Speaker: Henry Jenkins on “Popular Culture as Politics, Politics as Popular Culture”

The Game Lab is proud to co-host Dr. Henry Jenkins, a pioneer in civic media, fan studies, and media literacy.

Monday, November 19 at 6:30 p.m., American University
Program will be followed by a cookie and coffee reception

Program Description
A Reality Television Star and former professional wrestling personality is in the White House, while protestors outside are using imagery drawn from Handmaid’s Tale, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and Star Wars to express their concerns. How can we make sense of the blurring between popular culture and politics which characterizes our current moment? The talk explores the concept of the civic imagination, suggesting ways that young activists in particular are turning their attention to the alternative worlds offered by fantasy and speculative fiction to construct alternatives to their frustration with current reality. Can we change the world without imagining what a better world looks like?

About Dr. Henry Jenkins
Henry Jenkins is the Provost Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts and Education at the University of Southern California. He arrived at USC in Fall 2009 after spending more than a decade as the Director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program and the Peter de Florez Professor of Humanities. He is the author and/or editor of seventeen books on various aspects of media and popular culture, including Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture, Hop on Pop: The Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture, From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, Spreadable Media: Creating Meaning and Value in a Networked Culture, and By Any Media Necessary: The New Youth Activism. He is currently editing a handbook on the civic imagination and writing a book on “comics and stuff”. He has written for Technology Review, Computer Games, Salon, and The Huffington Post.

This program is co-presented by the National Telemedia Council, Center for Media and Social Impact (CMSI), AU Game Lab, and the School of Communication at American University.