Public history and transmedia storytelling for conflicting narratives

Nicole Basaraba, Thomas Cauvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


Histories of events can be told from multiple perspectives, and there is rarely just one linear narrative or a single interpretation of the past. This paper takes an interdisciplinary approach to explain how the concept of shared authority in public history can be applied to transmedia storytelling, in the context of media studies, to address conflicting narratives on historical events. Transmedia narratives allow for more opportunities to target different audiences and offer alternatives, and perhaps conflicting interpretations, to official mainstream interpretations of historical events. This is achieved through three primary methods of public participation in the development of conflicting narratives which can be presented through a variety of different media. The theoretical challenges in sharing authority of transmedia narrative creation with different publics ranges from strong to little control (i.e. radical trust). Thus, we discuss a series of methodologies that can be strategically used in future research projects that wish to share authority with different publics in the development of historical transmedia narratives with conflicting interpretations. This approach can be particularly relevant in contexts of segregation, discrimination, identity, political changes or cultural wars.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-247
Number of pages29
JournalRethinking History
Issue number2
Early online date9 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.


  • Shared authority
  • transmedia storytelling
  • public history
  • digital media
  • co-authoring
  • conflicting narratives


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