Seminar Talk 2013-05-29

By Any Media Necessary: Politics and Participation in the Transmedia Generation

Henry Jenkins
Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Art, and Education

University of Southern California

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They have been called the Digital Generation,, even Digital Natives, but perhaps it would be more accurate to call them the transmedia generation. Young people around the world are thinking, learning, creating, and mobilizing politically in different ways as a consequence of their greater control over the means of cultural production and circulation than previous generations. Drawing on research conducted by the Media, Activism, and Participatory Politics research team at the USC Annenberg School, Jenkins will cite examples of innovative forms of networked politics that tap the affordances of new media platforms and participatory culture practices to recruit and mobilize American youth towards social change. Specifically, he will cite examples from the Occupy Movement, the DREAMers, Invissible Children’s Kony 2012, various forms of fan-based activism, and other case studies from his team’s research that may help us better understand the ways that acts of remixing and grassroots circulation are enabling alternative ideological perspectives to reach and engage a wider public than would have been imaginable in an era dominated by broadcast media. Ultimately, this talk will seek to explain what I mean by “participatory culture” and explore what challenges we face in trying to more fully realize this ideal.

Henry Jenkins is the Provost’s Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Art, and Education at the University of Southern California. He is the author or editor of fifteen books, including Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, and  most recently, Spreadable Media: Creating Meaning and Value in a Networked Culture (with Sam Ford and Joshua Green, NYU) and Reading in a Participatory Culture: Remixing Moby-Dick in the Literature Classroom (with Wyn Kelley, Katie Clinton, Jenna McWilliams, Ricardo Pitts-Wiley and Erin Reilly, Teacher’s College Press). He blogs regularly at