1st Edition

Interactive Documentary
Theory and Debate

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after July 13, 2021
ISBN 9781138631472
July 13, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
192 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations

USD $44.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Tracing continuities in digital and documentary practices, this book is a study of interactive documentary from the perspective of documentary culture. Exploring the dizzy array of new documentary forms that have emerged in the past ten years, the book is grounded in the analysis of multiple, recent examples of digital documentary work, drawing out the key issues that the work raises.

These issues provide a starting point for theoretical reflection, with each chapter developing concepts and frameworks to facilitate thinking with and through interactive documentary. The book explores questions of polyvocality, participation and political voice, as well as the sociality and performativity of digital documentary practice. By thinking deeply and critically about interactive documentary practice, the book charts the many and various ways in which interactive documentaries claim the real – contingently, partially or, in some cases, collectively. Each chapter draws on a range of examples – from digital games to data visualisations, database documentaries to virtual reality – demonstrating how we might engage with these ‘unstable’ digital texts.

The book will be particularly valuable for students and researchers keen to make connections between documentary and digital media scholarship.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Interactive documentary: Theory and Debate

Chapter 1 Documentary Databases: On (not) telling stories in the possibility space

Chapter 2 Participatory intensities: Exploring interactive documentary practice

Chapter 3 Interactive documentary and the political: Civic cultures and convening publics

Chapter 4 Reality Effects: simulation as interactive documentary practice

Chapter 5 Stepping into the story for good: Virtual Reality (VR) and empathy in first-person media

Chapter 6 The petabyte (anti) sublime: Big Data, knowledge, and interactive documentary

Concluding thoughts: From mass extinction to renewal?

View More



Kate Nash is Associate Professor in the School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds. Her research explores the intersections of documentary practice and digital media culture. She has published widely in leading journals and is Co-Editor (with Craig Hight) of Studies in Documentary Film.