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Jay Lemke University of Michigan Transmedia Literacy and Identity Development.

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1 Jay Lemke University of Michigan Transmedia Literacy and Identity Development

2 Literacy Today Literacy today is a system of cultural and technological practices that enable us to participate for our own purposes in communities that produce, interpret, and mobilize multiple media.

3 Literacy & Identity Identities are mobilizable histories, affiliations, and identifications that orient us within networks of social relations A significant part of our identity resources and commitments arise from engagement with popular culture media through multimedia and transmedia literacy practices

4 Media and Markets Popular culture media offer and project not just possible identities, but systems of related identities Consumer markets are increasingly produced and defined through such systems of differentiated and hierarchically valued identities Identity Markets [cf. Bourdieu]

5 Transmedia Literacy Making meaning across media/genres Transmedia franchises (Henry Jenkins) Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars Books, films, games, websites, magazines, toys, merchandise, etc.

6 Transmedia Franchises Harry Potter Lord of the Rings Star Wars, Star Trek The Matrix Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Mario Brothers Final Fantasy America’s Army The Iraq War ? George Bush ?

7 Serious Transmedia: America´s Army

8 Transmedia Identities Characters: Harry, Bush Places: Hogwarts, Baghdad Periods: The 60s, Nazi Germany Events: The Iraq War Brands: Nike, Coca-cola, McDonald’s

9 Transmedial Harry

10 The Potter Complex 7 + 2 JK Rowling books 4 feature films 5+ video and computer games Rowling, publishers, movie and game studios websites Independent fan websites (fiction, art, videos) Merchandise (wands, candy, clothing, etc.) Music !

11 Embodying Harry

12 Identity Markets The marketing of identities: identifications with clothes, music, characters, values Differentiation & Hierarchization of identities: identity markets Kid/teen/collegiate/30s/40s/50s/senior Career woman /working mother/ Middle-class masculine /macho/gay male Clothes, drinks, cars, media, politics

13 Traversals & Transmedia Experiential meanings made along life traversals across activities, settings, media Channel-surfing, web-surfing, making our moments add up to our days and lives Transmedia as marketing strategies to track our traversals: ubiquitous brands, products TV, billboards, websites, laptops, PDAs, mobiles, iPhones, gameboys

14 A New Hope Beyond the Franchise: Fan fiction, fan art, fan music videos, fan forums, fan websites Consumer-producers: collateral media and fan communities re-appropriate the franchise media 250,000 Harry Potter fan fictions Exploring possible identity counter-markets


16 Harry / Ron

17 Implications for Learning? Learning takes place as a member of multiple communities Learning occurs across time, place, and media -- How? Learning depends critically on identity and affective feelings Identities are learned and are sites of contestation

18 Implications for Education Curricula and schools must not ignore popular culture media Teaching must focus on identifications and identities, opening up possibilities Schools alone cannot provide education for life Radically new models of educational systems are needed

19 Implications for Research Research on learning must become more longitudinal We need to document learning processes across sites, events, media, genres, and institutions Research on learning must focus more on affective elements Research on education needs to look beyond learning in schools alone

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