Henry Jenkins is Professor of Humanities and Co-Director of the M.I.T. Comparative Media Studies program. Jenkins has been an influential figure in fandom.
Jenkins describes himself as an aca-fan – part academic, part fan. His best known work is Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture, which put forward the idea of fans as active creators of culture - fan fiction, fan art, fan vids etc - from content they “poached” from mass media. His work valued the work of fandom as being creative and having meaning, rather than seeing them as trivial reworkings of mass entertainment.
In January, 2007, Henry Jenkins admitted to being a Supernatural fan, and blogged about his thoughts on the show :
- "In Supernatural, the monsters are, in effect, emotional scars and psychic wounds. They represent unresolved emotional issues, often within the context of family life, and they are also external correlatives for the emotional drama taking place in the lives of the series' protagonists. Sam and Dean go out there looking for things that are strange and unfamiliar and they end up seeing themselves and their relationship more clearly.
- This is the stuff of classic melodrama: Peter Brooks tells us that melodrama externalizes emotions. It takes what the characters are feeling and projects it onto the universe. So that the character's emotional lives gets mapped onto physical objects and artifacts, gets mirror backed to them through other characters, gets articulated through gestures and physical movements, and on a metalevel, speaks to us through the music which is what gives melodrama its name. Supernatural is melodrama in the best sense of the term." (Read the full entry here)
Revealing his familiarity with fanfiction genres, he also stated in the same entry: "Heck, this series is one long Hurt/Comfort story."