Mashup Melville: Moby Dick Meets the Restless Digital Natives

 Is this the summer to finally do justice to Melville’s opus mundi, Moby Dick?  I think I will have another go at it, but this time I am going to get some help from Henry Jenkins and Erin Reilly.  They have written a participatory learning guide to the work that I trust will be my mentor for a slow and close encounter with whaling and the deep heart’s core. Their model is called “participatory learning” and is based upon Jenkins’ 2006 whitepaper where he defines the term

Jenkins and Co. have created a mentor book to look at as you proceed autodidactically through the summer:  Reading in a Participatory Culture: Remixing Moby-Dick in the English Classroom.
And they have a freebie, an interactive book/website called Flows of Reading that fits along with the book above.

Literary scholar Wyn Kelley, Theater director/playwrite Ricardo Pitts-Wiley, actor Rudy Cabrera, and myself, writing as a fan and media scholar, each describe our complex and evolving relations with Moby-Dick, and encourage teachers and students to reflect more about their own experiences as readers. We use the idea of remix as a central concept running through the book, exploring how Pitts-Wiley remixed Moby-Dick, how Herman Melville remixed many elements of 19th century whaling culture, how other artists have remixed Melville’s work through the years, and what it might mean for students and fans to engage creatively rather than simply critically with literary and media texts.

You can also share my highlights of Jenkins/Kelley’s book on Kindle here.

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