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Convergence Culture Writing this book has been an epic journey, helped along by many hands. Convergence Culture is in many ways the culmination of the past eight years of my life, an outgrowth of my efforts to build up MIT’s Comparative Media Studies program as a center for conversations about media change (past, present, and future) and of my efforts to enlarge public dialogues about popular culture and contemporary life. A fuller account of how this book emerged from the concerns of Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture (New York: Routledge, 1991) and was shaped by my intellectual growth over the past decade can be found in the introduction to my anthology Fans, Gamers, and Bloggers: Exploring Participatory Culture (New York: New York University Press, 2006).
Given that history, it is perhaps appropriate that my first set of thanks goes to the students of the Comparative Media Studies program. Each and every one of them has had an impact on my thinking, but I want especially to identify students whose work significantly influenced the content of this book: Ivan Askwith, R. J. Bain, Christian Baekkelund, Vanessa Bertozzi, Lisa Bidlingmeyer, Brett Camper, Anita Chan, Cristobal Garcia, Robin Hauck, Sean Leonard, Zhan Li, Geoffrey Long, Susannah Mandel, Andrea McCarty, Parmesh Shahani, Sangita Shresthova, Convergence Culture Karen Lori Schrier, David Spitz, Philip Tan, Ilya Vedrashko, Margaret Weigel, and Matthew Weise. You are what gets me up in the morning and keeps me working late into the night. In particular, I want to thank Aswin Punathambekar, who was the best possible research assistant on this project, not only digging up resources but challenging my assumptions, and continuing to remain dedicated to the project long after he had left MIT to begin his doctoral work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.