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11th International Digital Storytelling Conference

11th International Digital Storytelling Conference

University of Maryland, Baltimore County | Montgomery College | Smithsonian Institution | StoryCenter

Accepting Proposals for In-Person and Virtual Presentations

The call for participation submission deadline for all proposal formats is January 15, 2023. Notice of acceptance is February 17, 2023.

Radical Listening/Storywork for a Just Future
The 11th International Digital Storytelling Conference
Storywork for a Just Future

The conference will host events (both in person and online) in its structure for inclusion of diverse perspectives and voices.

This upcoming conference continues a mission initiated in 2021 to amplify diverse perspectives and voices under the umbrella theme of Story Work for a Just Future. In 2023, and in response to what we have learned from the pandemic, we are invested in learning how Story Work can help us and our communities in Radical Listening: Story Work for a Just Future.

The 11th International Digital Storytelling committee members are particularly interested in proposals with a focus on how our Story Work could help us and our communities… 
To frame your ideas you could also consider these and other possibilities as lenses through which to look at context, content, purpose or practice:

  • Radical listening for amplifying voices
  • Cultivating hopes and healing for a just future
  • Story luminaries: Shining light on cultures, voices, and practices
  • Equity and access
  • Urgent story work in urgent times
  • Building and cultivating communities
  • Histories and cultures in storytelling 
  • Research on DS as research methodology; DS  for assessment; DS pedagogy

This conference will have three days of in-person sessions on June 20-22 and a final day on Friday, June 23rd that is fully virtual. All virtual presentations will happen on Friday, June 23rd. All conference contributors are invited to share their work in the following formats: 15 minute academic paper, 7 minute Pecha Kucha, 90 minute workshop, 45 minute panel, and other proposed formats to be reviewed and accepted. *Pecha Kucha presenters will be asked to attend a 1hr workshop ahead of the conference to learn about the format.

Call for Participation


Four Day Overview

Save the Dates: June 20, 21, 22 and 23, 2023

In 2023, the 11th International Digital Storytelling Conference will be held in the Washington, D.C. region of the United States. Local hosts include the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC); Montgomery College (MC); Smithsonian Institution (SI); and StoryCenter (virtual only).  The four day-long conference features four uniquely different experiences. Every day is special; you won’t want to miss a moment! 

Tuesday, June 20th at UMBC/Baltimore 
Day one opens on the University of Maryland, Baltimore County's campus with a morning keynote and conference sessions followed by an afternoon in Baltimore City with site visits, storytelling tours, and community project exploration.

Wednesday, June 21st at Montgomery College
Day two at Montgomery College honors the traditional conference framework, providing opportunities for participants to present their scholarship and storywork, enjoy local story art, and reflect on the day’s learning.

Thursday, June 22 at Smithsonian Institution Sites/DC 
Day three will be in Washington, D.C., and offers special gallery tours and workshops within several of the Smithsonian Institution’s spectacular museums.

Friday, June 23rd, hosted by StoryCenter (Virtual Only)
Day four, our finale, will be hosted by StoryCenter on zoom as an online conference in the same format as days one and two, a mix of research papers, panels, pecha kucha, and workshops in 1 hour 15 minute sessions.

university of maryland, baltimore county campus

Buses will pick up conference attendees at the conference hotel and shuttle them to the UMBC campus just outside of Baltimore. The day will start with a convening keynote, a panel of community-based leaders who use storytelling in social change settings. From there, attendees will have the opportunity to choose to go on one of two site visits or to stay on the UMBC campus for a series of conference sessions. The two bus tours will set off into Baltimore to see first-hand the storytelling projects referenced in the morning keynote, to participate in a neighborhood tour, and to experience the magic of Charm City! The day will end with a gallery reception at UMBC celebrating the life and music of Olla Belle Reed. Buses will start departing UMBC at 5:30 to return to the conference hotel. 

Montgomery College cultural arts center

The second day of conference proceedings is hosted by Montgomery College and will honor the traditional framework of an academic conference, inviting presenters to share their projects, papers, and inspirations.  Montgomery College is a community college with a large, diverse population serving Montgomery County, Maryland, situated on the border with Washington, D.C.  The day's events will take place on Montgomery College's Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus, utilizing the beautiful Cultural Arts Center. 

This special day will celebrate and amplify the voices and initiatives of an active international digital storytelling community of practice, beginning with a keynote address, expanding into diverse presentation spaces, breaking for lunch and conversation, and closing with a gathering as we make meaning from the day's presentations and take in local art.  Tuesday's events will likely include a theater space for submitted digital stories to be played on a loop, quiet spaces for reflection between presentations, a gallery walk-through, and story-driven entertainment.  Learn more about MC and check out our digital storytelling community of practice.

smithsonian buildings lining the national mall

On our third day together, we'll explore the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum, education and research complex, which includes twenty-one museums and study centers and the National Zoo.  The Institution was founded in 1846 with funds from the Englishman James Smithson (1765-1829), a chemist and mineralogist who left his estate to establish in the United States an institution dedicated to "the increase and diffusion of knowledge."  Today the Institution is committed to telling a full and inclusive history of America, and to catalyzing important conversations on issues affecting our nation and the world. Conference participants will be able to sign up for special gallery tours at several museums on or near the National Mall, including the National Portrait Gallery, the new National Museum of the American Latino, and more still to be planned to learn how the Smithsonian uses stories to increase and diffuse knowledge, amplify voices, and build community.

A laptop on a desk

Day four, our finale, will be hosted by StoryCenter on zoom as an online conference in the same format as days one and two, a mix of research papers, panels, pecha kucha, and workshops in 1 hour 15 minute sessions.

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Your Hosts

University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
Montgomery College
Smithsonian Institution
Conference Committee Members

Lyndsey Bakewell (DeMontfort University, UK)
Jennifer Baugh (Montgomery College, US) 
Jessica Berman (UMBC, US)
Bev Bickel (UMBC, US)
Matthew Decker (Montgomery College, US)
Patrick Desloge (Hong Kong University)
Lindsay DiCuirci (UMBC, US)
Sara Bachman Ducey (Montgomery College, US)
Mark Dunford (University of Westminster/DigiTales, UK)
Daniela Gachago (Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa) 
Jamie Gillan (Montgomery College, US) 
Pip Hardy (Patient Voices, UK) 
Brooke Hessler (StoryCenter, US) 
Courtney Hobson (UMBC, US)
Grete Jamissen (OsloMet, Norway)
Tricia Jenkins (DigiTales, UK) 
Sarah Jewett (UMBC, US)
Charlotte Keniston (UMBC, US)
Joe Lambert (StoryCenter, US) 
Antonia Liguori (Loughborough University, UK)
Michalis Meimaris (University of Athens, Greece)
Daniel Onyango (HopeRaisers, Kenya)
Ngozi Oparah (Loughborough University, UK / StoryCenter, US)
Philippa Rappoport (Smithsonian Office of Educational Technology, US)
Bill Shewbridge (UMBC, US)
Burcu Simsek (Hacettepe University, Turkey)
Tony Sumner (Patient Voices, UK)
Pam Sykes (University of the Western Cape, South Africa)
Chris Thomson (Jisc, UK) 
Mike Wilson (Loughborough University, UK)