Reader Worlds: Constructing Context for Historical Readers of Pulp Fiction with Google Earth


  • Marion Gruner



In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, reading as a cultural practice was deeply woven into daily life and informed critical aspects of society. However, scholars often lament the lack of evidence available to reconstruct historical audiences of popular culture, and thus to understand how these texts shaped readers, and ultimately, the broader ideologies of the time. Reader Worlds is a research-creation project which examines how locative media can fill this gap. Converging the embodied storytelling capacities of locative media and the evocative letters published in the reader departments of the pulp Western Story Magazine during the 1920s, this paper and its corresponding virtual tour explore how immersive technologies offer layered meaning to the narratives of historical readers.

Author Biography

Marion Gruner

Marion Gruner is a multimedia producer who has specialized in documentary storytelling for over twenty-five years.​ She has written, produced, or directed dozens of projects for several Canadian and international broadcasters, including the award-winning BBC/CBC co-production, Clydesdale: Saving the Greatest Horse. She is currently focused on podcasts, producing shows like the Webby-honoured series Crafted. Marion also creates and consults for communities, institutions and arts organizations helping them tell their important stories in a variety of formats. She has an MA in Experimental Digital Media from the University of Waterloo where she studied at the Critical Media Lab, focusing on locative media, audience studies and digital storytelling.




How to Cite

Gruner, M. (2023). Reader Worlds: Constructing Context for Historical Readers of Pulp Fiction with Google Earth. Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies, 14(2), 207–231.