Readings, and Related Inspirations

My Interanimated Intertextual Matrix

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It seems that everything I am doing right now, in school, for fun (and maybe I should face the fact that these are pretty much interchangeable for me), continues to come back to the same idea: convergence. Only, now that I have read the intro to Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, I have a term for it. Thank you, Henry Jenkins.

Convergence is, as Jenkins defines it, “the flow of content across multiple media platforms, the cooperation between multiple media platforms, the migratory behavior of media audiences who will go almost anywhere in search of the kinds of entertainment they want” (Convergence Culture “Intro” 2). On his blog post about “Transmedia Storytelling 101,” Jenkins illustrates this idea using the entertainment industry’s use of multi-platform storytelling. This post is very interesting to me because I distinctly remember hearing a radio show about how the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are the last shared toy people of my age group had. All kids my age had Cabbage Patch. All kids my age had Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But TMNT was also one of the first franchises – There was a movie, a cartoon, a Nintendo video game, action figures, plush dolls, clothes, and so on. And thus began Transmedia Storytelling. I feel like I saw it all (lived it all) being born.

Anne Wysocki applies these concepts to digital writing (very smartly) too, in the introduction to her book Writing New Media. She warns us against taking our new media tools for granted and uses the concept of conversion culture to explain how all of our digital practices are intertextual.

This is particularly interesting for me because I am also researching how non-linear hypertextual writing systems do not fall neatly into our understandings of ‘texts’ and ‘intertextuality.’ Martha Solomon, in her article “The Things We Study,” talks about how texts become interanimated by one another. They can be used in order to produce change.

I think the varying concepts all illustrate how life sometimes works.

Right now, I am writing/thinking about convergence culture for Computers and Composition, but in Research methods, we have been talking about several old-new convergences of writing. And in 20th Century Theory in the Communication department, I am writing about how textual theories apply, or don’t apply aptly, to hypertextual theories. Everything I am reading in all courses, is relevant to everything I am reading in all courses. Its’ as though my life is an interanimated intertextual matrix of convergence.


One thought on “My Interanimated Intertextual Matrix

  1. It’s interesting to note that transmedia storytelling can work in another way – solely to build interest in and drive the sales of real world objects. TMNT dabbled in this somewhat, but the story had origins in comics (the Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman originals are actually somewhat gritty and dark) before being adapted to television, film, toys, and other merchandise.

    It’s not generally known, but Transformers, He-Man, and GI Joe were franchises that *started* with the toy lines, and their related cartoons and other media were developed outward to build comercial momentum and demand. As time went on, the related lore became self-sustaining. Each of these series eventually produced spin-offs, live-action movies (to varying degrees of box office and critical success), and reboots. Each new iteration retold the story in a way that didn’t directly require prior experience, but that also rewarded/considered those who knew the franchise’s earlier incarnations.

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