Henry Jenkins is one of the most prolific scholars and commentators on the digital world. A longtime presence and leading figure in the Comparative Media Studies program at MIT he is now a Distinguished Professor at USC. Henry also helped the MacArthur Foundation launch its ambitious $50 million initiative that examines the ways young people learn with digital media tools. With books like Convergence Culture and Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers he continues to make important statements about our shifting media, social, and technological landscape. To keep up with Jenkins these days all you have to do is read his blog, a never-ending, thought-provoking, and wide open contemplation of the social and technological changes happening in society. One reader described him and his blog best, “a beast.” His range is phenomenal and his voice often urgent.
Needless to say, I was very pleased when Henry agreed to write a blurb for The Young and the Digital. Here’s what he had to say:
“Why does Facebook have the same appeal as gated communities? Is distraction more concerning than addiction? How do video games like World of Warcraft value friendship? Bracing yet reassuring, often surprising, and always substantive, Craig Watkins acts as an honest broker, testing the contradictory claims often made about young people’s digital lives against sophisticated fieldwork.”
In a matter of days he read the entire manuscript and offered a very nice blurb. Henry also formulated some incredibly astute questions that he asked me to answer for an interview he wanted to publish on his blog.
He’s running the interview this week. You can read the first installment here.