Henry Jenkins was the founder and co-director of the MIT Program in Comparative Media Studies and now serves as the Provost’s Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts, and Education at the University of Southern California. He has published seventeen books on various aspects of new media, popular culture, and public life, starting with Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture in 1992. His most recent books have included Reading in a Participatory Culture: Remixing Moby-Dick in the Literature Classroom; Spreadable Media: Creating Meaning and Value in a Networked Culture; Participatory Culture in a Networked Era; and By Any Media Necessary: Mapping Youth and Participatory Politics. Henry blogs regularly at henryjenkins.org. He has been actively part of the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning initiatives since its launch, including recent participation in the Youth and Participatory Politics research network. These projects have involved extensive public engagement with educators, students, and young citizens in New England, the Midwest, and California.
Jocelyn Areté Kelvin
Jocelyn Areté Kelvin is a musician, filmmaker, and actress, as well as Henry Jenkins’ assistant. Her first feature as director and producer, Your Friends Close, premiered at the United Film Festival and is currently streaming on Amazon, Vimeo and YouTube. Based in Los Angeles, she grew up in New York City and graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor’s in Theatre and Creative Writing, Poetry. In Chicago, she collaborated with dance companies Lucky Plush and the Moving Architects to direct site-specific dance films, and performed in theatres including Victory Gardens, Lookingglass, Strawdog, and Red Orchid. She is currently composing an interactive transmedia pop concept album and producing immersive events as Areté. www.jocelyn-kelvin.com
Do Own Kim
Lauren Levitt is a second year PhD student in the Department of Communication at USC. She earned an MA in Media, Culture and Communication from NYU in 2014, where she wrote her thesis on 1960s science fiction television and the aesthetics of camp. Her article “Reality Realness: Paris Is Burning and RuPaul’s Drag Race” has been published in Interventions Journal, the online journal of Columbia University’s graduate program in modern art, and her chapter “Batman and the Aesthetics of Camp” was recently published in the anthology Sontag and the Camp Aesthetic: Advancing New Perspectives. Her research interests include gender and sexuality, culture, and radical politics.
Paromita Sengupta has a background in English Literature and Media Studies, and she is currently a doctoral student at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California. Her work uses a multidisciplinary theoretical model to study cultural activism and youth politics. She is interested in researching how transmedia narratives, humor and participatory mischief-making are contributing to the creation of alternative templates of civic engagement, along with the ways in which these activist initiatives are archived on digital media platforms for the benefit of future neophyte activists.
Emilia Yang is an activist, artist, and militant researcher. Yang is currently a Ph.D. student in Media Arts + Practice in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. Her work has been interconnected with digital communications, performance, and public art. Her research focuses on participatory culture and its relationship to media, arts, and design. She is interested in transmedia storytelling framed through the question of how it can foster social change and civic engagement. Her art practice utilizes site-specific interactive installations, interactive documentaries, performance, and urban interventions, all of which explore social justice issues in participatory ways. Emilia completed an M.A in Communications at Penn State University. Her Master’s project researched the first social media protest to make it to the streets in her home country Nicaragua. She developed a participatory transmedia storytelling hub in a site called ocupainss.org with the objective to present the maximum number of stories and violations of human rights around this protest.
Sulafa Zidani is a doctoral student at USC Annenberg. She researches new media, participatory culture, and digital language and power dynamics, with special interest in China and the Arab World. Sulafa is a speaker of English, Arabic, Hebrew, Mandarin, and French. Prior to joining Annenberg, she worked as a teacher, research assistant, and translator in Palestine, Israel, China, and the US. She earned her BA and MA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Asia Studies and Communication and Journalism. She previously investigated the complex relationship between political power and new media by focusing on the use of counter-power expressions born in the online resistance discourse on the Chinese microblogging website Weibo. She has also studied Arabic forms of digital creativity through a collaborative analysis of Gangnam Style remakes as identity practice. Through her research, Sulafa seeks to uncover the deeper meanings, values, and ideologies behind digital participation and expression