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New Media, 1740-1915 (Media in Transition) [Hardcover]

Lisa Gitelman
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

16 May 2003 Media in Transition
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.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: MIT Press (16 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262072459
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262072458
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 19 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,242,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"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 Fritz Lang: 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*

About the Author

Lisa Gitelman is Professor of English and Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. 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 Oberlin College.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Understand the past to understand the future. 17 May 2013
By S. D. Spicer VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book takes a look at the long past of new media. Whilst these are not huge breakthroughs by modern standards many of them were revolutionary in their day and their impact perhaps more than any recent innovations. We can't imagine the impact that the first telegraph and telephone had on the world when communications today are taken so much for granted - but imagine, talking to someone far away instantly when previously you had to send a letter or walk there.

New Media takes a long view starting with the zograscope (a method of showing 3D images) and considers the social and cultural context of these devices, it allows us to pause and reflect on them and contextualise our own new media, and as such I suggest it should be read by anyone with an interest in media.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Matthew Purdy in THE IOWA REVIEW says -- 7 May 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"New Media, 1740-1915 traces a history of the dialogue between media and society that has continued into the present. The title alone is somewhat startling, pairing an emphatically contemporary coinage with a time frame well before the dawn of modern technology as we've come to think of it. But one of the goals of the volume is to establish a context for our own notion of new media and how its newness is constructed. . . . All of the devices in New Media, 1740-1915 were new media in their respective eras, and in a sense they are still new. They are- Gitelman and Pingree use Bruce Sterling's term- 'dead media,' media no longer used and, in many cases, long since forgotten.These devices never got the chance to become fully enmeshed in the fabric of everyday life; the telegraph and phonograph evolved, the rest faded away. As such, they appear to us today perpetually strange, embalmed in their own original novelty. The volume's central lesson, then, is not to become blinded by the promises of our own new media. Because it isn't new at all."
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