence, popular culture, and historical media industries.


"This book is an important contribution to the study of transmedia storytelling. With the aim to historicise transmedia storytelling, it offers an original point of view on the topic. In these pages transmedia practices become key to re-reading in an innovative way the history of twentieth century popular culture." --Paolo Bertetti, University Of Siena, Italy

Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Historicise?

Part I: Defining Transmedia History

1. Characterising Transmedia Storytelling: Character-Building, World-Building, Authorship

2. Contextualising Transmedia Storytelling: Industrialisation, Consumer Culture, Media Regulation

Part II: Exploring Transmedia History

3. 1900–1918, From Fin-de-siècle to Fairy-Worlds: L. Frank Baum, the Land of Oz & Advertising

4. 1918–1938, From Fairy-Worlds to Jungles: Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc., Tarzan & Corporate Authorship   

5. 1938–1958, From Jungles to Krypton: DC Comics, Superman & Industry Partnerships

Conclusion: Cross the Shifting Sands

About the Author

Matthew Freeman is Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication at Bath Spa University, UK and Director of its Media Convergence Research Centre. He is the author of Industrial Approaches to Media (2016), and the co-author of Transmedia Archaeology (2014).

About the Series

Routledge Research in Cultural and Media Studies

Cultural and media studies are now well-established as important academic disciplines and are inspiring new research into a wide range of pertinent issues. This series presents outstanding research in these subjects, helping to shape the direction of future inquiry.


To submit a proposal for this series, please contact:
Suzanne Richardson, Commissioning Editor for Media, Cultural and Communication Studies
[email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Science Fiction & Fantasy
LITERARY CRITICISM / Comics & Graphic Novels
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies