The Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism is launching One School, One Book, an initiative that aims to bring students, faculty and staff together as a community and will hold its first event on Thursday.
Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide was selected, and a discussion will be held Thursday by Henry Jenkins, the book’s author, and four of his graduate students.
The program looks to unify students and faculty by enabling them to read, interpret and discuss the contents of one book that highlights issues relevant to the school.
“It’s supposed to provide an opportunity for all Annenberg students to have a common experience of reading the same book,” Annenberg Associate Dean Abby Kaun said. “We select the book on [topics] we think are important and of interest to our students and to our faculty.”
A forum will be held for each book to allow students to engage with one another.
Annenberg intends to continue the program over the summer for entering and returning students.
“We’ll announce it to incoming students, so before they even get to the Annenberg school, they can be reading the book too,” Kaun said. “We’d love to have some sort of online discussion of the book even before students get here, and then what we hope to do is not just have one big event around the book, but to possibly have other programming connected to whatever the book is.”
Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide looks at how business, politics, education and religion are shaped by the ways people engage with popular culture.
“The book is structured around a series of case studies of media properties of Survivor, of American Idol, of The Matrix, of Harry Potter and of the presidential elections before 2008,” said author Henry Jenkins, a professor of communication, journalism and cinematic arts. “We’re trying to look at the relationship [between] old media and the new relationship consumers are forming to digital media, networking and communications.”
The book also aims to differentiate between old and new media and what the connection between both means.
“When we talk about new media and participatory culture, we’re talking about communications that more people can produce and share with each other,” Jenkins said. “Lots of new ideas diversify the culture, and those ideas often then get amplified and they get taken up by broadcast media, and that in the way is the intersection; it’s how our ideas fly from one to the other.”