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Affiliated with the University of California's systemwide
Humanities Research Institute
The MacArthur Foundation
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins May 24, 2017 Science Fiction and the Civic Imagination: Whose Future Does Science Fiction Foretell (Part 3) By Samantha Close: So, thank you all so much for coming. This is really interesting. So, we’ve talked a lot about what we may call it primary texts and primary authors and originators. But one of the things that’s always interested me a lot about the science fiction and fantasy genres is the fandoms and the way that readers become writers and start to interact.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins May 22, 2017 Science Fiction and the Civic Imagination: Whose Future Does Science Fiction Foretell? (Part 2) By Tok: You talked about your own particular areas of expertise. But what — you know, having heard all these speakers, how do you think that your own projects sort of intersect with each other? How do they speak to each other’s projects? Nalo: Well, as writers we talk to each other a lot, particularly people who are writers of color or women writers, we see the commonalities in what we’re trying to write about.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins May 19, 2017 Science Fiction and the Civic Imagination: Whose Future Does Science Fiction Foretell? (Part One) By Earlier this year, the Civic Imagination Project hosted a forum focused on diversity, science fiction, and the civic imagination. Here’s how we framed the event: Science fiction has long provided resources — compelling narratives, rich metaphors — through which we might explore alternative possible directions for technological and social change, especially at a time when profound and prolonged periods of change disrupt established ways of thinking.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins May 17, 2017 Exercising the Imagination Muscle: Notes from the Imagine 2040 Symposium on April 7, 2017 By I wanted to share this report on some of the work being organized by my research team at USC. Our work on the Civic Imagination Project has been funded by the MacArthur Foundation. This research grows out of our last book, By Any Media Necessary: The New Youth Activism, which was published by New York University Press. We are hard at work on a new book which will expand our understanding of the concept of “the civic imagination” and the events described here are, among other things, part of the process of ideation around this research.
The videos are now available for our May 5 conference at UCLA. 9:00-9:15 a.m. – The Work of Art in the Age of Algorithmic Culture. Welcome by Transforming Hollywood by co-directors Denise Mann (UCLA) and Henry Jenkins (USC). 9:15-10:20 a.m. – Keynote Presentation,” by Ted Striphas, “Algorithmic Culture.” 10:30-12:00 p.m. – Panel One: Playing with Snackable Content […]
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins May 12, 2017 All About Seriality: An Interview with Frank Kelleter (Part Four) By HJ: Can the immense amount of backstory produced by serial texts become a drag on the future development of the story? Are audiences less likely to jump onto a story when they feel like they need to do a lot of homework to get up to speed? FK: I think aligning audience desires with backstory management is always a balancing act. More than that, it’s a balancing act that continually has to readjust itself to a current state of technological capabilities and role differentiations (i.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins May 10, 2017 All About Seriality: An Interview with Frank Kelleter (Part Three) By HJ: From an audience point of view, the greatest enthusiasm for serial texts seems to come mid-stream when there are many different directions for interpretations and speculation. Why have so many serial texts had difficulty sticking the ending? FK: As with all living things, the end is a sad affair, at best a moment of relief, but hardly ever an occasion for joy and celebration. I’m exaggerating, of course, but only slightly.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins May 8, 2017 All About Seriality: An Interview with Frank Kelleter (Part Two) By HJ: A key claim here is that seriality in its modern sense emerges from 19th-century print culture. Explain. Doesn’t Homer produce works that can be understood in terms of their seriality? FK: Stories told in installments are probably as old as human culture. So, yes, manifold structures of repetition and variation can be identified in Homer, in medieval story cycles, in picaresque and chivalric novels, and so on.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins May 5, 2017 All About Seriality: An Interview with Frank Kelleter (Part One) By In the summer of 2012, I paid a visit to my friend Jason Mittel who was spending his sabbatical year in residence at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, where he joined a group of researchers working on historical and contemporary forms of serial entertainment, headed by Frank Kelleter. While I was there, we discussed an advanced copy of the chapter on media engagement for my then forthcoming book Spreadable Media and I did a public lecture sharing early ideas about Comics and Stuff, which I hope to finish up the summer.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins May 3, 2017 What Ever Happened to the Promise of Participatory Television?: An Interview with Adam Fish (Part Three) By While your book relies heavily on interviews with more than 80 people — men and women — involved in the television industry, you also rely on participant-observation — your own experiences as a contributor to Current and Free Speech Television. What can you share of your experiences there and how did they contribute to your analysis of these forms of civic media? Why did Current, for example, fail to achieve its goals of democratizing television news? Between 2006 and 2009, I worked as a freelance documentary video producer for Current where I made 15 short videos on issues such as Iraqi refugees, divided cities like East Jerusalem, and religious contestation in India for UK, US, Irish, Italian cable and satellite television.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins May 1, 2017 What Ever Happened to the Promise of Participatory Television?: An Interview with Adam Fish (Part Two) By What might those of us who care about today’s struggles over participatory culture in the digital realm learn at looking at some of the earlier moments where some degree of grassroots media power seemed to be promised around broadcast and local access cable television? When a new technology emerges, strike early, learn how to use the technology quickly, and also develop an understanding of the policy as well.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins April 27, 2017 What Ever Happened to the Promise of Participatory Television?: An Interview with Adam Fish (Part One) By Adam Fish certainly knows how to get people’s attention. While still a PhD student at UCLA, he fired a shot off my bow — a challenging blog post critiquing my discussion of critical utopianism and critical pessimism in the concluding chapter of Convergence Culture. It certainly got my attention — he was fearless, a bit merciless, but for the most part, right in his critiques, and I found myself responding through the blog in ways that forced me to rethink my own positions.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins April 25, 2017 Framing Dreams and the Technological Uncanny (Part Two) By This is the second part of an essay written by Mina Kaneko for my PhD seminar on Medium Specificity. Satoshi Kon’s Paprika Still from Paprika, by Satoshi Kon. Satoshi Kon’s 2006 anime Paprika takes a different approach to media and technology, primarily in that dreams are the subjects to be mediated, and notions of the “frame” or “virtual window” are used as tropes within the narrative.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins April 20, 2017 Framing Dreams and the Technological Uncanny (Part One) By This is the third in a series of posts showcasing outstanding work of students who participated in my PhD seminar in the fall focused on theories and histories of the debates around medium specificity. Mina Kaneko is a PhD candidate in Comparative Media and Culture (in the Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture program) at USC. She works on contemporary Japanese and Anglophone comics, literature, and cinema.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins April 18, 2017 Westworld Compressed: Rose is a Rose is a Rose is a Rose… By Today, I present a second project representing the work of the spectacular students in the USC Media Arts and Practices Program. In this case, Noa P. Kaplan applied her media manipulation skills to do an imaginative critique/remix/compression of Westworld, last fall’s cult media phenomenon. Think of this as a contribution to the growing movement within media studies to produce video essays.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins April 14, 2017 Downtown Browns: Interactive Web Series, Intersectionality and Intimacy By Over the next few weeks, I am going to share several projects produced recently by my amazing USC students! Today, I am showcasing the work of Emilia Yang, who is a PhD candidate in the Media Arts = + Practice program in the USC Cinema School. Students in this program have to demonstrate cutting edge skills as media producers but also the capacity to think and write theoretically.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins April 13, 2017 Whose Global Village?: An Interview with Ramesh Srinivasan (Part Two) By You return to some core concepts, such as appropriation and participation, which have been foundational to contemporary cultural studies work on new media communities and practices, but which get redefined and reimagined through your collaborations with more diverse communities. Can you say something of what you see as the limits of western conceptions of these concepts? How did you modify your understandings of these processes as a result of your engagements with people in the Middle East, in India, or in Native American communities in the American west? Work on appropriation, subversion, and participation is very important in media and cultural studies and certainly relevant to the many stories I share within the book from across the world.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins April 10, 2017 Whose Global Village?: An Interview with Ramesh Srinivasan (Part One) By Whose Global Village?: Rethinking How Technology Shapes Our World, an important new book, raises fundamental questions about the ethics and politics of digital design and implementation. Its author, Ramesh Srinivasan, brings more than 15 years of experience in developing collaborative media design project with indigenous peoples of the American Southwest, Latin America, the Middle East, India and Eurasia, among other locations.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins April 7, 2017 Reflections on My Involvement with Game Studies By I am reaching a point in my career when people seem to want to start giving me some life time achievement awards. My usual response is to put on my best Monty Python impersonation and proclaim, “not dead yet.” But, where game studies is concerned, I have started to accept the premise that, at least for now, I’ve made the contributions to this field that I am going to make and that the legacy of what we accomplished in the early days of this field is worth preserving.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins April 5, 2017 Remediating Comics for Cinema: An Interview with Drew Morton (Part Four) By You quote a critic of Zack Snyder’s work who suggests, “he cared more about the appeasement of fanboys” than about narrative coherence. To what degree is stylistic remediation in comic book films a form of fan service? To what degree is it shaped by the stereotypes nonfans have of what a comic book looks like and how it tells stories? I think it’s both a manifestation of fan service and filmmaker interest in comic art and/or rethinking film language.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins April 3, 2017 Remediating Comics for Cinema: An Interview with Drew Morton (Part Three) By You use Bolter and Grusin’s concept of remediation but have less to say about their distinction between immediacy and hypermediacy, terms they use to describe both the rhetorical choices and spectator response of different media practices. Might this terms be useful to describe what happens when fans and for that matter, nonfans encounter one of these texts which have become highly stylized as they seek to remediate their sources in comics? That’s a great question and something I wish I had thought more about when I was writing the book.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins March 31, 2017 Remediating Comics for Cinema: An Interview with Drew Morton (Part Two) By As I read through your various examples across the book, it is clear that the concept of making a film look like a comic book means something different to different filmmakers, as comic-bookness gets conveyed through a range of different aspects of cinematic style. No one seems to try to capture every aspects of comics — hard to know what that would even look like — so what factors shape the choices of techniques to be foregrounded in any given adaptation? That’s a great question and one that I could easily answer it by going the other way.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins March 29, 2017 Remediating Comics for Cinema: An Interview with Drew Morton (Part One) By Shortly after I arrived in Los Angeles, I was asked to serve on her dissertation committee at UCLA for promising graduate student named Drew Morton. Morton was putting together a committee that included that only myself but also Janet Bergstrom, John Caldwell and Denise Mann. This committee tells you something about this range of methodologies and perspectives Morton was trying to bridge through his work.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins March 27, 2017 Announcing Transforming Hollywood 8: “The Work of Art in the Age of Algorithmic Culture,” UCLA May 5, 2017. By The following is a hold the date announcement for the next Transforming Hollywood conference. Some speakers are still being confirmed as we post this. I will add their details as they get resolved. Transforming Hollywood 8: “The Work of Art in the Age of Algorithmic Culture,” UCLA May 5, 2017. Co-directors, Denise Mann, UCLA and Henry Jenkins, USC Overview: Transforming Hollywood 8: “The Work of Art in the Age of Algorithmic Culture,” reframes Walter Benjamin’s oft-quoted essay about technology’s double-edged sword: mechanical reproduction fundamentally alters the original artwork’s unique auratic properties but makes it accessible to the masses.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins March 22, 2017 How Did We Get So Many Great Television Shows?: An Interview with UCLA’s Neil Landau (Part Three) By You and your interview subjects have a lot to say about genre across the book. Is genre still important as a means of marketing specific programs and targeting specific audiences? Are new genre categories emerging in this era of experimentation and differentiation? What genres do you see as most characteristic of the current television environment? Marketing executives like to classify and categorize shows in order to package and sell them.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins March 21, 2017 How Did We Get So Many Great Television Shows?: An Interview with UCLA’s Neil Landau (Part Two) By Your opening section pays attention to Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Crackle, and others who have produced television style content for the web. In what ways have these networks become game-changers in terms of what we think television is? In what ways are broadcast and cable networks responding to the alternative models they represent? Serialized content used to scare the broadcast networks because if you missed an episode or two, they were afraid you’d never come back.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins March 16, 2017 How did We Get So Many Great Television Shows?: An Interview with UCLA’s Neil Landau (Part One) By When was the last time anyone you know spoke of television as “a vast wasteland”? Certainly, television today is as vast as ever was, actually probably 100 times more so, but there more outstanding television series available to us each week can we possibly could watch. Some are describing the current moment is the era of peak television or the age of too much great TV.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins March 13, 2017 A Few of My Favorite Podcasts (Part Six): Everyday Wonders By Everyday Wonders I decided to call this installment Everyday Wonders because each of the podcasts I’m discussing here take as their core subject matter the practices of everyday life. They managed to turn subject matter that we take for granted into stories that are fascinating and engaging. In part this has to do with the skills of their hosts as storytellers and investigators. These podcasts also popularize some of the core insights of cultural studies: the culture is ordinary, that humans do not involve themselves in activities that are meaningless, and that looking beneath the surface of everyday life may help us to understand hidden assumptions and values that shape who we are and how we see the world.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins March 10, 2017 A Few of My Favorite Podcasts (Part Five): Minority Reports By My interest in the opening of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture also led me to the podcast. Each week Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham, both African-American, offer their perspectives on current events and especially popular culture. The contents might range from an in-depth interview with RuPaul to a frank discussion of our culture’s ongoing obsession with the black penis.
— The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins March 8, 2017 A Few of My Favorite Podcasts (Part Four): American Voices By In the wake of last year’s divisive election, there’s never been such an urgent need for Americans to be listening to each other. America is in the midst of a dynamic and dramatic demographic shift which is been building over the last several decades and extends into the horizon. America is becoming a more diverse nation, one which will be minority – majority in a few more years. Some segments of the population have embraced these changes but others have been left out of this conversation, are less certain what the future holds for them, and were encouraged by this election cycle to react with fear and uncertainty.