Jenkins is the principal investigator for The Civic Imagination Project , funded by the MacArthur Foundation, to explore ways to inspire creative collaborations within communities as they work together to identify shared values and visions for the future. This project grew out of the Media, Activism, and Participatory Politics research group, also funded by MacArthur, which did case studies of innovative organizations that have been effective at getting young people involved in the political process. He also was the founder for the Convergence Culture Consortium , a faculty network which seeks to build bridges between academic researchers and the media industry in order to help inform the rethinking of consumer relations in an age of participatory culture. While at MIT, he was one of the principal investigators for The Education Arcade , a consortium of educators and business leaders working to promote the educational use of computer and video games. Jenkins also plays a significant role as a public advocate for fans, gamers and bloggers: testifying before the U. Jenkins has a B.
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Fields , and Eddie Cantor. It was also influenced by scholars of film aesthetics such as David Bordwell. Examples of video game topics he has written extensively about include the gendering of video game spaces and play experiences,  the effects of interactivity on learning and the development of educational video games this work led to the creation of the Microsoft Games-To-Teach initiative at MIT Comparative Media Studies in which in became the Education Arcade initiative, a collaboration with the University of Wisconsin.
He has been an advocate of a cultural studies approach to understanding media depictions of violence, arguing that "There is no such thing as media violence — at least not in the ways that we are used to talking about it — as something which can be easily identified, counted, and studied in the laboratory. Media violence is not something that exists outside of a specific cultural and social context.
Ideally, each medium makes its own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story. Building on his studies of media fans and participatory culture, Jenkins has emphasized that transmedia storytelling strategies are well-suited for harnessing the collective intelligence of media users. The principles of transmedia storytelling have also been applied to other areas, including transmedia education and transmedia branding, for instance through initiatives led by Jenkins at the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab.
This participatory engagement is seen as increasingly important given the enhanced interactive and networked communication capabilities of digital and internet technologies. Jenkins has highlighted the work of media scholar John Fiske as a major influence, particularly in this area of participatory culture. With relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement.
With some type of informal mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices 4. Where members believe that their contributions matter 5. Where members feel some degree of social connection with one another at the least they care what other people think about what they have created.
Not every member must contribute, but all must believe they are free to contribute when ready and that what they contribute will be appropriately valued. Expressions — producing new creative forms such as digital sampling, skinning and modding, fan videomaking, fan fiction writing, zines, mash-ups.
Collaborative Problem-solving — working together in teams, formal and informal, to complete tasks and develop new knowledge such as through Wikipedia, alternative reality gaming, spoiling. Circulations — Shaping the flow of media such as podcasting, blogging. This also shaped his interest and understanding of participatory culture. As Jenkins explained it: "The NML conceptual framework includes an understanding of challenges, new media literacies, and participatory forms. This framework guides thinking about how to provide adults and youth with the opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge, ethical framework, and self-confidence needed to be full participants in the cultural changes which are taking place in response to the influx of new media technologies, and to explore the transformations and possibilities afforded by these technologies to reshape education.
The new media literacies areas given particular definitions by this project as listed here include: appropriation education , collective intelligence, distributed cognition, judgment, negotiation, networking, performance, simulation, transmedia navigation, participation gap, the transparency problem, and the ethics problem.
Such agency is exercised by tapping into and combining numerous different media sources and channels, in both officially approved and unapproved ways; when fans or users work as communities to leverage their combined expertise, a collective intelligence process is generated.
As described in this book, convergence culture arises from digital era post- broadcast media landscape where audiences are fragmented by the proliferation of channels and platforms while media users are more empowered than ever before to participate and collaborate - across various channels and platforms - in content creation and dissemination through their access to online networks and digital interactivity.
To help apply the insights of the convergence culture paradigm to industry, he founded the Convergence Culture Consortium - later renamed the Futures of Entertainment Consortium - research initiative in  when he was director of Comparative Media Studies program at MIT.
Starting in , the Consortium launched the annual Futures of Entertainment conference at MIT for a combined academic and industry audience. The idea of spreadability also contrasts with the idea of "stickiness" in media strategy, which calls for aggregating and holding attention on particular websites or other media channels, Spreadability instead calls for media strategists to embrace how their audiences and users will actively disperse content, using formal and informal networks, not always approved.
They are: an excessive emphasis on the participatory potential of users; an under-appreciation of the inherently corporate logic of convergence; an insufficient consideration of the broader media landscape, with its corresponding power dynamics, in which the user engages with convergence; and an overly optimistic view of the democratic contribution of convergence.
Jenkins argues that convergence represents a fundamental change in the relationship between producers and consumers of media content. With the transition from supposedly passive to active consumers, the role and agency of consumers have been redefined, with a focus on their ability to engage with media content on their own terms.
He also argued that his critics confuse interactivity pre-programmed into the technology and participation emerging from social and cultural factors.
Jenkins also countered that there has been a significant level of acknowledging the broader context of offline power structures throughout his scholarship. In , Carpentier and Jenkins had an extended dialogue which clarified that their perspectives actually had much common ground, leading to their co-authoring of a journal article about the distinctions between participation and interaction, and how the two concepts are tied up with power.
I have also developed a deeper appreciation for all of the systemic and structural challenges we face in changing the way established institutions operate, all of the outmoded and entrenched thinking which make even the most reasonable reform of established practices difficult to achieve However Jenkins agreed too that his original conception of participatory culture could be overly optimistic about the possibilities of convergence.
Such pessimism, in this view, would repeat the determinist error of the overly optimistic account. As Jenkins wrote in his response: "Today, I am much more likely to speak about a push toward a more participatory culture, acknowledging how many people are still excluded from even the most minimal opportunities for participation within networked culture, and recognizing that new grassroots tactics are confronting a range of corporate strategies which seek to contain and commodify the popular desire for participation.
As a consequence, elites still exert a more powerful influence on political decision-making than grassroots networks, even if we are seeing new ways to assert alternative perspectives into the decision-making process.
What Made Pistachio Nuts? New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN Jenkins, Henry Studies in culture and communication. New York: Routledge. Jenkins, Henry ed.
Classical Hollywood Comedy. American Film Institute Film Readers. New York: Routledge, Chapman and Hall. Tulloch, John; Jenkins, Henry London: Routledge, Chapman and Hall.
Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture
Who the &% Is Henry Jenkins?