Animated Life Writing


  • Brandon Petryna



This paper proposes that the medium of animation enriches the narrative portrayal of lived experiences. Despite the rise in popularity of animation as a tool for storytelling on digital video sharing platforms, as of yet, little scholarship explores the impacts of animation on life writing narratives. In an encounter with animation production, I develop an original example of these animated narratives which I term animated life writing. Through the approaches of critical making and research in practice, by which I have created an accompanying animated video, the benefits and drawbacks of animation are explored with a particular focus on embodiment in life writing and the liveliness that is generated by cartoons.

Author Biography

Brandon Petryna

Brandon Petryna completed his undergraduate studies in Rhetoric, Media, and Professional Communications with a specialization in Digital Arts. His interests in creative digital design and scholarly inquiry inspired his pursuit of a master’s in English at the University of Waterloo, which he completed in 2021. His exploration in the evolving fields of graphic narrative theory and digital storytelling continue and inspire innovative works in his current position as a communications professional in the Tech Industry.


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How to Cite

Petryna, B. (2023). Animated Life Writing. Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies, 14(2), 233–259.