Henry Jenkins @ Stanford

Henry Jenkins will give a lecture on Tuesday, February 21, 2006, 4:00 p.m. at the Levinthal Hall, Stanford Humanities Center. Henry Jenkins is the Director of the Comparative Media Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Welcome to convergence culture, where old and new media collide, where consumers and producers both become participants, and where the rules of branding are up for grabs. Drawing on ideas from his forthcoming book, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, Prof. Henry Jenkins, Director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program, explains what happens to branding in an age when every idea, image, story, and relationship flows across every available media channel and when consumers have the power to archive, annotate, appropriate, and recirculate media content at will. The age of convergence culture is also an era of mixed signals: everyone involved recognizes that consumers will now be active participants but no one can agree on the terms of their participation. In this talk, Jenkins describes some of the first experiments in harnessing consumer participation to enhance the value of brands and entertainment properties as well as discusses some of the untapped potential of entertainment companies renegotiating their contracts with consumers.

Henry Jenkins is one of the most productive and influential film and media scholars in the world. His books and articles have been major contributions to existing fields of inquiry such as film history (What Made Pistachio Nuts?: Early Sound Comedy and the Vaudeville Aesthetic; Classical Hollywood Comedy), Political Communications (Democracy and New Media) and Children's Studies (The Children's Culture Reader); his works have helped to establish new fields such as media ethnography (Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture; Science Fiction Audiences: Dr. Who, Star Trek and their Followers), and game studies (From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games). His current book project, Convergence Culture: Where New and Old Media Intersect, examines contemporary trends in the entertainment industry, online culture, and audience participation. He is the principle investigator for the Education Arcade, a MIT-University of Wisconsin-Madison collaboration to explore the pedagogical use of computer and video games. He is the co-editor of the Media in Transition series at the MIT Press. He writes monthly columns on media and technology for Technology Review Online and Computer Games Magazine. He has testified about youth and violence before the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, about media literacy before the Federal Communications Commission, and about copyright before the Governor's Board of the World Economic Forum (thank you, Doug!).