The Oxford Techno-Creativity Research Network (OxTRN) is an interdisciplinary research cluster focusing on the interface between storytelling and technology. At least from the beginnings of the written transmission of tales, technology has been an integral part of the production and reception of story. OxTRN facilitates multidisciplinary research into this historically and culturally vital aspect of the human-technology interface and is establishing an annual conference on storytelling and technology to be held at the University of Oxford.

Principal investigators associated with OxTRN include:

  • Professor Diane Purkiss of the Oxford English Faculty, who has done groundbreaking research on the cognitive and social dimensions of writer’s block and is a novelist and teacher of writing;

Our postgraduate researchers are:

  • Alexander Aston, a doctoral candidate in archaeology at the University of Oxford. He has prior degrees in philosophy and history, and his research interests lie broadly in cognitive archaeology, environmental history, anarchist social theory, philosophy of mind and material culture.
  • Karenleigh A. Overmann, a Clarendon scholar and doctoral candidate in archaeology at the University of Oxford. She has an MA in psychology and a BA in English, anthropology, and philosophy from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Her current research focuses on numeracy and literacy as phenomena emerging from material engagement.
  • Camille Ralphs is a graduate student at Keble College, Oxford, reading for an MSt in Creative Writing. Her research interests include post-internet and digital poetry, ergodic literature, and the development and future of spelling in English. She holds previous degrees in Theology and English Literature from the Universities of Cambridge and Lancaster. Her first published collection of poems, Malkin, has recently been shortlisted for the Saboteur Award for Best Poetry Pamphlet.

Co-founder of OxTRN (pronounced ‘ox-turn’, reflective of the network’s commitment to new directions and pathways) is writer and DPhil candidate William Badger, currently a Clarendon Scholar and Browning Senior Scholar in English at Pembroke College.


Kij Johnson announced as a plenary speaker at OxTRN’s 2016 Storytelling and Technology Conference


We are delighted to announce that Kij Johnson will be a plenary speaker at the 2016 Storytelling and Technology Conference (dates TBC). We look forward to welcoming her back to Oxford. She was last here in 2013 to deliver the inaugural Tolkien Lecture on Fantasy Literature at Pembroke College.

Kij focuses on writing experimental and speculative fiction. She is a three-time winner of the Nebula Award, and has won the Hugo, World Fantasy, Theodore Sturgeon, and Crawford Awards for her speculative fiction. Her short-story collection, At the Mouth of the River of Bees, was published by Small Beer Press in 2012, who will be publishing her next novel, The River Bank, in late 2016. She also has two novels, The Fox Woman, and Fudoki, published by Tor Books. Prior to her academic career as Assistant Professor of Fiction at Kanas University, she worked in New York publishing, comic books, role-playing and trading-card games, and in tech firms.

Find out more about Kij on her website.