September 3, 2007
Looking Back at C3 Work--Series by Sam Ford

I wanted to finish up my Labor Day posts here on the C3 blog highlighting some of the C3 team's work from the past academic year by looking at some of the multi-part series, interviews, and other longer pieces of writing that have appeared here in the past year. In this post, I'm going to note some of the series I have published in the past year, followed by another post detailing some of the series from others on the C3 team, as well as various interviews with interesting personalities we have published in the past few months.

First, I want to note some essays I have published based on my thesis work, which has focused on soap operas. Back in May, some work from my thesis appeared on Henry Jenkins' blog, and I also published it here on the C3 blog. (part one and part two) This research focuses on worlds which facilitates vast narratives, the kind that has so much official content that it requires the collective intelligence of a fan community to fully make sense of. The case studies here are of soap operas, pro wrestling, and comic books.

I also published a series of posts from my thesis in June called "Soap Operas and the History of Fan Discussion," based on a presentation I made at the Media in Transition 5 conference here at MIT this past spring. This essay focuses on the variety of modes which fans have used to communicate with one another and the creative teams and actors of American soap operas through the years. (part one part two part three part four part five)

Also based on my work on soap operas, see the series posted on the C3 blog in July called "Growing Old Together: Following As the World Turns' Tom Hughes Through the Years." This work is based on work for a television history class from Dr. David Thorburn here at MIT and a presentation at the 2006 National Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference here in Boston. (part one part two part three part four part five part six)

Also, see the two series I have published here on the blog related to my work with professional wrestling. First, back in June, I published work looking at World Wrestling Entertainment's tours in Japan in recent years and the success of the particularly American WWE wrestling product in an international context. This is based on work I did in a graduate class with Dr. James Watson in the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University for his Globalization and Culture class. (part one part two part three part four part five part six)

Then, in July, I published a series called "Mick Foley: Pro Wrestling and the Contradictions of a Contemporary American Hero," looking at the character history and star image of professional wrestler Mick Foley as a case study for understanding the negotiation of masculinity in what has often been called a "hypermasculine" world. This piece is going to be part of the upcoming book Bodies of Discourse edited by Cornel Sandvoss, Alina Bernstein, and Michael Real. (part one part two part three part four part five)

Other series I have posted in the past year included a piece that originally appeared in the C3 Weekly Update called "The Convergence Manifesto." This piece outlines some of my own feelings about what "convergence culture" means, based on my own work and interest on soap operas and journalism. This series appeared on the blog back in January. (part one part two part three part four)

In February, I posted a six-part series looking at public policy issues related to U.S. Congressional media regulation. In particular, I posit that there are two main strands of legislation, one focused on limiting involvement and censorship, the other focused on universal access. My take, in short, is that the two forms of legislation run counter to one another and lead to what is essentially a schizophrenic media policy for the country. This is from work completed as part of Nolan Bowie's New Media and Democracy Class at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. (part one part two part three part four part five part six)

Finally, in March, I published a series looking at the marketing of breakfast cereals and both the history of breakfast cereal advertising in the U.S., along with a more focused look at marketing from the Kellogg's brand. This is based on work I completed for a class on the media industries with Henry Jenkins here at MIT. (part one part two part three part four)