Reincarnations of transmedia. Interrelated objects of contemporary Transmedia Storytelling and the medieval Catholic Church: A media-archaeological approach
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This thesis comprises an exploratory study with a media-archaeological approach examining the shared properties of contemporary phenomenon transmedia storytelling and the medieval Catholic Church. The constructed opposition between storytelling in the Catholic Church and contemporary transmedia storytelling provides new insight into the historical and recent practices of transmedia storytelling. Using the medieval Catholic Church as a framework for contemporary transmedia storytelling reveals structural resemblances between storytelling in the Middle Ages and storytelling in contemporary transmedia. These resemblances will be demonstrated in interrelated textual analyses divided in four categories. The first category examines the case of the (fictional) character, because characters are often central in a transmedia story (transmedia character). The second category provides insight into narratological concepts and franchising (transmedia narrative). The third looks at transmedia as a product and the economic logic of media companies and the Catholic Church expanding their ‘products’ (transmedia distribution), and the last one emphasizes the functional use of aesthetics (transmedia immersion). Through these four categories, this thesis will present an alternative interpretation of historical and recent media phenomena. Placing the Catholic Church and transmedia storytelling within a frame provides a better understanding of both phenomena. By suggesting the parallels, it is not implied that media-use in the medieval Catholic Church is identical to contemporary media culture; the categories of transmedia storytelling discussed in this thesis have affiliations with earlier movements, but have radically different means to similar ends.