Media and Imagination
Written and Edited by Henry Jenkins

How writers of science fiction understand and imagine modern media is the defining theme of a series of readings and discussions begun in 1997 by the Media in Transition Project.

Most programs pair a distinguished senior figure with a younger writer. After their readings, the invited writers speak briefly about the notion of "media in transition" and participate in a question-and-answer session with the audience. Transcripts of the series have been posted. They are a record of the thoughts and responses of some of the best living sf writers.



To create a context for the series, Henry Jenkins has written a series of critical essays and author profiles specifically for this site. The essays encourage us to read science fiction as a mode of "vernacular theory," aiming to make current debates about new media accessible to a popular audience. These essays also explain why our chosen writers are particularly relevant to the larger theme of "Media in Transition." The central essay, "Media and Imagination: A Brief History of American Science Fiction," sketches the evolution of the genre and tries to clarify the important connections between science fiction and our culture's shifting ideas about the role of media technologies in everyday life.

Author Profiles
Gregory Benford
Octavia Butler
Orson Scott Card
Joe Haldeman
James Patrick Kelly
Ellen Kushner
Frederick Pohl
Allen Steele
Sarah Zettel

Author Statements
Octavia Butler