With a new school year comes a new team. And now that Henry Jenkins' blog will be out of commission for a couple of weeks, I'm glad to announce that the C3 blog will be active once again!
My name is Alex Leavitt, and from here on out I'll represent the dedicated voice of the Convergence Culture Consortium team for the C3 blog. Sam Ford has taken up this role for the past few years, but I hope to keep up with his prior rigor and valuable insight to provide you, reader, with some (hopefully) interesting and intriguing thoughts, essays, links, and ideas. It will certainly be laborious, but as is common to say in Japan, ganbarimasu (I will do my best)!
I write in Japanese because part of my focus is on -- as geeky as it sounds -- Japanese popular culture, specifically Japanese animation (anime) and comics (manga). Before leaving college, I studied abroad in Kyoto, Japan for four months at Kyoto University through the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies. And I graduated in May 2009 (only a few months ago; how nostalgic!) from Boston University with a degree in English Literature & Language and Japanese Literature & Language.
While I have a background in what might be considered comparative literature, this did not lead me to pursue comparative media studies. First, I came to find myself in a love affair with the Internet. I grew up with the Nintendo Gameboy, Saturday morning cartoons, and Neopets.com; I was trained in middle school as a professional singer and musician at the Boston Archdiocesan Choir School in Harvard Square; and I've even worked as a research assistant on the Digital Natives project at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, so it seems only natural that I discovered the Comparative Media Studies department in 2007, and I have been following the department's events and activities ever since. I even applied to the master's program in Comparative Media Studies last December; alas, two days later, admissions were closed.
Luckily -- and I am so thankful -- I am currently a research associate and assistant to Dr. Joshua Green here at the Convergence Culture Consortium, where I get to act as a "faux"- grad student by performing research for the consortium and department. And, now, contribute as much as possible to this blog.
Over the next year, I'll be writing about transmedia, spreadable content on the web, Internet culture, television, video games, subculture, popular media, and -- just as Sam has done with his favorite soap operas -- anime and manga. I hope that this blog will also come to be regarded as a valuable resource for an insider's view on what's happening with convergence culture in contemporary society. While the work of our team and consulting researchers will certainly be profiled, I will try to compose a fair amount of (personally) original insight, especially in relation to articles, books, and blogs that I am reading alongside Henry's two classes at USC (we miss him dearly): New Media Literacies and Transmedia Storytelling & Entertainment.
So here's to a new year and a new voice! If you would like to keep in touch or share some thoughts, I can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.