New Media, 1740-1915

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Overview

Reminding us that all media were once new, this book challenges the notion that to study new media is to study exclusively today's new media. Examining a variety of media in their historic contexts, it explores those moments of transition when new media were not yet fully defined and their significance was still in flux. Examples range from familiar devices such as the telephone and phonograph to unfamiliar curiosities such as the physiognotrace and the zograscope. Moving beyond the story of technological innovation, the book considers emergent media as sites of ongoing cultural exchange. It considers how habits and structures of communication can frame a collective sense of public and private and how they inform our apprehensions of the "real." By recovering different (and past) senses of media in transition, New Media, 1740-1915 promises to deepen our historical understanding of all media and thus to sharpen our critical awareness of how they acquire their meaning and power.
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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"This anthology will make a major contribution to the history of media by providing both new information and new models. In carefully prepared case studies-ranging from the employment of female telegraph operators to the use of sound recording to determine if apes had a language-this volume supplies new ideas about how media shape culture and how cultures shape media."—Tom Gunning,Chair, Committee on Cinema and Media, University of Chicago, and author of *The Cinema of FritzLang: Allegories of Vision and Modernity*Please note: Second sentence may be deleted for space reasons. Name of endorser's chair may be omitted, but affiliation should remain as is. Thank you.

"In *Feedback*, David Joselit tackles the 800-pound gorilla of commercial television on both political and artistic grounds. Upsetting common dichotomies between artistic practice and commercial strategies, Joselit avoids either dismissing or embracing the commercial medium, offering a truly passionate critique that plunges into the intricacies of how the electronic image engages us, whether in our living room or a gallery floor. A bold work that seeks to generate argument and thought."—Tom Gunning, Chair, Committee on Cinema and Media, University of Chicago, and author of*The Cinema of Fritz Lang: Allegories of Vision and Modernity*

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262072458
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2003
  • Series: Media in Transition
  • Pages: 305
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa Gitelman is Professor of English and Media, Culture, and Communication at New YorkUniversity. She is the coeditor of New Media, 1710—1915 (2003) and author of Always Already New: Media, History, and the Data of Culture (2006), both published by the MIT Press.

Geoffrey B. Pingree is Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies and English at OberlinCollege.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction: What's New About New Media?
Documents
1 Zograscopes, Virtual Reality, and the Mapping of Polite Society in Eighteenth-Century England 1
2 Heads of State: Profiles and Politics in Jeffersonian America 31
3 Children of Media, Children as Media: Optical Telegraphs, Indian Pupils, and Joseph Lancaster's System for Cultural Replication 61
4 Telegraphy's Corporeal Fictions 91
5 From Phantom Image to Perfect Vision: Physiological Optics, Commercial Photography, and the Popularization of the Stereoscope 113
6 Sinful Network or Divine Service: Competing Meanings of the Telephone in Amish Country 139
7 Souvenir Foils: On the Status of Print at the Origin of Recorded Sound 157
8 R. L. Garner and the Rise of the Edison Phonograph in Evolutionary Philology 175
9 Scissorizing and Scrapbooks: Nineteenth-Century Reading, Remaking, and Recirculating 207
10 Media on Display: A Telegraphic History of Early American Cinema 229
Contributors 265
Index 267
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