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Public Version of REL 161 Religion in the New Media

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Participatory Culture

Participatory Culture: an opposing concept to consumer culture — in other words a culture in which private individuals (the public) do not act as consumers only, but also as contributors or producers (). – WIKI
To help create the thing you want to consume. Ex. Fanfiction, YouTube videos, Tumblr, WattPad etc.

Fan – a position of collective identity, to forge an alliance with a community of others in defense of tastes which, as a result, cannot be read as totally aberrant or idiosyncratic (Jenkins)
“To speak of a fan is to accept what has been labeled as a subordinate position w/n the cultural hierarchy, to accept an identity constantly belittled or criticized by institutional authorities. A position of collective identity, to forge an alliance with a community of others in defense of tastes which, as a result, cannot be reads as totally aberrant or idiosyncratic.” – Henry Jenkins
Cosplay – a portmanteau of the words “costume play”; a performance art in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific fictional character

Zine - A zine is a small-circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images, usually reproduced via a copy machine. Zines are the product of either a single person or of a very small group, and are popularly photocopied into physical prints for circulation. A fanzine is a non-professional and non-official publication produced by enthusiasts of a particular cultural phenomenon for the pleasure of others who share their interest. The term was coined in an October 1940 science fiction fanzine by Russ Chauvenet and popularized within science fiction fandom, entering the Oxford English Dictionary in 1949. -WIKI
· Fans draw meaning from and produce new material on existing artifacts (REMIX)
· Fans are active participants in creating a new and alternative culture of resistance
· Move from bystander to active participant in the “construction and circulation of textual meanings” and in doing so create an alternative social community of cultural resistance
· Advances and retreats, tactics and games played with the texts
· Salvaging bits and pieces of the found material
· Challenges and interpretations
· Open-ended
· Communal Practices
· Fans must add the content
· Creation is done collectively (Apprenticeship)
· Old and New Media Collide, Old media never dies
· Open-ended
· Communal Practices

4 Practices of Convergent Renewal: These things go in a cycle.
1. Remix:
- Old and New elements combined in something to create something new (ex: A sample of “Glamours” by Fergie used in Jack Harlow’s song, “First class”)
→ to pay homage to the past while creating something new
→ to combine or edit existing material in a way that creates something new
→ to re-read the tradition in light of new data, new challenges, and contexts
→ to keep it alive, to allow it to have it to have a new life
cultural bricolage
a “tactic of the weak” (e.g., hip-hop, Annie remix) wherein marginalized peoples...
→ participating in + subverting dominant modes of cultural production
→ confronting hegemonic meaning-making systems
→ challenging/questioning the sanctioned expert interpretations/readings of the remixed subject
2. Authentic Resistance:
- Dismantling in order to build something new
- Ex. Zine Culture
- DIY: “Do It Yourself”
a critique of the dominant mode of passive consumer culture
the active creation of an alternative culture
not just complaining about what is, but actually doing something different

3. Open Work:
- By its very design it’s unfinished. Its form can be ambiguous
- Ex. YouTube, Coda, Wiki, Scrapbooking, Pinterest etc.
- “Mbube” by Soloman Linda is public domain but “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” that sample the original is a copyrighted work.
4. Alternative Participatory Community:
- Achievable Utopia: Creating a liberated space. Ex. Church, Comic-Con
- “Dress Rehearsal for the Future” – Henry Jenkins

Apprentices (participants and creators, people experiencing injustice and death) put in conversation their texts/tradition/old media with what is going on in the world today...creating [[contextual theology]] black liberation theology, eco-theology, etc. through remix, authentic resistance, open work leading to an alternative, participatory community, in order to have dress rehearsal for the future, in order to embody now the future we want to see for the world.

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