Dr Debbie Maxwell

Department of Theatre, Film, TV and Interactive Media
University of York

Debbie's background spans computing, HCI and Design with an MEng in Computer Systems Engineering from UMIST, Manchester, an MSc in Animation & Visualisation from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD), University of Dundee, and a PhD in Design and Computing from DJCAD, University of Dundee, UK (“Traditional Storytelling in a Digital Society: the transformative power of storytelling across media”).

Her research focuses on the roles of active storytelling and engagement in digital contexts. She is interested in the ways that people interact with and reshape technology through stories, as both method and artefacts, and across media. She explores this in a number of ways, including:

  • the use of storytelling as an active process to foster empathy in and across communities of interest and practice
  • the roles of stories in encoding knowledge (tacit and articulated) through oral and digital forms
  • developing methods of documenting and capturing imagined futures through participatory story generation

Debbie uses an interdisciplinary approach drawing on a range of fields including Human Computer Interaction (HCI), ethnography, interaction design, social anthropology, and service design. Her research always involves working with communities using participatory methods. Currently she is exploring the potential of stories as value propositions, conceptualising stories as currency, where she hopes to examine their shifting value across media and contexts, for example from traditional oral folklore to digital retellings and distributed data flows.