My Newest Book: Participatory Culture—Interviews


As we are about to start my blog back up for the fall term, I wanted to take a moment to announce the release of my newest book — Participatory Culture: Interviews — from Polity Press. This book is intended as a companion volume to Participatory Culture in a Networked Era, a book long conversation between danah boyd, Mimi Ito, and myself. Here, I am expanding the conversation by curating a selection of some of the most engaging and thought provoking interviews which I have run on this blog since it launch in 2006.

The book is organized around the core concepts of Participatory Culture, Participatory Learning, and Participatory Politics, which more or less traces the trajectory of my own research initiatives across this period. I have held in reserve some other core topics concerning fandom, games, and transmedia, which have also been central to the conversations here, in case this volume takes off and I am able to edit a second selection of interviews.

You, my regular followers, will have read these interviews first, but we went back to the interview subjects and asked them to reflect on the ways their thinking has shifted since the interview was originally done. Some of these were more than a decade ago, some only a year or two back, but given the way political shifts across the planet have changed the way we think about the democratic and participatory potentials of new media, everyone had interesting things to discuss. We live in dark times, no doubt, but is there anything worth holding onto from more optimistic accounts of how we are living, learning, and politicking within a networked culture? I like to think so.

Below is the official description of the book. I hope some of you will check it out.

Since 2006, Henry Jenkins's Confessions of an Aca-Fan blog has hosted interviews in which academics, activists, and artists have shared their views on the changing media landscape. For the first time, Jenkins – often called “the Marshall McLuhan for the twenty-first century” – compiles some of these interviews to highlight his recurring interests in popular culture and social change. 

Structured around three core concepts – culture, learning, politics – and designed as a companion to Participatory Culture in a Networked Era, this book broadens the conversation to incorporate diverse thinkers such as David Gauntlett, Ethan Zuckerman, Sonia Livingstone, S. Craig Watkins, James Paul Gee, Antero Garcia, Stephen Duncombe, Cathy J. Cohen, Lina Srivastava, Jonathan McIntosh, and William Uricchio. With an introduction from Jenkins and reflections from each interviewee, this volume speaks to a sense of crisis as contemporary culture has failed to fully achieve the democratic potentials once anticipated as a consequence of the participatory turn.

This book is ideal for students and scholars of digital media, popular culture, education, and politics, as well as general readers with an interest in the topic.

“Henry Jenkins collects here, for a dark political time, some engaging conversations with leading scholars around one core issue: the transformative social potential of culture when it operates in a participatory mode. The result is open, richly contextual, and genuinely exhilarating.” Nick Couldry, London School of Economics and Political Science

Participatory Culture contains a multiplicity of voices that each uniquely expresses support for democracy, empowerment, respect, and empathy. With this book, Henry Jenkins has generously created a transdisciplinary meeting place, which will offer novel ideas to each reader.” Nico Carpentier, Charles University in Prague