Hello, I’m Henry Jenkins. I am the founder and co-director of the Comparative Media Studies Program. I’m the P.I. (principle investigator) for Project NML. I helped to write the white paper for the MacArthur Foundation which kicked this whole project into motion and I get to spend time regularly (though less often than I’d like) hanging out with folks like Kelly, Lana, Flourish, Nick, and Hillary, who have already introduced themselves here. I’ve been at MIT for 20 years (gulp!) and am going to be leaving this summer to start a new position at USC, though I am going to be still very much involved, probably more involved than ever, with Project NML.
I write a regular blog that touches on everything from how Mad Men fans are using Twitter to create a new form of performance art to how we can change the law to protect the Fair Use rights of media educators. On weds., I am going to be posting an essay on maps, written by Colleen Kamin, one of our CMS grad students, which will be of interest to the folks coming to the workshop. You will be able to check it out at henryjenkins.org. I am really looking forward to learning from each of you.
This morning, as I was thinking about the value of maps, I recalled an experience I had in high school riding my bike into an unfamiliar neighborhood and getting all turned around. The skies opened up, rain came pouring down, and in desperation, I rode up next to a car waiting at a red light. I tapped on the window and when the driver rolled it down, I said, “excuse me, sir. I seem to be lost.” Just then, the light changed. The man shoved a religious pamplet out the window into my water-sogged hands and then speed off. I appreciated the metaphysical level on which the driver was thinking but at that particular moment, a map would have been a whole lot more useful.