Evaluating Convergence Culture

Monday, January 26, 2:00-3:00 pm
Williams Building “Skybox” (4th floor conference room)

Evaluating Convergence Culture

Please join us for the first full meeting of the Digital Scholars reading and discussion group for Spring 2015, featuring Kathleen Blake Yancey, Kellogg W. Hunt Professor of English, in which we will consider and evaluate a media culture of “convergence.”

Convergence culture, a phrase coined by Henry Jenkins, formerly of the MIT Media Lab and currently on the faculty at University of Southern California, refers to the relationship between top-down mass media and bottom-up participatory culture in public relations and other venues. More specifically, Jenkins explains “convergence” as being connected to a shift in cultural logic. Jenkins writes:

“This circulation of media content–across different media systems, competing media economies, and national borders–depends heavily on the active participation of the consumer. I will argue here against the idea that convergence can be understood primarily as a technological process–the bringing together of multiple media functions within the same gadgets and devices. Instead, I want to argue that convergence represents a shift in cultural logic, whereby consumers are encouraged to seek out new information and make connections between dispersed media content. The term, participatory culture, is intended to contrast with older notions of media spectatorship. In this emerging media system, what might traditionally be understood as media producers and consumers are transformed into participants who are expected to interact with each other according to a new set of rules which none of us fully understands.”

Professor Yancey will ask us to consider what this relationship is, whether Jenkins got it right, and what cultural logic seems to prevail now, nearly 6 years and several iterations of social media later.

Participants are invited to read the following:

as well as two different instantiations of convergence:

and to browse in advance of our meeting:



2 thoughts on “Evaluating Convergence Culture

  1. Pingback: On Evaluating Convergence Culture | FSU Digital Scholars

  2. Pingback: Authors@Google: Henry Jenkins

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