Amber Gilmer

Date of Graduation

Fall 2013


Master of Arts in Writing



Committee Chair

Margaret Weaver


remembering, forgetting, digital, rhizomatic, history, narrative, orality

Subject Categories

Creative Writing


This thesis explores ways in which people communicate stories, histories, and memories or, rather, the structure of the narrative. This exploration occurs in order to assert that members of the digital age are damaging the necessary ability to forget in the wake of increased digital archiving of information. The structure of traditional narratives has evolved through times of orality and literacy, but is now, in the digital era, collapsing. Deleuze and Guattari‘s discussion of the rhizome is a helpful tool in both understanding these changes in narrative structure and also the role of the World Wide Web in the collapse of the narrative. Stories are examined as tools that can be used and abused through the lens of Nietzsche‘s discussion of the uses and abuses of history. The science of remembering and forgetting shows that humans are designed to remember and forget. However, the evolution of the narrative and the increasing preservation of memories in the digital age is prohibiting the important function of forgetting. A better way to approach the art of forgetting is through using Stuart Selber‘s functional, critical, and rhetorical literacies in order to equip members of the digital age with the ability to make informed decisions and take effective action regarding the consumption of stories.


© Amber Gilmer

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