Blog Post

Has this been done? New Media and Creator-Audience Interation Thesis

I haven't written much here, mostly because I'm not certain what to say. I'm trying hard to narrow my many digital humanities interests into something resembling a coherent set of topics to write about in my thesis. It's time to work on my prospectus and I've found myself running into the brick wall of self-doubt. This particular wall takes the form of the question: "Hasn't this been written about before?"

My thesis, in plain terms, will study the creator-audience interaction in a new media environment. The premise is that traditional studies of the creative process puts the creator in some isolated circumstance, the audience as generally passive receivers of a created work, and audience feedback takes the form of particular genres such as the fan letter, the signing line, or brief comments on social media such as Facebook posts. This feedback has minimal effect on the creators, who are already at work on something else and rarely have to think about audience activity.

My claim is that this is not truly the case, and that audiences can form semi-public spheres to take action, either by being inspired to form groups such as the Harry Potter Alliance, or perform creative acts such as writing fanfiction, making fan art, or analyzing and critiquing an ongoing work in a discussion forum. In many places, the creators are quickly made aware of the audience reactions, and can even shift into the audience role themselves, consuming the fan-made efforts which in turn inspire new creative impulses to modify the creator's future endeavors.

I've written several papers on this subject, so I know scholars such as Henry Jenkins have talked about similar topics, but I'm not sure if anyone has covered the creative process in this way. Yet it seems like someone must have done, and I won't hear about these other, better, scholarly efforts until I'm submitting my thesis prospectus.

So I suppose I'm asking, first, whether anyone knows of this kind of research being done, so I can try to break some new ground, and second, anyone have good suggestions for sources on creativity in new media?


1 comment

Hi read your blog and thought you might like to check out my research project at:

May be some ideas here for you to draw from.