May 1, 2007
Media in Transition 5: Part I of IV--An Overview

I spent most of the weekend meeting a lot of great minds and hearing some great cutting-edge work as part of the Media in Transition 5 conference here at MIT. Many of you who read regularly here at the Convergence Culture Consortium are probably familiar with the biannual conference we have here at MIT, an international sponsored by the university, the Comparative Media Studies Program, and the MIT Communications Forum.

This year's conference was called "Creativity, Ownership and Collaboration in the Digital Age." The main plenary sessions are available in podcast through the CMS Web site. The Web site also features recent talks by Sharon Mazer on live performance, Michael Cuthbert on minimalist music, WWE's Mick Foley on how "the real world is faker than wrestling," and a panel on evangelicals in the media featuring academics and representatives from Focus on the Family and Rick Warren of the Purpose Driven Life campaign.

Over the next few posts, I want to point out some of the interesting work that was presented here at the conference by linking to the many blogs that covered the event.

Several things set Media in Transition apart from many of the other conferences I've been to. First is the tight focus, of course, not even just on media studies but on moments of transition and a particular angle this year related to the digital age. I presented on a panel with another intriguing study from Derek Kompare on cult television authorship through the case study of Dr. Who.

Something else that really sets the conference apart is the ability to post your paper online. The study I discussed came from my overall thesis work on soap operas, and I have posted that portion of the study up, publicly accessible in PDF form, here

Also, see some of the interesting studies on fan fiction from the panel I moderated on Sunday from Heather Blatt, Keidra Chaney and Raizel Liebler, Aubrey Lawrence and Becky Herr Stephenson, and Piret Viires.

Karen Hellekson wrote about both these panels and several others dealing with fan communities here.

For those who were not able to attend, be sure to browse through a lot of intriguing studies here.