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Communications, philosophy, film and video, digital culture: media studies straddles an astounding array of fields and disciplines and produces a vocabulary that is in equal parts rigorous and intuitive. Critical Terms for Media Studies defines, and at times, redefines, what this new and hybrid area aims to do, illuminating the key concepts behind its liveliest debates and most dynamic topics.
Part of a larger conversation that engages culture, technology, and politics, this exciting collection of essays explores our most critical language for dealing with the qualities and modes of contemporary media. Edited by two outstanding scholars in the field, W. J. T. Mitchell and Mark B. N. Hansen, the volume features works by a team of distinguished contributors. These essays, commissioned expressly for this volume, are organized into three interrelated groups: “Aesthetics” engages with terms that describe sensory experiences and judgments, “Technology” offers entry into a broad array of technological concepts, and “Society” opens up language describing the systems that allow a medium to function.
A compelling reference work for the twenty-first century and the media that form our experience within it, Critical Terms for Media Studies will engage and deepen any reader’s knowledge of one of our most important new fields.
Table of Contents
Introduction W.J.T. Mitchell Mark B. N. Hansen vii
1 Art Johanna Drucker|3
2 Body Bernadette Wegenstein 19
3 Image W. J. T. Mitchell 35
4 Materiality Bill Brown 49
5 Memory Bernard Stiegler Mark B. N. Hansen 64
6 Senses Caroline Jones 88
7 Time and Space W.J.T. Mitchell Mark B. N. Hansen 101
8 Biomedia Eugene Thacker 117
9 Communication Bruce Clarke 131
10 Cybernetics N. Katherine Hayles 145
11 Information Bruce Clarke 157
12 New Media Mark B. N. Hansen 172
13 Hardware/Software/Wetware Geoffrey Winthrop-Young 186
14 Technology John Johnston 199
15 Exchange David Graeher 217
16 Language Cary Wolfe 233
17 Law Peter Goodrich 249
18 Mass Media John Durham Peters 266
19 Networks Alexander R. Galloway 280
20 Systems David Wellhery 297
21 Writing Lydia H. Liu 310