Based in the English Department at the Rochester Institute of Technology, CES brings together experts in story creation, technical media practices, narrative studies, education, interactive media, game design and development, and story-based analytics.

We collaborate on research projects and new pedagogies to increase awareness of story - one of the primary ways we communicate, analyze, perform, build, and share knowledge.


CES is an interdisciplinary center working and playing with story-based creativity, research, and technical craft.


CES strives to explore and expand the interdisciplinary potential of storytelling as a primary way we communicate, share experiences, make connections, and build knowledge. Through research partnerships, story-driven pedagogies, workshop experiences, and collaborative projects, the center promotes work at the intersection of story and creative technological making that understands and engages its audience in transformative ways.

What is storycraft?

Storycraft is the practical application of unique combinations of story and technologies of making.

What is engaged storycraft?

Engaged storycraft is an open invitation to creators, researchers, professional communicators and educators, and story readers, performers, and players to:

  • Explore the potential of story as a mode of inquiry, expression, and performance
  • Develop creative, analytical, and technological skills for making stories
  • Exploit story to engage specific contexts and communities in new ways

Apply story practices to everyday environments and better understand their practical applications to a variety of professions and developing fields.



Join us for events, on campus, in Rochester, around the region, and abroad, as we make, analyze, showcase, and share emerging story practices and reconsider their impact and influence today.
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Propose a collaboration with the CES that will engage communities of readers and creators in a storytelling project; or that pursues an under investigated area of research or teaching.
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Storycraft Workshops

Storycraft Workshop

Take a Storycraft Workshop, developed and taught by RIT faculty and professional partners, that will provide customized opportunities for professionals, educators, and researchers to harness the power of story to improve communication, community- building, leadership, interpersonal success and collaboration within their own profession, teaching, or scientific communication. See our 'Workshop' page for recent and upcoming workshops and online registration information.
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Our Story


At a reading in spring 2016, Gail Hosking, Creative Writer and recently retired RIT English Instructor, recounted the impact of writing stories on her life. As with all powerful stories, Gail's hit a chord in her audience, prompting Dr. Sharon Morgan Beckford-Foster, Associate Professor and Chair of English, and Dr. James Winebrake, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts to begin discussing possibilities for a Storytelling Center at RIT.


The Storytelling Center Task Force began. English Department faculty - Cecilia Ovesdotter Alm, Trent Hergenrader, Amit Ray, Elena Rakhimova-Sommers, Laura Shackelford, and Sharon Beckford-Foster - were central to designing the center with its aim to catalyze RIT's interdisciplinary strengths in story and craft. Together, they developed a proposal that dean James Winebrake approved in April 2017.


The english department appointed associate professor Laura Shackelford as the first director of CES. Faculty from RIT's english deparment and faculty from programs across the university (communications, history, computational linguistics, museum studies, photography, photojournalism, interactive media and game design, film, animation, art history, liberal arts/National Technical Institute for the Deaf) formed a steering committee to oversee the new center's interdisciplinary activities. 

Gail Hosking standing on a bridge by a river     Graphic artwork of a paper tree coming out of an open book