Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Media Studies


Dr. Carole Farber

Second Advisor

Prof. Daniela Sneppova


Current discourse regarding literacy is fraught with tensions between classes, conventions and forms. Popular, net generation culture has challenged “traditional” views of literacy fixated on authorial control, audience passivity and written words. Instead, net geners consider literacy “multimodal” or culturally situated, collaborative and formless, encompassing countless modes from books to music compositions, films and videogames. Through semi-structured interviews with creative practitioners and semiotic analysis of diegetic/extra-diegetic materials, this thesis explores how the producers of three contemporary or “net generation” adaptations of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet—Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, Daniel Fischlin’s ,Speare: The Literacy Arcade Game and Sonia Leong’s Manga Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet—use production elements and practices to negotiate traditional and multimodal framings of literacy. The aforementioned case studies demonstrate literacy’s instability as a field of discourse where relations between producers, consumers, markets, institutions and modalities both inspire and limit creative projects.



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