|Also Known As:|
|Works:||Textual Poachers (1992), his Christmas Carol fan fiction, other works|
|Official Website(s):|| Confessions of an Acafan |
Henry3 at MIT
|On Fanlore:||Related pages|
- "Fan fiction is a way of the culture repairing the damage done in a system where contemporary myths are owned by corporations instead of owned by the folk." ~ Henry Jenkins (1997) 
Jenkins, who self-identifies as a fan, is a frequent attendee at fan cons and has created fanworks of his own.
He wrote a slash Scrooge/Marley story in the zine, Not What You Expect , Blake's 7 meta for Shadow #5, was a member of the APA Strange Bedfellows, and wrote Letters of Comment to at least one Star Trek: TOS letterzine, Hellguard Social Register.
During the FanLib brouhaha, the CEO of fanlib.com, Chris Williams, chose Jenkin's blog  to respond to questions and criticisms about the site. The choice of Jenkins as a representative or authority figure of media fandom was criticised at the time , and persuaded some fen of the need to create Organization for Transformative Works.
See Confessions of an Acafan for Jenkin's current going's on.
See: My Secret Life as a Slasher (2006).
The Mainstream Press' Go-To Guy
Jenkins was the person many journalists in the mid-1990s/early 2000s went to for quotes about fandom.In 1993, Jenkins commented on frustrations he had with how mainstream press and industry voices tended to go for the easy, the shrill, the simplistic quotes, interviews, and descriptions of fans (not unlike, he pointed out, how serious discussions of pornography and the Iron John/men's movement topics were simplified and pushed through a very small, biased filter), and how he was optimistic that his work and that of Constance Penley were, hopefully, broadening some horizons. From Jenkin's at a panel in 1993 at Escapade, he said:
Constance and I were talking about, yesterday, this Lingua Franca piece, that really made both of us look rather silly — or, that was the intent; in practice it made the writer look rather silly — we've gotten tremendous numbers of letters and phone calls, people who've said, I could tell it was a lousy article, but what you're writing about seemed interesting and important. The message gets out even imperfectly, when you deal with the press. And it's very important to me that... There are certain spokespersons against television in our society — you know, Neil Postman is one, and is quoted everywhere — who have access to the media, and will be quoted extensively. If people like Constance and I don't also go out there and aggressively engage with it, those are the only voices that are going to be heard, and we're going to be told over and over television destroys literacy, we have no common cultural capital today, television produces passivity, there are no such things as television fans, I mean, I've heard a range of statements by people who have the authority to speak to the press, asserting things that are diametrically opposite of the experience that people in this room have had of the media.
His cunning plan may have worked a little too well; as some fans noted in 2002. One fan commented wryly about a Jenkins quote in an article: "And of course it won't surprise you to find Mr Rent A Quote himself Henry Jenkins in there. I'd love to know how much lecturing he gets to do in between his media appearances!" 
In 2002, another fan referred to the professor's ubiquitous presence as a quotable commentator: "OK, now the Aussies are getting in on the act. And they still manage to track down Henry Jenkins for a quote. The day man lands on Mars, the good Dr J will be there with a quote for the bemused Martians, no doubt!" In 2008, Jenkins commented about the mainstream attention he received after the publication of Textual Poachers, and noted the difference in reporters' attitudes sixteen years later:
Another factor must be acknowledged here—a similar pattern among reporters. When all of this began, I was being interviewed by reporters who were unfamiliar and often openly hostile to fandom. Now, most of the reporters who interview me for fan-related stories are themselves fans or have had some casual engagement with fandom. There are still negative stories being written, but by and large, there are really supportive stories emerging as fan academics are interviewed by fan journalists, thus providing a context for the other kinds of fans they are talking with for these stories. And as the media coverage shifts, as more people going through school are exposed to fan culture in their classes, and as the Internet makes fandom more visible, then fans are gaining much greater acceptance from friends and families. 
One of the most common criticisms of Textual Poachers is that it characterises fans as straight white college-educated women and draws conclusions about their motivations from this characterisation, something that actually excludes a large percentage of fen.
For more, see Textual Poachers.
One of the First Acafans
I want to say ... what had changed within the academy over the last ten years that allows this work to be done. That is — I'm thinking about film and media studies — we as a discipline had to define ourselves in opposition to fans and buffs in order to gain admission to the academy. That is, if you're going to be taken seriously, and you're writing about popular culture, the last thing you want to do is be accused of being a fan. Right? You want to say, I am an academic.I'm studying this just like you study art history and you study music history, and you study literature. And you push away those personal implications of this stuff in your own life, and you devalue them. And I think a lot of the attacks on fans by academics previous to us grew out of their desire and discomfort at the relationship or parallel between academic engagement with popular culture and fan engagement with popular culture. I began a conference paper recently by turning to the audience and saying, you know, we've been talking about television this entire weekend, many of you traveled all the way across the country to be here with us today, and I just wanted to say — get a life, will you? [Laughter] And sort of turn the table around and realize that the stereotype of the academic and the fan are virtually the same. It's only now that there is a secure base for film and media studies within the academy that it is possible for people like me to go through graduate school publicly as a fan, to assert to out myself as a fan, which a number of people, academics and fens, have referred to in letters about Textual Poachers, that I outed myself as a fan within the academy. And I've in fact heard very negative things from some academics as a result o f that. I was quoted in Lingua Franca as saying that I'm a fan first and an academic second, which is actually a misquote. It was a chronological statement; it wasn't a statement of priority. But I said that the things I write about grow out of things that I care about as a fan, and that I choose to write about them and engage with them as an academic as well. But I got a lot of ribbing and uncomfortable remarks from other academics because of that statement. But I think it is now possible to be a fan academic in the infrastructure of the academy as it's now evolved.
- Textual poachers: Television fans and participatory culture. New York: Routledge. 1992.
- Foreword to Interacting with "Babylon 5": Fan performances in a media universe, by Kurt Lancaster. Austin: Univ. of Texas Press. 2001.
- Why Heather can write. Technology Review (February 6, 2004).
- Convergence culture. New York: New York Univ. Press. 2006
- Fans, bloggers, and gamers. New York: New York Univ. Press. 2006
- How to Watch a Fan-Vid. September 18, 2006
A Sample of Meta and Press That Quotes or Mentions Jenkins
- Cold Fish and Stale Chips #13 (1993)
- Dream On (1993)
- Bringing Home the Bacon (1995)
- The Generic Slash Defense Letter (1995)
- Pass the Crisco, Spock (1995/1996)
- In Dull TV Days, Favorites Take Wing Online (1997)
- Fans take control of TV...On-Line (around 1998?)
- If Fans Wrote the X-Files ... (1998)
- Minding One's P's and Q's (1998)
- Copy Catfight (2000)
- Hey Spock, Lookin' Good ... (2000)
- Luke Skywalker Is Gay? (2000)
- The E-Files (2001)
- The plot thickens in fan fiction (2003)
- Devotees post their own twists, turns of favorite series (2002)
- The strange world of fan fiction (2002)
- What to Do About Harry Potter Porn (2002)
- Essential Multimedia: Go on, make 'em do it (2002)
- When Hamlet met the A-Team (2002)
- For the love of... (2002)
- Taking Liberties With Harry Potter (2003)
- Harry Potter and the Curse of Disability (2004)
- In TV's Dull Summer Days, Plots Take Wing on the Net by Amy Harmon, New York Times, August 18, 1997;WebCite (accessed April 29, 2013).
- "Golden Idol" (22 pages), excerpted with his comments here
- Henry Jenkins and Camille Bacon-Smith at Gaylaxicon 1992 (Part One), [Part Two, TBA]
- Transcript of Academia and Our Culture, Part 1, Part. 2, 6 February 1993
- Chris Williams Responds to Our Questions about FanLib 25th of May, 2007 (Accessed 8th of November, 2008)
- bethbethbeth: Henry Jenkins and FanLib 22nd of May, 2007, (Accessed 8th of November, 2008)'
- When Fan Girls and Fan Boys Meet (Accessed 8th of November, 2008)
- Comment in DIAL #23 about the 2002 Sunday Times article When Hamlet met the A-Team
- from DIAL #24
- from Transformative Works and Cultures Interview with Henry Jenkins