A conversation with Henry Jenkins
by Doron Galili
Henry Jenkins’s book Convergence Culture was written prior to the emergence of today’s popular video streaming services – before the iPhone, and while Facebook was still available only to users in select universities. But a decade and a half later the topics it discusses are all the more pressing. The book’s argument about popular culture as a privileged site for the public’s encounter with new cultural and political formations has become a vital point of reference in scholarship about fandom, grassroots activism, and studies of educational enterprises; of the entertainment industry’s business strategies, and of intermedial and intertextual analysis of media works. At the same time, critical responses from scholars working in areas such as gender and cultural diversity in online activity or the political economy of new media institutions gave rise to vigorous debates, which to this day continue to inform new studies about contemporary media culture.
In the conversation that follows, Jenkins, the Provost Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts and Education at the University of Southern California, discusses the origins of Convergence Culture, its reception, and the afterlives of the arguments put forth. This conversation was initially conducted with Doron Galili for an inclusion in the recent Hebrew translation of Convergence Culture (Am Oved press, 2020). It is presented here in an extended and updated version, which addresses the initial effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on media practices and Jenkins’s most recent work on comic books. Held shortly before the recent US presidential elections, the conversation also considers the changing uses of social media and debates about popular culture in the campaigns of 2016 and the election of Donald Trump (who figures in Convergence Culture in the capacity of a reality television host). In light of the 2020 elections, such questions about civic engagement and progressive and reactionary participatory culture are yet again thrown into sharp relief and demand renewed critical attention.
Galili: Convergence Culture explicitly states it does not aim at predicting the future. Yet it points to a number of media phenomena that have become central since its publication, from the possibilities of streaming videos and the revival of canceled television shows to the impact of social media becoming the primary news source for young people at a time of a growing breach between red and blue America. I am curious to hear what you believe are the major differences between the context in which the book was written and today’s cultural currents.
Jenkins: One challenge of publishing books about contemporary media developments, especially during a moment of rapid change, is that by the time the book reaches print things have shifted from under you again. Remember that the core content of the book was written in 2004 even though the book was not published until 2006. The concept of Web 2.0 was introduced in late 2004, after the manuscript left my hands. YouTube launched in early 2005 (though in this case, I analysed its impact in the paperback edition of the book). Netflix would not offer streaming content until 2007. Facebook launched in 2004 and Twitter in 2006, collectively signaling a major shift in the status of social media. Kickstarter, which enabled the crowdfunding of media content, was founded in 2009.
Today’s mobile phones do a much better job of integrating functions in easily accessible ways, making my complaints about trying to buy a phone that is just a phone absurdly obsolete: Apple has come much closer to producing a magical black box than I would have predicted and yet we still consume media across many different devices. I still have to juggle three remotes just to watch Game of Thrones. It was a good thing that I was not focusing my analysis of convergence around specific technologies and platforms, but rather in terms of the larger cultural and social logics by which media operates.
There is much the book could not have predicted – for example, the degree to which podcasting (then a niche practice) would achieve mainstream popularity, that America would have a president who regularly tweets and might use memes referencing popular media franchises to explain his positions, that the alt-right and Russian hackers alike would seek to build on white male resentment in the Star Wars fan community as a means of influencing the 2016 US Presidential election. Each of these examples suggest that the intersection between participatory culture and mass media have continued to evolve across the decade and a half since this book was first published. And today, after publishing Spreadable Media in 2013, I would emphasise the roles grassroots networks play in curating and circulating information: a process increasingly central to the way media industries court their audiences and the way fans create meaning and value around what we can no longer call ‘content’ because it is no longer contained.
Transmedia entertainment has become a mainstream concept: I could never have imagined the extensive integration of stories across media platforms. Young people who acquired skills at media production and circulation through fan engagements now deploy them for social and political movements, and these practices are also deployed by powerful political leaders – not just Trump but, for example, India’s Narendra Modi. We have been living in a convergence culture for quite a while now but my book, at least in its broad framework, still helps to map some underlying logic informing today’s media landscape.
I did not have a crystal ball. I wasn’t that technologically sophisticated. I wrote most of Convergence Culture living by myself in a cabin in the North Georgia Mountains where my only internet access was dial-up. But, being an MIT professor at the time meant that I did regularly speak with some of the top thinkers and practitioners of the digital world, could observe how my students were interacting with media, and was connected with various fan communities. The book was a product of conversation and observation, pattern recognition and extrapolation. Some passages are more speculative than others but my batting average was pretty decent. In some ways, the book influenced subsequent developments: my students ended up in the right place at the right time to inform key decisions around crowdsourcing, game design, transmedia storytelling, and online communities.
Galili: What did you perceive of the book’s impact outside academia, in the media sector?
Jenkins: Being identified with MIT meant that industry leaders were willing to take my ideas seriously out of the gate. Even before the book was released, we began to assemble sponsors for the Convergence Culture Consortium seeking to bridge between contemporary researchers focused on media change and various companies directly impacting the media environment. I was invited to speak at industry conferences and also asked to give talks within media companies such as MTV and Turner Broadcasting, advertising firms, Silicon Valley startups, think tanks, and the like. I used to joke I was going where no humanist had gone before. Soon, the invites came from companies in Brazil, the European Union, and most recently India. I could say things that others in their world would not say, especially in terms of the policies that most impacted fans and other consumers. I helped to turn the tide towards less legal enforcement of copyright and more openness to active fan engagement. Sometimes they worked too hard to incorporate and monetise fan engagement into their own controlled space. But at least I could be a voice in the room. Often junior executives approached me as I was leaving and whispered that I was saying things they had tried to get their bosses to understand, but the top tier people heard it differently coming from an MIT professor with no stakes in the game. I have maintained this network of contacts as I shifted to the University of Southern California a decade or so ago. Here I am able to get top creatives to come and speak with my classes, I serve on an advisory board for Disney Jr. and have spoken at some of the major studios and at the Writers Guild about convergence, transmedia, spreadability, and now the civic imagination.
Galili: The book concludes with statements about how the current moment brings about new challenges and struggles surrounding citizenship and participation. With this in mind, how do events like the previous US presidential elections of 2016 and the emerging business model of the major social media platforms relate to the book’s arguments?
Jenkins: My recent scholarship has explored how participatory culture influences civic engagement and political participation. Convergence Culture predicted that people were acquiring skills through play that they would soon apply to more serious purposes. Between 2009 and 2014, my Civic Paths research group interviewed about 200 young activists about what drew them into active political engagement, even as many believed new media spawned slacktivism (superficial civic engagement) or simply distraction and apathy (‘Netflix and chill’). Many young people learned how to use cameras to capture their skateboard moves but applied these same production capacities to recording and transmitting Occupy rallies; many young people learned how to organise by running letter writing campaigns to save their favorite shows and used those same skills in support of Black Lives Matter and more recently, K-Pop fans around the world have learned how to manipulate competitions to choose Pop Idols and deployed them to disrupt the registration systems of Donald Trump stadium events. Many youth reported that the language of traditional politics did not speak to them, but they found ways to conduct politics in a vernacular from popular culture.
This is the case in Western democracies, where memes are increasingly central to contemporary political debates, but also in more repressive societies where explicit political speech is not possible: my student, Yomna Elsayed, researched how young people in Egypt use satirical responses to old television programs to express their discontent with the out of date and out of touch attitudes of the country’s ruling party. Or, for that matter, consider the case of Palestinians who marched through Occupied Territories dressed like Na’vi from Avatar chanting ‘Sky People, you can’t take our land.’
Yet, we need to be careful about seeing participatory culture and politics exclusively through a progressive lens. Reactionary groups also use these platforms and practices in pursuit of their agendas, often more effectively than groups on the Left. We need only point to the resurgence of white supremacist and nationalist groups in the United States. Social media is allowing once dispersed groups to find each other online, to spread messages outside mainstream media, and to recruit new participants through sophisticated deployment of gaming platforms and fan forums. Or consider the pop culture savvy recruitment tactics deployed by ISIS and other terrorist networks, or to the ways Russian hackers and fake news producers played on fault lines in American society to create confusion and conflict during the 2016 election.
We now know much more than we did when the book was being written about the modes of data collection which take place in and around social media, how central the invasion of privacy is to the Facebook business model, how ‘filter bubbles’ over time further political and cultural divides, and so forth. It was hard to anticipate that a high percentage of people today would get their news not directly from a traditional journalistic outlet but as information curated, annotated, framed, and spread by other people in their social media networks: such circulation keeps young people better informed than many adults imagine, and also offers limited defenses against the production and circulation of ‘fake news’.
Some argue that Convergence Culture was too optimistic – underestimating corporate constraints, overestimating consumer/citizen agency. The book is more qualified and nuanced than my critics acknowledge, but it is fair to say that the book did a better job identifying emerging potentials than recognising associated problems. I always seek to counterbalance the prevailing cynicism and pessimism within critical studies, and the book emerged at a particular moment of hopefulness. Clearly, not all of the promises of a more participatory culture have been achieved. So, let me stress again, as the book itself does, that there is no inevitable outcome, that we will not achieve democracy through technological change but only through political and cultural struggle. The affordances of new media offer new opportunities for resistance, allowing us to contemplate alternatives to established institutional norms and practices. And I believe this as much today as when the book was first published.
Galili: Outside of crucial observations about web culture and social media, the book also points to interesting developments in cinema and in what you defined as ‘digital cinema’. In the years since its publication, we saw what is perhaps the most grand-scale experiment in transmedia and world building in the case of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, and the intensified consolidation of the film industry. Can you tell us how these developments relate to your current conception of convergence culture? In today’s mediascape, can we still distinguish between cinema and digital cinema?
Jenkins: Ha! ‘Digital cinema’ is not a phrase we hear much anymore. For starters, YouTube shifted the metaphor for online distribution of video content from film to television. I don’t know that we can separate cinema from the digital with any clarity today – not at the level of production (when ‘live action’ remakes of classic Disney Animated features rely almost exclusively on CGI), not on the level of exhibition (where most films we see in theaters are transmitted digitally), and not on the level of distribution (where a film like Roma is seen by many more people on Netflix than on the big screen). The phrase really doesn’t begin to capture what Stuart Cunningham and David Craig describe as ‘social media entertainment’, as young media makers use YouTube in conjunction with social media, to develop unique brand personalities that generate millions of dollars. And it does not adequately capture the explosion of high budget media content (film or television) the streaming services introduce every week, nor the ways that binge viewing of whole seasons of series has become normative across all demographic segments. Again, these are just some forms convergence culture has taken as the book’s ‘emerging’ media environment has become more entrenched.
In this new infrastructure, a media conglomerate like Disney has cornered the market on the popular imagination through its ownership of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, the Muppets, and now Fox properties. Through both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Star Wars franchises, Disney has expanded the concept of transmedia storytelling to a scale I never imagined in 2006. Certainly, the scope of the Marvel Universe, its vast interconnecting and overarching narratives, and its huge cast of characters, could be previewed through Marvel comics as early as the 1960s and 1970s. But the expansion of those stories across more than thirty feature films boggles my mind. Marvel has been less successful at coordinating its film and television deployments of those characters than my model of transmedia storytelling predicted. In that sense, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is less a transmedia phenomenon than it is the triumph of world-building. I had assumed that ‘radical intertextuality’ would be achieved through movements across media platforms, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe demonstrates that radical intertextuality can operate within a single medium and that audiences will tolerate a high degree of complexity within a single Avengers movie.
I now think world-building within contemporary popular culture is more important than telling stories across media platforms. World-building is what allows different audience members to identify with different characters, each of whom have their own motives, create their own hero’s journeys, pursue their own agendas, and in many cases, have their own death scenes. And this focus on world-building is what allows fans to expand that story world through a broad range of expressive practices – from the rapid production and dispersal of memes, to the material productions and embodied performances associated with cosplay, to the generation and spread of fan theories through podcasts and videos, to whatever the fan community comes up with next.
Galili: The book has been highly influential in various areas of media studies, and as such gave rise to new debates, critiques, and follow-ups. Within the many conversations that it stirred, which arguments or finds were particularly productive or insightful in your view?
Jenkins: The book came out in the midst of a Hollywood writers’ strike focused on how compensation should work for what the industry still thought of as ‘ancillary content’. I have heard that copies of Convergence Culture were being passed along the picket line as creative workers were looking for language to describe how digital platforms were increasingly central to marketing but also to telling stories. After the strike, programs such as Heroes and Lost established transmedia divisions to facilitate the coordination of story information across platforms. Transmedia expectations were also encoded into governmental funding for the arts in public service media ecologies, such as those in Canada, the European Union, and more hybrid media economies such as Brazil. Our understanding of transmedia systems broadened as the term was applied to think about media mix strategies in Japan and Korea, or Bollywood’s spread of music and dance across both commercial and participatory sites. Academics were slower to adopt that concept than creative artists were but today there are thick encyclopedias of transmedia studies, whole book series being produced by major university presses, and academic degrees granted in transmedia production.
My discussion of the media literacies associated with Harry Potter fandom has been embraced and operationalised by learning scientists and educators, and religious scholars have built upon the brief references to spiritual life in the book. And, of course, the past decade plus has seen further expansion of fandom studies as a paradigm, which is now embraced by scholars in many academic disciplines and national contexts. Each of these subfields drew inspiration from Convergence Culture, though each would have taken shape in the absence of the book, because they reflect the directions our culture has moved in the ensuing years.
Galili: Whereas the book addresses specifically US politics and society, it has been translated into many languages, and you have participated in many international forums on participatory culture. To what extent do you find that the theses of the book are applicable on an international scale, and what kinds of non-US phenomena were of interest in your ongoing project?
Jenkins: Americans often act as if we could step off an airplane and instantly tell the rest of the world what to think and do. Readers are better situated to know how – or if – this book speaks to their particular context than I am. I was immersed in the particulars of American popular and participatory culture, which is where my expertise lies. I saw myself as writing for an American audience. I have been told that the book works elsewhere in part because readers elsewhere are already familiar with American entertainment franchises, which they are also consuming. Thank the gods for cultural imperialism! But I am also interested in forms of popular and participatory culture which are particular to other national contexts: the video culture of Nollywood; the telenovelas of Latin America; the popular music, gaming, melodrama, and cult cinema traditions of Asia – each inflect the forms of convergence culture described in my book. I was not surprised to recently stumble upon an article in an American publication headlined ‘Ten of the Best Israeli Shows to Watch on Netflix and Amazon’. For decades, American television imported almost no media from outside the United States, with the possible exception of British shows on public television. But now we take for granted that the production and circulation of television occurs on a global scale.
Nevertheless, questions of how cultural participation is tied to political participation, or how grassroots media production interacts with commercial media production, is pertinent to understanding diverse media ecosystems. In Popular Culture and the Civic Imagination: Case Studies of Creative Social Change we feature more than 25 different examples of the ways participatory politics and cultural appropriation have influenced social movements, including efforts to change the caste system in India, debates about feminism in South Korea, youth voices in the Arab world, and the peace-building process in Colombia.
Galili: At this point of our conversation, we are both quarantined due to the Covid-19 crisis. Whereas the situation is still unfolding, and surely much new research will appear in its wake, we can already see how the conditions that were forced on all of us give rise to changes in our media use in nearly every aspect. What are your tentative thoughts on how media practices of the sort you discuss in Convergence Culture and in your subsequent works manifest themselves in these troubling times? What lessons do you feel we will learn about media from this age of social distancing and online teaching?
Jenkins: Not so long ago, digital media was being characterised as socially isolating, cutting us off from direct contact with our friends and neighbors. Now it is the lifeline, our vital connection to these social groups, because the larger factors of the global pandemic and governmental responses have led to our isolation. I would argue that social isolation was always a product of larger social, economic, and political factors and the technology itself has both connective and isolating effects depending on the circumstances. The global pandemic has tipped the scale a bit in terms of forcing conservative institutions, such as schools, universities, and workplaces, to explore options that they seemed closed to as recently as 2019. The old excuses have broken down and I can imagine it is going to be hard to reverse course on some core decisions.
I am seeing enormous creativity as people tap whatever resources they have at hand to make something and share it via the internet. Professionals are often performing from home, also making use of whatever they can grab, even if we must assume they have more home resources, more training, and a larger network of circulation than the average family. I love the range of video responses not just to the virus itself but, for example, families re-enacting their favorite rides at Disneyland because their vacations were canceled. Alongside this we are seeing media celebrities read children’s books, artists making selfies imitating famous paintings, and news programs recording guests amidst interruptions by children and pets. Boredom, not necessity, is the mother of creativity.
The shift towards public schooling online has raised important new questions about the digital divide and the participation gap. For years, American educators have celebrated the fact that they wired the classroom and library so that children without means can get digital access. But when these wired classrooms and libraries are closed the problem resurfaces, since we have not found ways to insure 24/7 access through mobile technologies for all students. Many students are forced to drop out of school and others are using low-grade connections which are immediately apparent to their classmates. The gap between digital haves and have nots has never been as visible as it is right now. If we address it, this can be a breakthrough. If we go back to ‘the way things were’, we will have swept a major problem under the rug.
The popular uptake of Zoom as a new platform allows us to observe the negotiations which take place every time a new media technology is introduced. At first, the technology feels alien – its capacity to bring so many people together from different locations with little to no latency feels futuristic. This may be the moment the long promised ‘picturephone’ becomes an integral part of our everyday life – but first, we need to learn how to make the damned thing work!
As we bring the school and workplace into our homes, people are making less of an ‘effort’ in terms of hair and makeup. Everyone is dressing more casually. Our children and pets enter the picture as we reintegrate work and home. People see what our personal space looks like. And we speak to each other through a camera which shrinks normal social distances. So we become more intimate, casual, informal, in our interactions. In some cases hierarchical structures hold but in others they flatten, and it is interesting to see how people respond to those shifts.
And then people start responding to the strangeness of allowing people into their homes, especially when we are paying less attention to housework. They create fake backgrounds, performing in front of backdrops representing fantastic environments from our collective imagination or just places we would like to be. And now, belatedly, critical questions about privacy, who owns our data, what happens to these events that are being recorded and posted to the clouds, are surfacing as these practices have become so normalised that few can imagine turning back the clock. Maybe I am just bored, but I feel like we can watch our mediascape evolve day by day as we work through the implications of interacting almost exclusively in a mediated fashion.
Galili: In your recent work (namely the co-authored Participatory Culture in a Networked Era and By Any Media Necessary) your focus has shifted more specifically to youth culture and activism. What motivated this shift? Do you find the case of youth activism more promising in terms of new media’s democratic potential, or are there other causes that make this a privileged case in your thought?
Jenkins: Children and youth have indeed been a recurring focus of my work. In the years since I wrote Convergence Culture, my research has been funded by the MacArthur Foundation as part of a series of initiatives – Digital Media and Learning and Youth and Participatory Politics – which were specifically focused on reimagining how public institutions might better respond to the needs and interests of American youth. My current work for the MacArthur Foundation on the Civic Imagination has a more expansive remit and as a consequence our work engages with a broader range of communities now. Across this period, my work has had both a theoretical and applied dimension. Many hopes for the digital revolution and much anxiety surrounding media change rested on the way these tools were going to be taken up and used by the generation that was coming of age alongside networked computing. Would digital youth learn differently, conduct politics differently, because thinking digitally was second nature, because they had never known any other kind of world? If young people’s knowledge production was different as a consequence of the time they spent playing computer games or engaging with fan forums or sharing YouTube videos, were they being disadvantaged within institutions designed and administered by people still so deeply rooted in print culture?
I have never felt comfortable with the technological determinism implicit in these formulations of young people as digital natives, so I have tried to bring cultural studies perspectives into the mix, thinking less about what digital media were doing to young people and more about what young people were doing with digital media. These themes are already explicit in the Harry Potter chapter of Convergence Culture but would be more fully developed in my white paper for MacArthur, Confronting the Challenges of a Participatory Culture, and some of my subsequent books. Thinking less in terms of empowering and democratising technologies and more in terms of the emergence of a participatory culture has helped reframe this larger conversation. Along the way, though, my understanding of participatory culture has shifted as I have confronted the obstacles that have blocked a full realisation of its promises and potentials. Today the resources and skills needed for fuller participation are not evenly distributed; many young people do not have access to the technologies or the mentorship or the opportunities for meaningful participation. This remains an active struggle to keep alive the transformative possibilities I saw when I first wrote Convergence Culture. We have made progress in the decade plus since the book came out but there is still much work to be done. This research has brought me into closer contact with educators and educational institutions that were trying to act upon their understanding of participatory culture as they designed pedagogical experiences for their students.
My current focus on the civic imagination follows a similar path. I ran across this concept first within fandom, with groups like the Harry Potter Alliance and the Nerdfighters, who were helping to pull young people into the political process through their engagements and identifications as fans. As my research team worked on By Any Media Necessary we expanded this concept, looking at other activist networks such as Invisible Children (a human rights advocacy group), the Dreamer movement for immigrant rights, young libertarians, and various networks of American Muslim youth. My research team refined our understanding through engaging with the theoretical literature and documenting and analysing case studies. In our book, Popular Culture and the Civic Imagination: Case Studies of Creative Social Change we argue that before we can build a better world we need to imagine what a better world looks like. We need to see ourselves as civic agents capable of making change, embedded within imagined and imagining communities capable of collective action around shared interests, and feeling empathy and solidarity with other groups whose experiences and perspectives differ from our own but with whom they must work if they are to achieve a more just society.
But we also sought ways to translate this emerging framework into civic interventions, and so we have developed a range of workshops, many of which draw inspiration from fandom and speculative fiction: we create shared activities where people come together to imagine and act towards the idea of a better society. My research group has conducted more than 40 such workshops in communities across both red and blue states and around the world, working with middle schoolers and senior citizens, in mosques and Lutheran fellowship halls, with sex workers, coal miners, tobacco farmers, journalists, doctors, media producers, and urban planners. And my collaborators – Sangita Shresthova and Gabriel Peters-Lazaro – have published a workbook (Practicing Futures: A Civic Imagination Action Handbook [Peter Lang]) which will help other civic organizations and educational institutions to build upon our activities and practices within their own communities.
Galili: Following the co-authored books we have discussed, your most recent book, Comics and Stuff, discusses the growing cultural importance of one specific medium: the comic book, in the context of questions pertaining to material culture. Can you tell us about how your interest in taking on this project, or the result of your research for it, correspond to the issues that concerned Convergence Culture and the debates that followed it?
Jenkins: The original draft for the introduction to Convergence Culture had a series of sidebars focusing around shifts in contemporary comics culture at the intersection between old and new media, but in trying to streamline the introduction that material got cut. Since that time, my interest in the current state of comics publishing has only grown, as my own comics collection has taken over my home office. Thinking across media does not mean we cannot tighten our focus onto one medium for closer consideration. Comics and Stuff draws parallels between comics and still life paintings, classical cinema, ‘outsider art’, Cabinets of Curiosity, contemporary novels, toys, music halls, photo collage, scrapbooks, and a range of other forms of media.
Over several decades comics have shifted from a disposable medium meant to be trashed as soon as we finish reading them to an enduring medium commanding greater cultural status as older works are being brought back into print, often in high quality editions. As this has occurred, the focus has shifted from the heroic antics of (mostly) men in capes towards more works that reflect on everyday life and that are rich in domestic details.
I was fascinated by the increasingly cluttered yet always meaningful mise-en-scene in contemporary graphic novels and how these depictions might shed light on how we navigate a world awash with stuff. As I dug deeper into the project, I found a multidisciplinary fascination with stuff, things, objects, material culture, whatever you want to call it, and from these various fields I started to find answers to questions regarding the place of collecting as an everyday cultural practice that I had dodged in the past. So this book offers a series of case studies of different graphic artists and how their creative works are taking up issues of collecting, displaying, inheriting, culling, and trashing familiar things, how comics helped us to understand these processes as acts of curation, meaning-making, affiliation, and self-construction.
Doron Galili is Researcher in the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University. He is the author of Seeing by Electricity: The Emergence of Television, 1878-1939 and co-editor of Corporeality in Early Cinema: Viscera, Skin, and Physical Form.
Jenkins, H., Ford, S. and Joshua, G. Spreadable media: Creating value and meaning in a networked culture. New York: NYU Press, 2013.
Elsayed, Y. ‘Laughing Through Change: Subversive Humor in Online Videos of Arab Youth’, International Journal of Communication, vol. 10, 2016: 5102-5122.
Craig, D. and Cunningham, S. Social media entertainment: The new intersection of Hollywood and Silicon Valley. New York: NYU Press, 2019.
Jenkins, H., Peters-Lazaro, G. and Shresthova, S. Popular culture and the civic imagination: Case studies of creative social change. New York: NYU Press, 2020.
Jenkins, H., Shresthova, S., Gamber-Thompson, L., Kligler-Vilenchik, N. and Zimmerman, A. By any media necessary: The new youth activism. New York: NYU Press, 2016.
Jenkins, H., Ito, M. and boyd, d. Participatory culture in a networked era: A conversation on youth, learning, commerce, and politics. Cambridge: Polity, 2016.
Jenkins, H. with Clinton, K., Purushotma, R., Robison, A., and Weigel, M. Confronting the challenges of a participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century. Chicago: MacArthur Foundation, 2007; https://www.macfound.org/media/article_pdfs/JENKINS_WHITE_PAPER.PDF
Jenkins, H. Comics and stuff. New York: NYU Press, 2020.
 Jenkins & Ford, & Green 2013.
 Elsayed 2016.
 Convergence Culture was accompanied by a blog, Confessions of an Aca-Fan (http://henryjenkins.org/), and much more recently a podcast, How Do You Like It So Far? (https://www.howdoyoulikeitsofar.org/), which were launched to facilitate conversations with a larger public which wants to better understand the process and consequences of media change.
 Craig & Cunningham 2019.
 Jenkins & Peters-Lazaro, & Shresthova 2020.
 Jenkins & Shresthova & Gamber-Thompson & Kligler-Vilenchik & Zimmerman 2016; Jenkins & Ito & boyd 2016.
 Jenkins & Clinton & Purushotma & Robison & Weigel 2007.
 Jenkins 2020.