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Digital Histories

Written by Lacy Manship
November 08, 2011

In another meeting, this time F2F with my UNC Charlotte Writing Project friends, I think backwards in sticky notes to timeline my digital history. I try in these notes to show the stickiness of my history, the ways it is glued to dominant narratives, the “common stories… correspond[ing] to prevailing cultural representations” (Alexander, 2011, p. 609).

In those years Grandma’s house was a rainbow of green shag, red-rosed wallpaper, brown and mustard Frigidaire. In the red room I’m playing on the floor with Barbie dolls in a sea of burgundy and blood carpeting. A dark head tiptoes into the room, “I’m going to be hiding in the green room. You find me after the battle, okay?” That was my cousin, Little Dana, head wrapped up in army bandana and torso strapped over with new electronic shooting target and lazer guns. All the boy cousins got these for Christmas in 1986, while Lucy, Elizabeth and I played with the newest Barbie edition.

The shoot ’em up game, once created with pointed finger, cocked thumb, and pretend death throws, now is mediated by the tangible gun and red, blinking killshot sensor. The technology of Barbie, plastic breasts, no nipples, rock hard hips and the tiniest toes, pre-positioned for high heels was not new at all that Christmas. Lazer guns set and doll wrapped up pretty under the tree, neither really new, the blinking lights and plasticed woman, just different ways to embody a dominant narrative.

Image originally uploaded on 2011-11-06 13:31

Image originally uploaded on 2011-11-06 14:32
Alexander, K.P. (2011). Successes, victims, and prodigies: “Master” and “little” cultural narratives in the literacy narrative genre. College Composition and Communication, 62, 608 – 633.