Three titles by Henry Jenkins

Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide
The Wow Climax: Tracing the Emotional Impact of Popular Culture
Fans, Bloggers and Gamers: Media Consumers in a Digital Age
by Henry Jenkins [NYU Press]

Three new books are set to further popularize the social-media insights of MIT professor Henry Jenkins. In the essays which constitute Convergence Culture and Fans, Bloggers and Gamers, Jenkins takes stock of the intersection of two simultaneous and seemingly contradictory trends: the increasing consolidation and centralization of the entertainment industry, and the social media explosion of individual consumer empowerment. In addition to the well-understood realm of “fan fiction,” Jenkins also notes more complex interactions in which fan networks become compelling expansions or alternatives to “original” works. Meanwhile, corporate media managers are playing catch-up in attempts to explore and exploit new multivalent relationships between creators and audiences. What does it all mean for our culture? Jenkins, obviously a pop culture fan as well as an observer and critic, has many thought-provoking insights. In a third new book, The Wow Climax, the prolific Jenkins appreciatively explores the emotional appeal of the spectacle (horrific, sex appeal, sentimental, etc.) in mass entertainment. -jl

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