@ is For Activism examines the transformation of politics through digital media, including digital television, online social networking and mobile computing.
Joss Hands maps out how political relationships have been reconfigured and new modes of cooperation, deliberation and representation have emerged. This analysis is applied to the organisation and practice of alternative politics, showing how they have developed and embraced the new political and technological environment.
Hands offers a comprehensive critical survey of existing literature, as well as an original perspective on networks and political change. He includes many case studies including the anti-war and global justice movements, peer production, user created TV and 'Twitter' activism. @ is For Activism is essential for activists and students of politics and media.
They are shot on high-definition digital cameras—with computer-generated effects added in postproduction—and transmitted to theaters, websites, and video-on-demand networks worldwide. They are viewed on laptop, iPod, and cell phone screens. They are movies in the 21st century—the product of digital technologies that have revolutionized media production, content distribution, and the experience of moviegoing itself.
21st-Century Hollywood introduces readers to these global transformations and describes the decisive roles that Hollywood is playing in determining the digital future for world cinema. It offers clear, concise explanations of a major paradigm shift that continues to reshape our relationship to the moving image. Filled with numerous detailed examples, the book will both educate and entertain film students and movie fans alike.
All My Friends Live in my Computer combines personal stories, media studies, and interdisciplinary theories to examine case studies from three unique parts of society. From illness narratives among breast cancer patients to political upheaval among Iranian-Americans, this book examines what people do when they go online after they have suffered a trauma. It offers in-depth academic analysis alongside deeply personal stories and case studies to take the reader on a journey through rapidly changing digital/social worlds. When people are traumatized, their worlds stop making sense, and All My Friends Live in My Computer explores how everyday people use social media to try and make a new world for themselves and others who are suffering. Through its attention to personal stories and application of media theory to new contexts, this book highlights how, when given the tools, people will make meaning in creative, novel, and healing ways.
The world of media production is in a state of rapid transformation. In this age of the Internet, interactivity and digital broadcasting, do traditional standards of quality apply or must we identify and implement new criteria?
This profile of the work of the Cambridge University Moving Image Studio (CUMIS), presents a strong argument that new developments in digital media are absolutely dependent on an understanding of traditional excellence. The book stands alone in placing equal emphasis on theoretical and practical aspects of its subject matter and avoids jargon so as to be easily understood by the general reader as well as the specialist.
• animation • navigable architectural environments • moving image narrativity
• questions of truth and representation • virtuality/reality • synthetic imaging
This broad analysis of current research, teaching and media production contains essential information for all those working or studying in the areas of multimedia, architecture, film and television.
The book is designed as a core text for the Cambridge University 1 year MPhil Degree in Architecture and the Moving Image.
The contributors to this volume theorize Asian video cultures in the context of social movements, market economies, and local popular cultures to complicate notions of the Asian experience of global media. Whether discussing video platforms in Japan and Indonesia, K-pop reception videos, amateur music videos circulated via microSD cards in India, or the censorship of Bollywood films in Nigeria, the essays trace the myriad ways Asian video reshapes media politics and aesthetic practices. While many influential commentators overlook, denounce, and trivialize Asian video, the contributors here show how it belongs to the shifting core of contemporary global media, thereby moving conversations about Asian media beyond static East-West imaginaries, residual Cold War mentalities, triumphalist declarations about resurgent Asias, and budding jingoisms. In so doing, they write Asia's vibrant media practices into the mainstream of global media and cultural theories while challenging and complicating hegemonic ideas about the global as well as digital media.
From hidden connections in big data to bots spreading fake news, journalism is increasingly computer-generated. Nicholas Diakopoulos explains the present and future of a world in which algorithms have changed how the news is created, disseminated, and received, and he shows why journalists—and their values—are at little risk of being replaced.
In the wake of the recent far-reaching changes in the use and accessibility of technology in our society, the average person is far more engaged with digital culture than ever before. They are not merely subject to technological advances but actively use, create, and mold them in everyday routines—connecting with loved ones and strangers through the Internet and smart phones, navigating digital worlds for work and recreation, extracting information from vast networks, and even creating and customizing interfaces to best suit their needs. In this timely work, Mirko Tobias Schäfer delves deep into the realities of user participation, the forms it takes, and the popular discourse around new media. Drawing on extensive research into hacking culture, fan communities, and Web 2.0 applications, Schäfer offers a critical approach to the hype around user participation and exposes the blurred boundaries between industry-driven culture and the domain of the user.
2019 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominee, Best Academic/Scholarly Work
In Between Pen and Pixel: Comics, Materiality, and the Book of the Future, Aaron Kashtan argues that paying attention to comics helps us understand the future of the book. Debates over the future of the book tend to focus on text-based literature, particularly fiction. However, because comics make the effects of materiality visible, they offer a clearer demonstration than prose fiction of how the rise of digital reading platforms transforms the reading experience. Comics help us see the effects of alterations in features such as publication design and typography, whereas in print literature, such transformations often go unnoticed.
With case studies of the work of Alison Bechdel, Matt Kindt, Lynda Barry, Carla Speed McNeil, Chris Ware, and Randall Munroe, Kashtan examines print comics that critique digital technology, comics that are remediated from print to digital and vice versa, and comics that combine print and digital functionality. Kashtan argues that comics are adapting to the rise of digital reading technologies more effectively than print literature has yet done. Therefore, looking at comics gives us a preview of what the future of the book looks like. Ultimately, Between Pen and Pixel argues that as print literature becomes more sensitive to issues of materiality and mediacy, print books will increasingly start to resemble to comic books.
A discussion of the benefits and pitfalls of citizen science—scientific undertakings that make use of public participation and crowd-sourced data collection
James Wynn’s timely investigation highlights scientific studies grounded in publicly gathered data and probes the rhetoric these studies employ. Many of these endeavors, such as the widely used SETI@home project, simply draw on the processing power of participants’ home computers; others, like the protein-folding game FoldIt, ask users to take a more active role in solving scientific problems. In Citizen Science in the Digital Age:Rhetoric, Science, and Public Engagement, Wynn analyzes the discourse that enables these scientific ventures, as well as the difficulties that arise in communication between scientists and lay people and the potential for misuse of publicly gathered data.
Wynn puzzles out the intricacies of these exciting new research developments by focusing on various case studies. He explores the Safecast project, which originated from crowd-sourced mapping for Fukushima radiation dispersal, arguing that evolving technologies enable public volunteers to make concrete, sound, science-based arguments. Additionally, he considers the potential use of citizen science as a method of increasing the public’s identification with the scientific community, and contemplates how more collaborative rhetoric might deepen these opportunities for interaction and alignment. Furthermore, he examines ways in which the lived experience of volunteers may be integrated with expert scientific knowledge, and also how this same personal involvement can be used to further policy agendas.
Precious few texts explore the intersection of rhetoric, science, and the Internet. Citizen Science in the Digital Age fills this gap, offering a clear, intelligent overview of the topic intended for rhetoric and communication scholars as well as practitioners and administrators in a number of science-based disciplines. With the expanded availability of once inaccessible technologies and computing power to laypeople, the practice of citizen science will only continue to grow. This study offers insight into how—given prudent application and the clear articulation of common goals—citizen science might strengthen the relationships between scientists and laypeople.
In Climatic Media, Yuriko Furuhata traces climate engineering from the early twentieth century to the present, emphasizing the legacies of Japan’s empire building and its Cold War alliance with the United States. Furuhata boldly expands the scope of media studies to consider technologies that chemically “condition” Earth’s atmosphere and socially “condition” the conduct of people, focusing on the attempts to monitor and modify indoor and outdoor atmospheres by Japanese scientists, technicians, architects, and artists in conjunction with their American counterparts. She charts the geopolitical contexts of what she calls climatic media by examining a range of technologies such as cloud seeding and artificial snowflakes, digital computing used for weather forecasting and weather control, cybernetics for urban planning and policing, Nakaya Fujiko’s fog sculpture, and the architectural experiments of Tange Lab and the Metabolists, who sought to design climate-controlled capsule housing and domed cities. Furuhata’s transpacific analysis offers a novel take on the elemental conditions of media and climate change.
Paula Bialski University of Minnesota Press, 2019 Library of Congress P90 | Dewey Decimal 302.2
On contemporary communication in its various human and nonhuman forms
Contemporary communication puts us not only in conversation with one another but also with our machinery. Machine communication—to communicate not just via but also with machines—is therefore the focus of this volume. Diving into digital communications history, Finn Brunton brings to the fore the alienness of computational communication by looking at network timekeeping, automated trolling, and early attempts at communication with extraterrestrial life. Picking up this fascination with inhuman communication, Mercedes Bunz then performs a close reading of interaction design and interfaces to show how technology addresses humans (as very young children). Finally, Paula Bialski shares her findings from a field study of software development, analyzing the communicative forms that occur when code is written by separate people. Today, communication unfolds merely between two or more conscious entities but often includes an invisible third party. Inspired by this drastic shift, this volume uncovers new meanings of what it means “to communicate.”
Critical Terms for Media Studies
Edited by W. J. T. Mitchell and Mark B. N. Hansen University of Chicago Press, 2010 Library of Congress PN56.T37C75 2010 | Dewey Decimal 302.23
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.
Challenges to Silicon Valley’s dominant role in conjuring and patenting the world’s technological futures are arising around the world. As digital media technologies emerge from new, globally dispersed locations, a multipolar order of communication innovation seems to be in the making. Yet recovering our ability to imagine futures otherwise requires negotiating conditions—economic, geopolitical, sociocultural, and ecological—rather than reproducing them under the pretext of breaking with the present. The essays in this volume examine research on such conditions critically and comparatively in a variety of geographies. Paying due attention to China’s rise as an innovative platform society and AI powerhouse, this book addresses the broader question of a shifting world order and trends that are shaped by China’s influence but that extend beyond its borders. Looking at multipolar communication innovation through various critical lenses, our technological futures simultaneously appear to be old, new, and uncertain, while the infrastructures and platforms underpinning communication innovation both affiliate communities and set them apart.
How have university scholars across a variety of disciplines navigated the co-creative and collaborative relationships involving community partners? How has the addition of digital components changed the way information can be communicated to the intended audience? Through digital projects, traditional academic silos have given way to community-based partnerships which open research, storytelling, and curation to wide array of contributors from civic engagement professionals, librarians, archivists, technology personnel, local citizens, and academics. The collaborative process may push your comfort zone and make you grapple with your roll of storytelling but as the authors of the last chapter say, “You can’t make ketchup without smashing a few tomatoes.”
Digital projects can empower communities through collaboration and create new primary sources, collapse barriers, and spark new dialogue. Digital Community Engagement “lifts the hood” and presents nine examples of digital collaborations from constructing a public response to police violence, to creating digital stories of homelessness, to young activists united around local people in the Deep South to build a grassroots movement for social change.
Wingo, Heppler and Schadewald bring together cutting-edge campus-community partnerships with a focus on digital projects. The case studies, authored by academics and their community partners, explore models for digital community engagement that leverage new media through reciprocal partnerships. The contributions to this volume stand at the crossroads of digital humanities, public history, and community
Digital Critical Editions
Edited by Daniel Apollon, Claire Belisle, and Philippe Regnier University of Illinois Press, 2014 Library of Congress PN171.D37D54 2014 | Dewey Decimal 808.0270285
Provocative yet sober, Digital Critical Editions examines how transitioning from print to a digital milieu deeply affects how scholars deal with the work of editing critical texts. On one hand, forces like changing technology and evolving reader expectations lead to the development of specific editorial products, while on the other hand, they threaten traditional forms of knowledge and methods of textual scholarship.
Using the experiences of philologists, text critics, text encoders, scientific editors, and media analysts, Digital Critical Editions ranges from philology in ancient Alexandria to the vision of user-supported online critical editing, from peer-directed texts distributed to a few to community-edited products shaped by the many. The authors discuss the production and accessibility of documents, the emergence of tools used in scholarly work, new editing regimes, and how the readers' expectations evolve as they navigate digital texts. The goal: exploring questions such as, What kind of text is produced? Why is it produced in this particular way?
Digital Critical Editions provides digital editors, researchers, readers, and technological actors with insights for addressing disruptions that arise from the clash of traditional and digital cultures, while also offering a practical roadmap for processing traditional texts and collections with today's state-of-the-art editing and research techniques thus addressing readers' new emerging reading habits.
The contentious debate in Cuba over Internet use and digital media primarily focuses on three issuesùmaximizing the potential for economic and cultural development, establishing stronger ties to the outside world, and changing the hierarchy of control. A growing number of users decry censorship and insist on personal freedom in accessing the web, while the centrally managed system benefits the government in circumventing U.S. sanctions against the country and in controlling what limited capacity exists.
Digital Dilemmas views Cuba from the Soviet Union's demise to the present, to assess how conflicts over media access play out in their both liberating and repressive potential. Drawing on extensive scholarship and interviews, Cristina Venegas questions myths of how Internet use necessarily fosters global democracy and reveals the impact of new technologies on the country's governance and culture. She includes film in the context of broader media history, as well as artistic practices such as digital art and networks of diasporic communities connected by the Web. This book is a model for understanding the geopolitic location of power relations in the age of digital information sharing.
Digital ethnography can be understood as a method for representing real-life cultures through storytelling in digital media. Enabling audiences to go beyond absorbing facts, computer-based storytelling allows for immersion in the experience of another culture. A guide for anyone in the social sciences who seeks to enrich ethnographic techniques, Digital Ethnography offers a groundbreaking approach that utilizes interactive components to simulate cultural narratives.
Integrating insights from cultural anthropology, folklore, digital humanities, and digital heritage studies, this work brims with case studies that provide in-depth discussions of applied projects. Web links to multimedia examples are included as well, including projects, design documents, and other relevant materials related to the planning and execution of digital ethnography projects. In addition, new media tools such as database development and XML coding are explored and explained, bridging the literature on cyber-ethnography with inspiring examples such as blending cultural heritage with computer games.
One of the few books in its field to address the digital divide among researchers, Digital Ethnography guides readers through the extraordinary potential for enrichment offered by technological resources, far from restricting research to quantitative methods usually associated with technology. The authors powerfully remind us that the study of culture is as much about affective traits of feeling and sensing as it is about cognition—an approach facilitated (not hindered) by the digital age.
Three decades of societal and cultural alignment of new media have yielded a host of innovations, trials, and problems, accompanied by versatile popular and academic discourse. New Media Studies crystallized internationally into an established academic discipline, and this begs the question: where do we stand now? Which new questions are emerging now that new media are being taken for granted, and which riddles are still unsolved? Is contemporary digital culture indeed all about 'you', the participating user, or do we still not really understand the digital machinery and how this constitutes us as 'you'? The contributors to the present book, all employed in teaching and researching new media and digital culture, assembled their 'digital material' into an anthology, covering issues ranging from desktop metaphors to Web 2.0 ecosystems, from touch screens to blogging and e-learning, from role-playing games and cybergothic music to wireless dreams. Together the contributions provide a showcase of current research in the field, from what may be called a 'digital-materialist' perspective.
In the popular imagination, archives are remote, largely obsolete institutions: either antiquated, inevitably dusty libraries or sinister repositories of personal secrets maintained by police states. Yet the archive is now a ubiquitous feature of digital life. Rather than being deleted, e-mails and other computer files are archived. Media software and cloud storage allow for the instantaneous cataloging and preservation of data, from music, photographs, and videos to personal information gathered by social media sites.
In this digital landscape, the archival-oriented media theories of Wolfgang Ernst are particularly relevant. Digital Memory and the Archive, the first English-language collection of the German media theorist’s work, brings together essays that present Ernst’s controversial materialist approach to media theory and history. His insights are central to the emerging field of media archaeology, which uncovers the role of specific technologies and mechanisms, rather than content, in shaping contemporary culture and society.
Ernst’s interrelated ideas on the archive, machine time and microtemporality, and the new regimes of memory offer a new perspective on both current digital culture and the infrastructure of media historical knowledge. For Ernst, different forms of media systems—from library catalogs to sound recordings—have influenced the content and understanding of the archive and other institutions of memory. At the same time, digital archiving has become a contested site that is highly resistant to curation, thus complicating the creation and preservation of cultural memory and history.
Digital Music Videos
Shaviro, Steven Rutgers University Press, 2017 Library of Congress PN1992.8.M87S53 2017 | Dewey Decimal 780.267
Music videos today sample and rework a century’s worth of movies and other pop culture artifacts to offer a plethora of visions and sounds that we have never encountered before.
As these videos have proliferated online, they have become more widely accessible than ever before. In Digital Music Videos, Steven Shaviro examines the ways that music videos interact with and change older media like movies and gallery art; the use of technologies like compositing, motion control, morphing software, and other digital special effects in order to create a new organization of time and space; how artists use music videos to project their personas; and how less well known musicians use music videos to extend their range and attract attention.
Surveying a wide range of music videos, Shaviro highlights some of their most striking innovations while illustrating how these videos are creating a whole new digital world for the music industry.
Increasingly, young people live online, with the vast majority of their social and cultural interactions conducted through means other than face-to-face conversation. How does this transition impact the ways in which young migrants understand, negotiate, and perform identity? That's the question taken up by Digital Passages: Migrant Youth 2.0, a ground-breaking analysis of the ways that youth culture online interacts with issues of diaspora, gender, and belonging. Drawing on surveys, in-depth interviews, and ethnography, Koen Leurs builds an interdisciplinary portrait of online youth culture and the spaces it opens up for migrant youth to negotiate power relations and to promote intercultural understanding.
What is “digital rhetoric”? This book aims to answer that question by looking at a number of interrelated histories, as well as evaluating a wide range of methods and practices from fields in the humanities, social sciences, and information sciences to determine what might constitute the work and the world of digital rhetoric. The advent of digital and networked communication technologies prompts renewed interest in basic questions such as What counts as a text? and Can traditional rhetoric operate in digital spheres or will it need to be revised? Or will we need to invent new rhetorical practices altogether?
Through examples and consideration of digital rhetoric theories, methods for both researching and making in digital rhetoric fields, and examples of digital rhetoric pedagogy, scholarship, and public performance, this book delivers a broad overview of digital rhetoric. In addition, Douglas Eyman provides historical context by investigating the histories and boundaries that arise from mapping this emerging field and by focusing on the theories that have been taken up and revised by digital rhetoric scholars and practitioners. Both traditional and new methods are examined for the tools they provide that can be used to both study digital rhetoric and to potentially make new forms that draw on digital rhetoric for their persuasive power.
Our everyday lives are increasingly being lived through electronic media, which are changing our interactions and our communications in ways that we are only beginning to understand. In Discourse 2.0: Language and New Media, editors Deborah Tannen and Anna Marie Trester team up with top scholars in the field to shed light on the ways language is being used in, and shaped by, these new media contexts.
Topics explored include: how Web 2.0 can be conceptualized and theorized; the role of English on the worldwide web; how use of social media such as Facebook and texting shape communication with family and friends; electronic discourse and assessment in educational and other settings; multimodality and the "participatory spectacle" in Web 2.0; asynchronicity and turn-taking; ways that we engage with technology including reading on-screen and on paper; and how all of these processes interplay with meaning-making.
Students, professionals, and individuals will discover that Discourse 2.0 offers a rich source of insight into these new forms of discourse that are pervasive in our lives.
Economic Analysis of the Digital Economy
Edited by Avi Goldfarb, Shane M. Greenstein, and Catherine E. Tucker University of Chicago Press, 2015 Library of Congress ZA4045.E26 2015 | Dewey Decimal 302.231
As the cost of storing, sharing, and analyzing data has decreased, economic activity has become increasingly digital. But while the effects of digital technology and improved digital communication have been explored in a variety of contexts, the impact on economic activity—from consumer and entrepreneurial behavior to the ways in which governments determine policy—is less well understood.
Economic Analysis of the Digital Economy explores the economic impact of digitization, with each chapter identifying a promising new area of research. The Internet is one of the key drivers of growth in digital communication, and the first set of chapters discusses basic supply-and-demand factors related to access. Later chapters discuss new opportunities and challenges created by digital technology and describe some of the most pressing policy issues. As digital technologies continue to gain in momentum and importance, it has become clear that digitization has features that do not fit well into traditional economic models. This suggests a need for a better understanding of the impact of digital technology on economic activity, and Economic Analysis of the Digital Economy brings together leading scholars to explore this emerging area of research.
Never before has the future been so systematically envisioned, aggressively analyzed, and grandly theorized as in the present rush to cyberspace and digitalization. In the mid-twentieth century, questions about media technologies and society first emerged as scholarly hand-wringing about the deleterious sweep of electronic media and information technologies in mass culture. Now, questions about new technologies and their social and cultural impact are no longer limited to intellectual soothsayers in the academy but are pervasive parts of day-to-day discourses in newspapers, magazines, television, and film.
Electronic Media and Technoculture anchors contemporary discussion of the digital future within a critical tradition about the media arts, society, and culture. The collection examines a range of phenomena, from boutique cyber-practices to the growing ubiquity of e-commerce and the internet. The essays chart a critical field in media studies, providing a historical perspective on theories of new media. The contributors place discussions of producing technologies in dialogue with consuming technologies, new media in relation to old media, and argue that digital media should not be restricted to the constraining public discourses of either the computer, broadcast, motion-picture, or internet industries. The collection charts a range of theoretical positions to assist readers interested in new media and to enable them to weather the cycles of hardware obsolescence and theoretical volatility that characterize the present rush toward digital technologies.
Contributors include Ien Ang, John Caldwell, Cynthia Cockburn, Helen Cunningham, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Arthur Kroker, Bill Nichols, Andrew Ross, Ellen Seiter, Vivian Sobchack, Allucquère Rosanne Stone, Ravi Sundaram, Michael A. Weinstein, Raymond Williams, and Brian Winston.
John Thornton Caldwell is chair of the film and television department at the University of California at Los Angeles. He is a filmmaker and media artist and author of Televisuality: Style, Crisis, and Authority in American Television (also from Rutgers University Press).
Exploring the Roots of Digital and Media Literacy through Personal Narrative provides a wide-ranging look at the origins, concepts, theories, and practices of the field. This unique, exciting collection of essays by a range of distinguished scholars and practitioners offers insights into the scholars and thinkers who fertilized the minds of those who helped shape the theory and practice of digital and media literacy education.
Each chapter describes an individual whom the author considers to be a type of “grandparent.” By weaving together two sets of personal stories—that of the contributing author and that of the key ideas and life history of the historical figure under their scrutiny—major concepts of digital media and learning emerge.
Even as media in myriad forms increasingly saturate our lives, we nonetheless tend to describe our relationship to it in terms from the twentieth century: we are consumers of media, choosing to engage with it. In Feed-Forward, Mark B. N. Hansen shows just how outmoded that way of thinking is: media is no longer separate from us but has become an inescapable part of our very experience of the world.
Drawing on the speculative empiricism of philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, Hansen reveals how new media call into play elements of sensibility that greatly affect human selfhood without in any way belonging to the human. From social media to data-mining to new sensor technologies, media in the twenty-first century work largely outside the realm of perceptual consciousness, yet at the same time inflect our every sensation. Understanding that paradox, Hansen shows, offers us a chance to put forward a radically new vision of human becoming, one that enables us to reground the human in a non-anthropocentric view of the world and our experience in it.
While digital media give us the ability to communicate with and know the world, their use comes at the expense of an immense ecological footprint and environmental degradation. In Finite Media Sean Cubitt offers a large-scale rethinking of theories of mediation by examining the environmental and human toll exacted by mining and the manufacture, use, and disposal of millions of phones, computers, and other devices. The way out is through an eco-political media aesthetics, in which people use media to shift their relationship to the environment and where public goods and spaces are available to all. Cubitt demonstrates this through case studies ranging from the 1906 film The Story of the Kelly Gang to an image of Saturn taken during NASA's Cassini-Huygens mission, suggesting that affective responses to images may generate a populist environmental politics that demands better ways of living and being. Only by reorienting our use of media, Cubitt contends, can we overcome the failures of political elites and the ravages of capital.
Folklore and Social Media
Andrew Peck Utah State University Press, 2020 Library of Congress GR44.E43F64 2020 | Dewey Decimal 398.20285
Ten years after the publication of the foundational edited collection Folklore and the Internet, Andrew Peck and Trevor J. Blank bring an essential update of scholarship to the study of digital folklore, Folklore and Social Media. A unique virtual, hybridized platform for human communication, social media is more dynamic, ubiquitous, and nuanced than the internet ever was by itself, and the majority of Americans use it to access and interact with digital source materials in more advanced and robust ways.
This book features twelve chapters ranging in topics from legend transmission and fake news to case studies of memes, joke cycles, and Twitter hashtag campaigns and offers fresh insights on digital heritage and web archiving. The editors and contributors take both the “digital” and “folklore” elements seriously because social media fundamentally changes folk practices in new, though often invisible, ways. Social media platforms encourage hybrid performances that appear informal and ordinary while also offering significant space to obfuscate backstage behaviors through editing and retakes. The result is that expression online becomes increasingly reminiscent of traditional forms of face-to-face interaction, while also hiding its fundamental differences.
Folklore and Social Media demonstrates various ways to refine methods and analyses in order to develop a better understanding of the informal and traditional dynamics that define an era of folklore and social media. It is an invaluable addition to the literature on digital folklore scholarship that will be of interest to students and scholars alike.
Sheila Bock, Peter M. Broadwell, Bill Ellis, Jeana Jorgensen, Liisi Laineste, John Laudun, Linda J. Lee, Lynne S. McNeill, Ryan M. Milner, Whitney Phillips, Vwani Roychowdhury, Timothy R. Tangherlini, Tok Thompson, Elizabeth Tucker, Kristiana Willsey
Can today’s society, increasingly captivated by a constant flow of information, share a sense of history? How did our media-making forebears balance the tension between the present and the absent, the individual and the collective, the static and the dynamic—and how do our current digital networks disrupt these same balances? Can our social media, with its fleeting nature, even be considered social at all?
Interlaced among these inquiries, Liu shows how extensive “network archaeologies” can be constructed as novel ways of thinking about our affiliations with time and with each other. These conceptual architectures of period and age are also always media structures, scaffolded with the outlines of what we mean by history. Thinking about our own time, Liu wonders if the digital, networked future can sustain a similar sense of history.
How have online protests—like the recent outrage over the Komen Foundation’s decision to defund Planned Parenthood—changed the nature of political action? How do Facebook and other popular social media platforms shape the conversation around current political issues? The ways in which we gather information about current events and communicate it with others have been transformed by the rapid rise of digital media. The political is no longer confined to the institutional and electoral arenas, and that has profound implications for how we understand citizenship and political participation.
With From Voice to Influence, Danielle Allen and Jennifer S. Light have brought together a stellar group of political and social theorists, social scientists, and media analysts to explore this transformation. Threading through the contributions is the notion of egalitarian participatory democracy, and among the topics discussed are immigration rights activism, the participatory potential of hip hop culture, and the porous boundary between public and private space on social media. The opportunities presented for political efficacy through digital media to people who otherwise might not be easily heard also raise a host of questions about how to define “good participation:” Does the ease with which one can now participate in online petitions or conversations about current events seduce some away from serious civic activities into “slacktivism?”
Drawing on a diverse body of theory, from Hannah Arendt to Anthony Appiah, From Voice to Influence offers a range of distinctive visions for a political ethics to guide citizens in a digitally connected world.
“How do we think?” N. Katherine Hayles poses this question at the beginning of this bracing exploration of the idea that we think through, with, and alongside media. As the age of print passes and new technologies appear every day, this proposition has become far more complicated, particularly for the traditionally print-based disciplines in the humanities and qualitative social sciences. With a rift growing between digital scholarship and its print-based counterpart, Hayles argues for contemporary technogenesis—the belief that humans and technics are coevolving—and advocates for what she calls comparative media studies, a new approach to locating digital work within print traditions and vice versa.
Hayles examines the evolution of the field from the traditional humanities and how the digital humanities are changing academic scholarship, research, teaching, and publication. She goes on to depict the neurological consequences of working in digital media, where skimming and scanning, or “hyper reading,” and analysis through machine algorithms are forms of reading as valid as close reading once was. Hayles contends that we must recognize all three types of reading and understand the limitations and possibilities of each. In addition to illustrating what a comparative media perspective entails, Hayles explores the technogenesis spiral in its full complexity. She considers the effects of early databases such as telegraph code books and confronts our changing perceptions of time and space in the digital age, illustrating this through three innovative digital productions—Steve Tomasula’s electronic novel, TOC; Steven Hall’s The Raw Shark Texts; and Mark Z. Danielewski’s Only Revolutions.
Deepening our understanding of the extraordinary transformative powers digital technologies have placed in the hands of humanists, How We Think presents a cogent rationale for tackling the challenges facing the humanities today.
"Links" are among the most basic---and most unexamined---features of online life. Bringing together a prominent array of thinkers from industry and the academy, The Hyperlinked Society addresses a provocative series of questions about the ways in which hyperlinks organize behavior online. How do media producers' considerations of links change the way they approach their work, and how do these considerations in turn affect the ways that audiences consume news and entertainment? What role do economic and political considerations play in information producers' creation of links? How do links shape the size and scope of the public sphere in the digital age? Are hyperlinks "bridging" mechanisms that encourage people to see beyond their personal beliefs to a broader and more diverse world? Or do they simply reinforce existing bonds by encouraging people to ignore social and political perspectives that conflict with their existing interests and beliefs?
This pathbreaking collection of essays will be valuable to anyone interested in the now taken for granted connections that structure communication, commerce, and civic discourse in the world of digital media.
"This collection provides a broad and deep examination of the social, political, and economic implications of the evolving, web-based media environment. The Hyperlinked Society will be a very useful contribution to the scholarly debate about the role of the internet in modern society, and especially about the interaction between the internet and other media systems in modern society."
---Charles Steinfield, Professor and Chairperson, Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media, Michigan State University
Joseph Turow is Robert Lewis Shayon Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. He was named a Distinguished Scholar by the National Communication Association and a Fellow of the International Communication Association in 2010. He has authored eight books, edited five, and written more than 100 articles on mass media industries. His books include Niche Envy: Marketing Discrimination in the Digital Age and Breaking up America: Advertisers and the New Media World.
Lokman Tsui is a doctoral candidate at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. His research interests center on new media and global communication.
Cover image: This graph from Lada Adamic's chapter depicts the link structure of political blogs in the United States. The shapes reflect the blogs, and the colors of the shapes reflect political orientation---red for conservative blogs, blue for liberal ones. The size of each blog reflects the number of blogs that link to it.
digitalculturebooks is an imprint of the University of Michigan Press and the Scholarly Publishing Office of the University of Michigan Library dedicated to publishing innovative and accessible work exploring new media and their impact on society, culture, and scholarly communication. Visit the website at www.digitalculture.org.
Indie Cinema Online
Sarah E.S. Sinwell Rutgers University Press, 2020 Library of Congress PN1995.9.D57S56 2020 | Dewey Decimal 384.83
Indie Cinema Online investigates the changing nature of contemporary American independent cinema in an era of media convergence. Focusing on the ways in which modes of production, distribution, and exhibition are shifting with the advent of online streaming, simultaneous release strategies, and web series, this book analyzes sites such as SundanceTV, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and other online spaces as a means of redefining independent cinema in a digital era. Analyzing the intersections among cinema studies, cultural studies, and new media studies within contemporary convergence culture, author Sarah E.S. Sinwell looks at sites of media convergence that are often ignored within most studies of digital media. Emphasizing the ways in which the forms and technologies of media culture have changed during the age of convergence, this book analyzes contemporary production, distribution, and exhibition practices as a means of examining the changing meanings of independent cinema within digital culture.
For decades, lesbian feminists across the United States and Canada have created information to build movements and survive in a world that doesn't want them. In Information Activism Cait McKinney traces how these women developed communication networks, databases, and digital archives that formed the foundation for their work. Often learning on the fly and using everything from index cards to computers, these activists brought people and their visions of justice together to organize, store, and provide access to information. Focusing on the transition from paper to digital-based archival techniques from the 1970s to the present, McKinney shows how media technologies animate the collective and unspectacular labor that sustains social movements, including their antiracist and trans-inclusive endeavors. By bringing sexuality studies to bear on media history, McKinney demonstrates how groups with precarious access to control over information create their own innovative and resourceful techniques for generating and sharing knowledge.
Information Please advances the ongoing critical project of the media scholar Mark Poster: theorizing the social and cultural effects of electronically mediated information. In this book Poster conceptualizes a new relation of humans to information machines, a relation that avoids privileging either the human or the machine but instead focuses on the structures of their interactions. Synthesizing a broad range of critical theory, he explores how texts, images, and sounds are made different when they are mediated by information machines, how this difference affects individuals as well as social and political formations, and how it creates opportunities for progressive change.
Poster’s critique develops through a series of lively studies. Analyzing the appearance of Sesame Street’s Bert next to Osama Bin Laden in a New York Times news photo, he examines the political repercussions of this Internet “hoax” as well as the unlimited opportunities that Internet technology presents for the appropriation and alteration of information. He considers the implications of open-source licensing agreements, online personas, the sudden rise of and interest in identity theft, peer-to-peer file sharing, and more. Focusing explicitly on theory, he reflects on the limitations of critical concepts developed before the emergence of new media, particularly globally networked digital communications, and he argues that, contrary to the assertions of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, new media do not necessarily reproduce neoimperialisms. Urging a rethinking of assumptions ingrained during the dominance of broadcast media, Poster charts new directions for work on politics and digital culture.
Interdisciplining Digital Humanities sorts through definitions and patterns of practice over roughly sixty-five years of work, providing an overview for specialists and a general audience alike. It is the only book that tests the widespread claim that Digital Humanities is interdisciplinary. By examining the boundary work of constructing, expanding, and sustaining a new field, it depicts both the ways this new field is being situated within individual domains and dynamic cross-fertilizations that are fostering new relationships across academic boundaries. It also accounts for digital reinvigorations of “public humanities” in cultural heritage institutions of museums, archives, libraries, and community forums.
In India, the practice of jugaad—finding workarounds or hacks to solve problems—emerged out of subaltern strategies of negotiating poverty, discrimination, and violence but is now celebrated in management literature as a disruptive innovation. In Jugaad Time Amit S. Rai explores how jugaad operates within contemporary Indian digital media cultures through the use of the mobile phone. Rai shows that despite being co-opted by capitalism to extract free creative labor from the workforce, jugaad is simultaneously a practice of everyday resistance, as workers and communities employ hacks to oppose corporate, caste, and gender power. Locating the tensions surrounding jugaad—as both premodern and postdigital, innovative and oppressive—Rai maps how jugaad can be used to undermine neoliberal capitalist media ecologies and nationalist politics.
Knowledge work is now the reigning business paradigm and affects even the world of higher education. But what perspective can the knowledge of the humanities and arts contribute to a world of knowledge work whose primary mission is business? And what is the role of information technology as both the servant of the knowledge economy and the medium of a new technological cool? In The Laws of Cool, Alan Liu reflects on these questions as he considers the emergence of new information technologies and their profound influence on the forms and practices of knowledge.
Challenging the distinctions between “old” and “new” media and narratives about the deprecation of orality in favor of inscribed forms, The Maya Art of Speaking Writing draws from Maya concepts of tz’ib’ (recorded knowledge) and tzij, choloj, and ch’owen (orality) to look at expressive work across media and languages.
Based on nearly a decade of fieldwork in the Guatemalan highlands, Tiffany D. Creegan Miller discusses images that are sonic, pictorial, gestural, and alphabetic. She reveals various forms of creativity and agency that are woven through a rich media landscape in Indigenous Guatemala, as well as Maya diasporas in Mexico and the United States. Miller discusses how technologies of inscription and their mediations are shaped by human editors, translators, communities, and audiences, as well as by voices from the natural world.
These texts push back not just on linear and compartmentalized Western notions of media but also on the idea of the singular author, creator, scholar, or artist removed from their environment. The persistence of orality and the interweaving of media forms combine to offer a challenge to audiences to participate in decolonial actions through language preservation.
The Maya Art of Speaking Writing calls for centering Indigenous epistemologies by doing research in and through Indigenous languages as we engage in debates surrounding Indigenous literatures, anthropology, decoloniality, media studies, orality, and the digital humanities.
Media of Serial Narrative
Frank Kelleter The Ohio State University Press, 2017 Library of Congress PN3448.S48M43 2017 | Dewey Decimal 809.3
Media of Serial Narrative, edited by Frank Kelleter, is the first book-length study to address the increasingly popular topic of serial narratives—specifically, how practices and forms of seriality shape media throughout the landscape of popular culture. In modern entertainment formats, seriality and popularity can seem so obviously connected that scholarship has long neglected to address their specific interrelations. This volume looks closely at the relationship between seriality, popularity, media, and narrative form and asks: What are the structural conditions of serial stories? Which historical circumstances are presupposed or supported by series and serials? How do commercial types of seriality differ from serial structures in other cultural fields? Media of Serial Narrative focuses on key sites and technologies of popular seriality since the mid-nineteenth century and up to today: newspapers, comics, cinema, television, and digital communication. Paying close attention to the affordances of individual media, as well as to their historical interactions, the fourteen chapters survey the forms, processes, and functions of popular serial storytelling. With individual chapters by Frank Kelleter, Jared Gardner, Daniel Stein, Christina Meyer, Scott Higgins, Shane Denson, Ruth Mayer, Kathleen Loock, Constantine Verevis, Jason Mittell, Sudeep Dasgupta, Sean O’Sullivan, Henry Jenkins, Christine Hämmerling, Mirjam Nast, and Andreas Sudmann, Media of Serial Narrative is an exciting and broad-ranging intervention in the fields of seriality, media, and narrative studies.
"This book is the perfect primer for understanding media in the digital age. We are in an era when newspaper, radio, and television are fast becoming archeological concepts. Herein are the reasons why."
---Nicholas Negroponte, founder and chairman of One Laptop per Child and cofounder of the MIT Media Laboratory
"Congratulations to Neuman and colleagues for a fascinating exploration of how previous new media were constructed, whether things could have been otherwise, and what can be learned for future media."
---Sonia Livingstone, Department of Media and Communications, the London School of Economics and Political Science
In Media, Technology, and Society, some of the most prominent figures in media studies explore the issue of media evolution. Focusing on a variety of compelling examples in media history, ranging from the telephone to the television, the radio to the Internet, these essays collectively address a series of notoriously vexing questions about the nature of technological change. Is it possible to make general claims about the conditions that enable or inhibit innovation? Does government regulation tend to protect or thwart incumbent interests? What kinds of concepts are needed to address the relationship between technology and society in a nonreductive and nondeterministic manner? To what extent can media history help us to understand and to influence the future of media in constructive ways? The contributors' historically grounded responses to these questions will be relevant to numerous fields, including history, media and communication studies, management, sociology, and information studies.
W. Russell Neuman is John Derby Evans Professor of Media Technology and Research Professor, Center for Political Studies, Institute for Social Research, at the University of Michigan.
DIGITALCULTUREBOOKS: a collaborative imprint of the University of Michigan Press and the University of Michigan Library
The Media Welfare State: Nordic Media in the Digital Era comprehensively addresses the central dynamics of the digitalization of the media industry in the Nordic countries—Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland—and the ways media organizations there are transforming to address the new digital environment. Taking a comparative approach, the authors provide an overview of media institutions, content, use, and policy throughout the region, focusing on the impact of information and communication technology/internet and digitalization on the Nordic media sector. Illustrating the shifting media landscape the authors draw on a wide range of cases, including developments in the press, television, the public service media institutions, and telecommunication.
Digital culture is often characterized as radically breaking with past technologies, practices, and ideologies rather than as reflecting or incorporating them. Memory Bytes seeks to counter such ahistoricism, arguing for the need to understand digital culture—and its social, political, and ethical ramifications—in historical and philosophical context. Looking at a broad range of technologies, including photography, print and digital media, heat engines, stereographs, and medical imaging, the contributors present a number of different perspectives from which to reflect on the nature of media change. While foregrounding the challenges of drawing comparisons across varied media and eras, Memory Bytes explores how technologies have been integrated into society at different moments in time.
These essays from scholars in the social sciences and humanities cover topics related to science and medicine, politics and war, mass communication, philosophy, film, photography, and art. Whether describing how the cultural and legal conflicts over player piano rolls prefigured controversies over the intellectual property status of digital technologies such as mp3 files; comparing the experiences of watching QuickTime movies to Joseph Cornell’s “boxed relic” sculptures of the 1930s and 1940s; or calling for a critical history of electricity from the Enlightenment to the present, Memory Bytes investigates the interplay of technology and culture. It relates the Information Age to larger and older political and cultural phenomena, analyzes how sensory effects have been technologically produced over time, considers how human subjectivity has been shaped by machines, and emphasizes the dependence of particular technologies on the material circumstances within which they were developed and used.
Contributors. Judith Babbitts, Scott Curtis, Ronald E. Day, David Depew, Abraham Geil, Sharon Ghamari-Tabrizi, Lisa Gitelman, N. Katherine Hayles, John Durham Peters, Lauren Rabinovitz, Laura Rigal, Vivian Sobchack, Thomas Swiss
How do new media affect the question of social memory? Social memory is usually described as enacted through ritual, language, art, architecture, and institutions ? phenomena whose persistence over time and capacity for a shared storage of the past was set in contrast to fleeting individual memory. But the question of how social memory should be understood in an age of digital computing, instant updating, and interconnection in real time, is very much up in the air. The essays in this collection discuss the new technologies of memory from a variety of perspectives that explicitly investigate their impact on the very concept of the social.Contributors: David Berry, Ina Blom, Wolfgang Ernst, Matthew Fuller, Andrew Goffey, Liv Hausken, Yuk Hui, Trond Lundemo, Adrian Mackenzie, Sónia Matos, Richard Mills, Jussi Parikka, Eivind Røssaak, Stuart Sharples, Tiziana Terranova, Pasi Väliaho.
Does literature need the book? With electronic texts and reading devices growing increasingly popular, the codex is no longer the default format of fiction. Yet as Alexander Starre shows in Metamedia, American literature has rediscovered the book as an artistic medium after the first e-book hype in the late 1990s. By fusing narrative and design, a number of “bibliographic” writers have created reflexive fictions—metamedia—that invite us to read printed formats in new ways. Their work challenges ingrained theories and beliefs about literary communication and its connections to technology and materiality. Metamedia explores the book as a medium that matters and introduces innovative critical concepts to better grasp its narrative significance.
Combining sustained textual analysis with impulses from the fields of book history, media studies, and systems theory, Starre explains the aesthetics and the cultural work of complex material fictions, such as Mark Z.Danielewski’s House of Leaves (2000), Chip Kidd’s The Cheese Monkeys (2001), Salvador Plascencia’s The People of Paper (2005), Reif Larsen’s The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet (2009), and Jonathan Safran Foer’s Tree of Codes (2010). He also broadens his analysis beyond the genre of the novel in an extensive account of the influential literary magazine McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern and its founder, Dave Eggers.
For this millennial generation of writers and publishers, the computer was never a threat to print culture, but a powerful tool to make better books. In careful close readings, Starre puts typefaces, layouts, and cover designs on the map of literary criticism. At the same time, the book steers clear of bibliophile nostalgia and technological euphoria as it follows writers, designers, and publishers in the process of shaping the surprising history of literary bookmaking after digitization.
A spidery network of mobile online media has supposedly changed people, places, time, and their meanings. A prime case is the news. Digital webs seem to have trapped "legacy media," killing off newspapers and journalists' jobs. Did news businesses and careers fall prey to the digital "Spider"?
To solve the mystery, Kevin Barnhurst spent thirty years studying news going back to the realism of the 1800s. The usual suspects--technology, business competition, and the pursuit of scoops--are only partly to blame for the fate of news. The main culprit is modernism from the "Mister Pulitzer" era, which transformed news into an ideology called "journalism." News is no longer what audiences or experts imagine. Stories have grown much longer over the past century and now include fewer events, locations, and human beings. Background and context rule instead.
News producers adopted modernism to explain the world without recognizing how modernist ideas influence the knowledge they produce. When webs of networked connectivity sparked a resurgence in realist stories, legacy news stuck to big-picture analysis that can alienate audience members accustomed to digital briefs.
Our interactions with screens have changed profoundly over the past several decades— from the development of mobile devices to the continued importance of digital technology, the intersection of mobility and visuality is a fascinating and timely subject for study. Looking at the cultural practices that ground our relationship with screens, Nanna Verhoeff offers a historical and comparative approach to screen-based media and digital culture. This smart, sharp addition to the field of media studies focuses on the innovation and transformation of mobile, urban, and location-based screens.
An important work for scholars who study technology, geography, and art, Mobile Screens offers a powerful look at the emergent visual culture of navigation and the way in which we engage with screens as part of our spatial, temporal, and tangible experiences of the world.
In Mothering through Precarity Julie A. Wilson and Emily Chivers Yochim explore how working- and middle-class mothers negotiate the difficulties of twenty-first-century mothering through their everyday engagement with digital media. From Facebook and Pinterest to couponing, health, and parenting websites, the women Wilson and Yochim study rely upon online resources and communities for material and emotional support. Feeling responsible for their family's economic security, these women often become "mamapreneurs," running side businesses out of their homes. They also feel the need to provide for their family's happiness, making successful mothering dependent upon economic and emotional labor. Questioning these standards of motherhood, Wilson and Yochim demonstrate that mothers' work is inseparable from digital media as it provides them the means for sustaining their families through such difficulties as health scares, underfunded schools, a weakening social safety net, and job losses.
MP3: The Meaning of a Format recounts the hundred-year history of the world's most common format for recorded audio. Understanding the historical meaning of the MP3 format entails rethinking the place of digital technologies in the larger universe of twentieth-century communication history, from hearing research conducted by the telephone industry in the 1910s, through the mid-century development of perceptual coding (the technology underlying the MP3), to the format's promiscuous social life since the mid 1990s.
MP3s are products of compression, a process that removes sounds unlikely to be heard from recordings. Although media history is often characterized as a progression toward greater definition, fidelity, and truthfulness, MP3: The Meaning of a Format illuminates the crucial role of compression in the development of modern media and sound culture. Taking the history of compression as his point of departure, Jonathan Sterne investigates the relationships among sound, silence, sense, and noise; the commodity status of recorded sound and the economic role of piracy; and the importance of standards in the governance of our emerging media culture. He demonstrates that formats, standards, and infrastructures—and the need for content to fit inside them—are every bit as central to communication as the boxes we call "media."
Jerome McGann's manifesto argues that the history of texts and how they are preserved and accessed for interpretation are the overriding subjects of humanist study in the digital age. Theory and philosophy no longer suffice as an intellectual framework. But philology--out of fashion for decades--models these concerns with surprising fidelity.
This report presents a quantitative assessment of how the presentation of news has changed over the past 30 years and how it varies across platforms. Over time, and as society moved from “old” to “new” media, news content has generally shifted from more-objective event- and context-based reporting to reporting that is more subjective, relies more heavily on argumentation and advocacy, and includes more emotional appeals.
For over thirty years, News: The Politics of Illusion has not simply reflected the political communication field—it has played a major role in shaping it. Today, the familiar news organizations of the legacy press are operating in a fragmenting and expanding mediaverse that resembles a big bang of proliferating online competitors that are challenging the very definition of news itself. Audience-powered sites such as the Huffington Post and Vox blend conventional political reporting with opinion blogs, celebrity gossip, and other ephemera aimed at getting clicks and shares. At the same time, the rise of serious investigative organizations such as ProPublica presents yet a different challenge to legacy journalism. Lance Bennett’s thoroughly revised tenth edition offers the most up-to-date guide to understanding how and why the media and news landscapes are being transformed. It explains the mix of old and new, and points to possible outcomes. Where areas of change are clearly established, key concepts from earlier editions have been revised. There are new case studies, updates on old favorites, and insightful analyses of how the new media system and novel kinds of information and engagement are affecting our politics. As always, News presents fresh evidence and arguments that invite new ways of thinking about the political information system and its place in democracy.
To err is human; to err in digital culture is design. In the glitches, inefficiencies, and errors that ergonomics and usability engineering strive to surmount, Peter Krapp identifies creative reservoirs of computer-mediated interaction. Throughout new media cultures, he traces a resistance to the heritage of motion studies, ergonomics, and efficiency; in doing so, he shows how creativity is stirred within the networks of digital culture.
Noise Channels offers a fresh look at hypertext and tactical media, tunes into laptop music, and situates the emergent forms of computer gaming and machinima in media history. Krapp analyzes text, image, sound, virtual spaces, and gestures in noisy channels of computer-mediated communication that seek to embrace—rather than overcome—the limitations and misfires of computing. Equally at home with online literature, the visual tactics of hacktivism, the recuperation of glitches in sound art, electronica, and videogames, or machinima as an emerging media practice, he explores distinctions between noise and information, and how games pivot on errors at the human–computer interface.
Grounding the digital humanities in the conditions of possibility of computing culture, Krapp puts forth his insight on the critical role of information in the creative process.
Digital objects, in their simplest form, are data. They are also a new kind of industrial object that pervades every aspect of our life today—as online videos, images, text files, e-mails, blog posts, Facebook events.Yet, despite their ubiquity, the nature of digital objects remains unclear.
On the Existence of Digital Objects conducts a philosophical examination of digital objects and their organizing schema by creating a dialogue between Martin Heidegger and Gilbert Simondon, which Yuk Hui contextualizes within the history of computing. How can digital objects be understood according to individualization and individuation? Hui pursues this question through the history of ontology and the study of markup languages and Web ontologies; he investigates the existential structure of digital objects within their systems and milieux. With this relational approach toward digital objects and technical systems, the book addresses alienation, described by Simondon as the consequence of mistakenly viewing technics in opposition to culture.
Interdisciplinary in philosophical and technical insights, with close readings of Husserl, Heidegger, and Simondon as well as the history of computing and the Web, Hui’s work develops an original, productive way of thinking about the data and metadata that increasingly define our world.
The movie industry is changing rapidly, due in part to the adoption of digital technologies. Distributors now send films to theaters electronically. Consumers can purchase or rent movies instantly online and then watch them on their high-definition televisions, their laptops, or even their cell phones. Meanwhile, social media technologies allow independent filmmakers to raise money and sell their movies directly to the public. All of these changes contribute to an “on-demand culture,” a shift that is radically altering film culture and contributing to a much more personalized viewing experience.
Chuck Tryon offers a compelling introduction to a world in which movies have become digital files. He navigates the complexities of digital delivery to show how new modes of access—online streaming services like YouTube or Netflix, digital downloads at iTunes, the popular Redbox DVD kiosks in grocery stores, and movie theaters offering digital projection of such 3-D movies as Avatar—are redefining how audiences obtain and consume motion picture entertainment. Tryon also tracks the reinvention of independent movies and film festivals by enterprising artists who have built their own fundraising and distribution models online.
Unique in its focus on the effects of digital technologies on movie distribution, On-Demand Culture offers a corrective to address the rapid changes in the film industry now that movies are available at the click of a button.
The Open Invitation explores the relationship between prefigurative politics and activist video. Schiwy analyzes activist videos from the 2006 uprising in Oaxaca, the Zapatista’s Other Campaign, as well as collaborative and community video from the Yucatán. Schiwy argues that transnational activist videos and community videos in indigenous languages reveal collaborations and that their political impact cannot be grasped through the concept of the public sphere. Instead, she places these videos in dialogue with recent efforts to understand the political with communality, a mode of governance articulated in indigenous struggles for autonomy, and with cinematic politics of affect.
Through technological experiments, readers have seen the concept of the book change over the years, and the novel reflects these experiments, acting as a kind of archive for information. Out of Print reveals that the novel continues to shape popular understandings of information culture, even as it adapts to engage with new media and new practices of mediating information in the digital age.
This innovative study chronicles how the print book has fared as both novelists and the burgeoning profession of information science have grappled with unprecedented quantities of data across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. As the novel's archival project took a critical turn from realism to an investigation of the structures, possibilities, and ideologies of information media, novelists have considered ideas about how data can best be collected and stored. Julia Panko pairs case studies from information history with close readings of modernist works such as James Joyce's Ulysses and Virginia Woolf's Orlando and contemporary novels from Jonathan Safran Foer, Stephen King, and Mark Z. Danielewski that emphasize their own informational qualities and experiment with the aesthetic potential of the print book.
Like. Share. Comment. Subscribe. Embed. Upload. Check in. The commands of the modern online world relentlessly prompt participation and encourage collaboration, connecting people in ways not possible even five years ago. This connectedness no doubt influences college writing courses in both form and content, creating possibilities for investigating new forms of writing and student participation. In this innovative volume, Sarah J. Arroyo argues for a “participatory composition,” inspired by the culture of online video sharing and framed by theorist Gregory Ulmer’s concept of electracy.
Electracy, according to Ulmer, “is to digital media what literacy is to alphabetic writing.” Although electracy can be compared to digital literacy, it is not something shut on and off with the power buttons on computers or mobile devices. Rather, electracy encompasses the cultural, institutional, pedagogical, and ideological implications inherent in the transition from a culture of print literacy to a culture saturated with electronic media, regardless of the presence of actual machines.
Arroyo explores the apparatus of electracy in many of its manifestations while focusing on the participatory practices found in online video culture, particularly on YouTube. Chapters are devoted to questions of subjectivity, definition, authorship, and pedagogy. Utilizing theory and incorporating practical examples from YouTube, classrooms, and other social sites, Arroyo presents accessible and practical approaches for writing instruction. Additionally, she outlines the concept of participatory composition by highlighting how it manifests in online video culture, offers student examples of engagement with the concept, and advocates participatory approaches throughout the book.
Arroyo presents accessible and practical possibilities for teaching and learning that will benefit scholars of rhetoric and composition, media studies, and anyone interested in the cultural and instructional implications of the digital age.
Fans are everywhere: from Fifty Shades of Grey to Veronica Mars, from Comic-Con to sitcom, from niche to Geek Chic, fans are becoming the most visible and important audience of the twenty-first century. For years the media industries ignored fans and fan activities, but now they’re paying attention and a lot of money to develop a whole new wave of products intended to harness the power of fandom. What impact do such corporate media efforts have on fan practice and fan identities? And are the media industries actually responding to fans as fans want them to?
In Playing Fans, Paul Booth argues that the more attention entertainment businesses pay to fans, the more mainstream fans have become popularized. But such mainstreaming ignores important creative fan work and tries to channel fandom into activities lucrative for the companies. Offering a new approach to the longstanding debate about the balance between manipulation and subversion in popular culture, the author argues that we can understand the current moment best through the concepts of pastiche and parody. This sophisticated alternative to conceiving of fans as either dupes of the media industry or rebels against it takes the discussion of “transformative” and “affirmative” fandom in a productive new direction.
With nuanced analyses of the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff, the representations of fans in TV shows like Community and films like Fanboys, SuperWhoLock fans’ use of gifs, and the similarities in discussions of slash fandom and pornographic parody films, this book reveals how fans borrow media techniques and media industries mimic fan activities. Just as the entertainment industry needs fans to succeed, so too do fans need—and desire—the media, and they represent their love through gif fics, crowdfunding, and digital cosplay. Everyone who wants to understand how consumers are making themselves at home in the brave new world being built by the contemporary media should read this book.
In Poetic Operations artist and theorist micha cárdenas considers contemporary digital media, artwork, and poetry in order to articulate trans of color strategies for safety and survival. Drawing on decolonial theory, women of color feminism, media theory, and queer of color critique, cárdenas develops a method she calls algorithmic analysis. Understanding algorithms as sets of instructions designed to perform specific tasks (like a recipe), she breaks them into their component parts, called operations. By focusing on these operations, cárdenas identifies how trans and gender-non-conforming artists, especially artists of color, rewrite algorithms to counter violence and develop strategies for liberation. In her analyses of Giuseppe Campuzano's holographic art, Esdras Parra's and Kai Cheng Thom's poetry, Mattie Brice's digital games, Janelle Monáe's music videos, and her own artistic practice, cárdenas shows how algorithmic analysis provides new modes of understanding the complex processes of identity and oppression and the intersection of gender, sexuality, and race.
A study of how film has continually intervened in our sense of perception, with far-ranging insights into the current state of lived experience
How has cinema transformed our senses, and how does it continue to do so? Positing film as a stage in the long coevolution of human consciousness and visual technology, Postcinematic Vision offer a fresh perspective on the history of film while providing startling new insights into the so-called divide between cinematic and digital media.
Starting with the argument that film viewing has long altered neural circuitry in our brains, Roger F. Cook proceeds to reevaluate film’s origins, as well as its merger with digital imaging in the 1990s. His animating argument is that film has continually altered the relation between media and human perception, challenging the visual nature of modern culture in favor of a more unified, pan-sensual way of perceiving. Through this approach, he makes original contributions to our understanding of how mediation is altering lived experience.
Along the way, Cook provides important reevaluations of well-known figures such as Franz Kafka, closely reading cinematic passages in the great author’s work; he reassesses the conventional wisdom that Marshall McLuhan was a technological determinist; and he lodges an original new reading of The Matrix. Full of provocative and far-reaching ideas, Postcinematic Vision is a powerful work that helps us see old concepts anew while providing new ideas for future investigation.
The proliferation of smart devices, digital media, and network technologies has led to everyday people experiencing everyday things increasingly on and through the screen. In fact, much of the world has become so saturated by digital mediations that many individuals have adopted digitally inflected sensibilities. This gestures not simply toward posthumanism, but more fundamentally toward an altogether post-digital condition—one in which the boundaries between the “real” and the “digital” have become blurred and technology has fundamentally reconfigured how we make sense of the world.
Post-Digital Rhetoric and the New Aesthetic takes stock of these reconfigurations and their implications for rhetorical studies by taking up the New Aesthetic—a movement introduced by artist/digital futurist James Bridle that was meant to capture something of a digital way of seeing by identifying aesthetic values that could not exist without computational and digital technologies. Bringing together work in rhetoric, art, and digital media studies, Hodgson treats the New Aesthetic as a rhetorical ecology rather than simply an aesthetic movement, allowing him to provide operative guides for the knowing, doing, and making of rhetoric in a post-digital culture.
Alexandra Juhasz University of Minnesota Press, 2021 Library of Congress HM851 | Dewey Decimal 302.231
More important than flagging things “really fake” is to understand why they are dismissed as fake
The new truth is the one that circulates: digital truth emerges from lists, databases, archives, and conditions of storage. Multiple truths may be activated through search, link, and retrieve queries. Alexandra Juhasz, Ganaele Langlois, and Nishant Shah respond by taking up story, poetry, and other human logics of care, intelligence, and dignity to explore sociotechnological and politico-aesthetic emergences in a world where information overload has become a new ontology of not-knowing. Their feminist digital methods allow considerations of internet things through alternative networked internet time: slowing down to see, honor, and engage with our past; invoking indeterminacy as a human capacity that lets multiple truths commingle on a page or in a body; and saving the truths of ourselves and our others differently from the corporate internet’s perpetual viral movement.
Writing across their own shared truisms, actors, and touchstones, the authors propose creative tactics, theoretical overtures, and experimental escape routes built to a human scale as ways to regain our capacities to know and tell truths about ourselves.
For over a century, movies have played an important role in our lives, entertaining us, often provoking conversation and debate. Now, with the rise of digital cinema, audiences often encounter movies outside the theater and even outside the home. Traditional distribution models are challenged by new media entrepreneurs and independent film makers, usergenerated video, film blogs, mashups, downloads, and other expanding networks.
Reinventing Cinema examines film culture at the turn of this century, at the precise moment when digital media are altering our historical relationship with the movies. Spanning multiple disciplines, Chuck Tryon addresses the interaction between production, distribution, and reception of films, television, and other new and emerging media.Through close readings of trade publications, DVD extras, public lectures by new media leaders, movie blogs, and YouTube videos, Tryon navigates the shift to digital cinema and examines how it is altering film and popular culture.
In recent years, anthropologists, historians, and others have been drawn to study the profuse and creative usages of digital media by religious movements. At the same time, scholars of Christian Africa have long been concerned with the history of textual culture, the politics of Bible translation, and the status of the vernacular in Christianity. Students of Islam in Africa have similarly examined politics of knowledge, the transmission of learning in written form, and the influence of new media. Until now, however, these arenas—Christianity and Islam, digital media and “old” media—have been studied separately.
Religion, Media, and Marginality in Modern Africa is one of the first volumes to put new media and old media into significant conversation with one another, and also offers a rare comparison between Christianity and Islam in Africa. The contributors find many previously unacknowledged correspondences among different media and between the two faiths. In the process they challenge the technological determinism—the notion that certain types of media generate particular forms of religious expression—that haunts many studies. In evaluating how media usage and religious commitment intersect in the social, cultural, and political landscapes of modern Africa, this collection will contribute to the development of new paradigms for media and religious studies.
Contributors: Heike Behrend, Andre Chappatte, Maria Frahm-Arp, David Gordon, Liz Gunner, Bruce S. Hall, Sean Hanretta, Jorg Haustein, Katrien Pype, and Asonzeh Ukah.
In this counterintuitive study of digital democracy, Jen Schradie shows how the web has become another weapon in the arsenal of the powerful, and a potent weapon for conservative activists. Rather than leveling the playing field, the internet has tilted it in favor of the Right, where only the most sophisticated and well-funded players can compete.
The future of writing studies is fundamentally tied to advancing technological development—writing cannot be done without a technology and different technologies mediate writing differently. In Rhetorical Speculations, contributors engage with emerging technologies of composition through “speculative modeling” as a strategy for anticipatory, futural thinking for rhetoric and writing studies.
Rhetoric and writing studies often engages technological shifts reactively, after the production and reception of rhetoric and writing has changed. This collection allows rhetoric and writing scholars to explore modes of critical speculation into the transformative effect of emerging technologies, particularly as a means to speculate on future shifts in the intellectual, pedagogical, and institutional frameworks of the field. In doing so, the project repositions rhetoric and writing scholars as proprietors of our technological future to come rather than as secondary receivers, critics, and adjusters of the technological present.
Major and emerging voices in the field offer a range of styles that include pragmatic, technical, and philosophical approaches to the issue of speculative rhetoric, exploring what new media/writing studies could be—theoretically, pedagogically, and institutionally—as future technologies begin to impinge on the work of writing. Rhetorical Speculations is at the cutting edge of the subject of futures thinking and will have broad appeal to scholars of rhetoric, literacy, futures studies, and material and popular culture.
Bahareh Brittany Alaei, Sarah J. Arroyo, Kristine L. Blair, Geoffrey V. Carter, Sid Dobrin, Kristie S. Fleckenstein, Steve Holmes, Kyle Jensen, Halcyon Lawrence, Alexander Monea, Sean Morey, Alex Reid, Jeff Rice, Gregory L. Ulmer, Anna Worm
Redefining writing and communication in the digital cosmology
In Rhetorics of the Digital Nonhumanities, author Alex Reid fashions a potent vocabulary from new materialist theory, media theory, postmodern theory, and digital rhetoric to rethink the connections between humans and digital media. Addressed are the familiar concerns that scholars have with digital culture: how technologies affect attention spans, how digital media are used to compose, and how digital rhetoric is taught.
Rhetoric is now regularly defined as including human and nonhuman actors. Each actor influences the thoughts, arguments, and sentiments that journey through systems of processors, algorithms, humans, air, and metal. The author’s arguments, even though they are unnerving, orient rhetorical practices to a more open, deliberate, and attentive awareness of what we are truly capable of and how we become capable. This volume moves beyond viewing digital media as an expression of human agency. Humans, formed into new collectives of user populations, must negotiate rather than command their way through digital media ecologies.
Chapters centralize the most pressing questions: How do social media algorithms affect our judgment? How do smart phones shape our attention? These questions demand scholarly practice for attending the world around us. They explore attention and deliberation to embrace digital nonhuman composition. Once we see this brave new world, Reid argues, we are compelled to experiment.
When we look at the cultural public sphere through the lens of digitalization, a paradoxical picture emerges. In some ways, the digital age seems to have brought the goals of the Enlightenment to their fullest fruition, giving us boundless and instantaneous access to every kind of knowledge and art. But the internet and its platforms also frequently bring chaos, immersing us in a sphere of often unverified information whose scope is unimaginable. This book takes a tour through the current debates on digital culture, bringing together a wide array of perspectives from aesthetic theory, cultural studies, electronic media, and the arts.
The contributors to Signal Traffic investigate how the material artifacts of media infrastructure--transoceanic cables, mobile telephone towers, Internet data centers, and the like--intersect with everyday life. Essayists confront the multiple and hybrid forms networks take, the different ways networks are imagined and engaged with by publics around the world, their local effects, and what human beings experience when a network fails.
Some contributors explore the physical objects and industrial relations that make up an infrastructure. Others venture into the marginalized communities orphaned from the knowledge economies, technological literacies, and epistemological questions linked to infrastructural formation and use. The wide-ranging insights delineate the oft-ignored contrasts between industrialized and developing regions, rich and poor areas, and urban and rural settings, bringing technological differences into focus.
Contributors include Charles R. Acland, Paul Dourish, Sarah Harris, Jennifer Holt and Patrick Vonderau, Shannon Mattern, Toby Miller, Lisa Parks, Christian Sandvig, Nicole Starosielski, Jonathan Sterne, and Helga Tawil-Souri.
Students are reading on screens more than ever—how can we teach them to be better digital readers?
Smartphones, laptops, tablets: college students are reading on-screen all the time, and digital devices shape students’ understanding of and experiences with reading. In higher education, however, teachers rarely consider how digital reading experiences may have an impact on learning abilities, unless they’re lamenting students’ attention spans or the distractions available to students when they’re learning online.
Skim, Dive, Surface offers a corrective to these conversations—an invitation to focus not on losses to student learning but on the spectrum of affordances available within digital learning environments. It is designed to help college instructors across the curriculum teach digital reading in their classes, whether they teach face-to-face, fully online, or somewhere in between. Placing research from cognitive psychology, neuroscience, learning science, and composition in dialogue with insight from the scholarship of teaching and learning, Jenae Cohn shows how teachers can better frame, scaffold, and implement effective digital reading assignments. She positions digital reading as part of a cluster of literacies that students should develop in order to communicate effectively in a digital environment.
Charting the evolution of practicing digital history
Historians have seen their field transformed by the digital age. Research agendas, teaching and learning, scholarly communication, the nature of the archive—all have undergone a sea change that in and of itself constitutes a fascinating digital history. Yet technology's role in the field's development remains a glaring blind spot among digital scholars.
Adam Crymble mines private and web archives, social media, and oral histories to show how technology and historians have come together. Using case studies, Crymble merges histories and philosophies of the field, separating issues relevant to historians from activities in the broader digital humanities movement. Key themes include the origin myths of digital historical research; a history of mass digitization of sources; how technology influenced changes in the curriculum; a portrait of the self-learning system that trains historians and the problems with that system; how blogs became a part of outreach and academic writing; and a roadmap for the continuing study of history in the digital era.
Television as Digital Media
James Bennett and Niki Strange, eds. Duke University Press, 2011 Library of Congress HM851.T465 2011 | Dewey Decimal 302.2345
In Television as Digital Media, scholars from Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States combine television studies with new media studies to analyze digital TV as part of digital culture. Taking into account technologies, industries, economies, aesthetics, and various production, user, and audience practices, the contributors develop a new critical paradigm for thinking about television, and the future of television studies, in the digital era. The collection brings together established and emerging scholars, producing an intergenerational dialogue that will be useful for anyone seeking to understand the relationship between television and digital media.
Introducing the collection, James Bennett explains how television as digital media is a non-site-specific, hybrid cultural and technological form that spreads across platforms such as mobile phones, games consoles, iPods, and online video services, including YouTube, Hulu and the BBC’s iPlayer. Television as digital media threatens to upset assumptions about television as a mass medium that has helped define the social collective experience, the organization of everyday life, and forms of sociality. As often as we are promised the convenience of the television experience “anytime, anywhere,” we are invited to participate in communities, share television moments, and watch events live. The essays in this collection demonstrate the historical, production, aesthetic, and audience changes and continuities that underpin the emerging meaning of television as digital media.
Contributors. James Bennett, William Boddy, Jean Burgess, John Caldwell, Daniel Chamberlain, Max Dawson, Jason Jacobs, Karen Lury, Roberta Pearson, Jeanette Steemers, Niki Strange, Julian Thomas, Graeme Turner
Eschewing the traditional focus on object/viewer spatial relationships, Timothy Scott Barker’s Time and the Digital stresses the role of the temporal in digital art and media. The connectivity of contemporary digital interfaces has not only expanded the relationships between once separate spaces but has increased the complexity of the temporal in nearly unimagined ways. Invoking the process philosophy of Whitehead and Deleuze, Barker strives for nothing less than a new philosophy of time in digital encounters, aesthetics, and interactivity. Of interest to scholars in the fields of art and media theory and philosophy of technology, as well as new media artists, this study contributes to an understanding of the new temporal experiences emergent in our interactions with digital technologies.
In this probing study, Eric Freedman focuses on what images from photography, mobile communications, and the Internet reveal about looking. Exploring subjectivity by critically examining the look, he elaborates on the nature of the photographic frame and its relation to interpretive practices. Freedman scrutinizes what he calls "technobiography"—a life written through technology, and considers the movement of personal images into public spaces. He also considers authorship that situates the self as inherently engaged with and inscribed by information technology.
All of the chapters in Transient Images explore Freedman's interest in examining how media technologies activate particular notions of self and community. He provides examples that address trauma—pictures of missing children on milk cartons and episodes of the reality series Intervention—as well as the strategies behind creating and distributing personal advertisements on the Internet. Transient Images draws out the tensions that exist in images circulating in the digital era.
Amid growing digital activism to address gender-based violence, institutional racism, and homophobia in U.S. society, Unruly Souls explores the intersectional feminist activism among young people within Islam and Evangelical Christianity. These religious misfits—marginalized from traditional religious spaces due to their sexuality, gender, or race—employ the creative tactics of digital media in their work to seek justice and to display their fundamental equality in the eyes of God. Through an analysis of various digital projects from hip-hop music videos and Instagram accounts to Twitter hashtags and podcasts, Kristin Peterson argues that the hybrid, flexible, playful, and sensory nature of digital media facilitate intersectional feminist activism within and beyond religious communities. Drawing on work from queer theory, decolonial theory, and Black feminist theory, this study explores how those who have been marginalized are able to effectively deploy their disregarded status along with digital media tactics to cultivate empathetic communities for those recovering from religious trauma.
"John Carey and Martin Elton are among the most skilled and insightful researchers studying the dynamic changes in technology and the impacts on consumer attitudes and behaviors. Their comprehensive and actionable observations make this a must read for anyone interested in understanding the current (and future) media environment."
---Alan Wurtzel, President, Research and Media Development, NBC Universal
"When Media Are New should be read by every media manager faced with disruptive change brought on by new technology. The book transcends the fashionable topics and themes that are here today and gone tomorrow and instead places emphasis on those areas of research and implementation where fatal mistakes are made. They capture something universal, and therefore highly useful, by stripping away the hype and focusing relentlessly on consumers and the ways they adopt or fail to adopt new media products and technologies into their lives."
---Martin Nisenholtz, Senior Vice President, Digital Operations, The New York Times Company
"The burgeoning development of the Internet has deflected attention from a wider history of new media innovations that has shaped its success. John Carey and Martin Elton demonstrate that earlier initiatives to launch videophones, two-way interactive cable systems, videotext and other media innovations can teach us much about the present state and future course of information and communication technologies. This is a key reference on the new media, and must reading for students of the Internet---the platform for continuing the new media revolution."
---Professor William H. Dutton, Director, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford
The world of communication media has undergone massive changes since the mid-1980s. Along with the extraordinary progress in technological capability, it has experienced stunning decreases in costs; a revolutionary opening up of markets (a phenomenon exemplified by but not limited to the rise of the Internet); the advent of new business models; and a striking acceleration in the rate of change. These technological, regulatory, and economic changes have attracted the attention of a large number of researchers, from industry and academe, and given rise to a substantial body of research and data. Significantly less attention has been paid to the actual and intended users of new media. When Media Are New addresses this research and publishing gap by investigating the human side of the technological changes of the last 50 years and the implications for current and future media. It will find a broad audience ranging from media scholars to policymakers to industry professionals.
John Carey is Professor of Communications and Media Management at Fordham Business School and has extensive experience in conducting research about new media for companies such as AT&T, Cablevision, NBC Universal, and the New York Times (among many others) as well as foundations and government agencies. His extensive publications have focused on user adoption of new media and how consumers actually use new technologies.
Martin C. J. Elton was Director of the Communication Studies Group in the UK, which pioneered in the study of user behavior with new media technologies, and founded the Interactive Telecommunication Program at New York University. He has published widely on user research, forecasting, and public policy and has conducted extensive research for many prominent foundations, companies, and government agencies in the USA and Europe.
In today’s digital era, women’s voices are heard everywhere—from smart home devices to social media platforms, virtual reality, podcasts, and even memes—but these new forms of communication are often accompanied by dated gender politics. In Women’s Voices in Digital Media, Jennifer O’Meara dives into new and well-established media formats to show how contemporary screen media and cultural practices police and fetishize women’s voices, but also provide exciting new ways to amplify and empower them.
As she travels through the digital world, O’Meara discovers newly acknowledged—or newly erased—female voice actors from classic films on YouTube, meets the AI and digital avatars in Her and The Congress, and hears women’s voices being disembodied in new ways via podcasts and VR voice-overs. She engages with dialogue that is spreading with only the memory of a voice, looking at how popular media like Clueless and The Simpsons have been mined for feminist memes, and encounters vocal ventriloquism on RuPaul’s Drag Race that queers and valorizes the female voice. Through these detailed case studies, O’Meara argues that the digital proliferation of screens alters the reception of sounds as much as that of images, with substantial implications for women’s voices.
An engaging and thought provoking volume that speculates on a range of textual works—poetic, novelistic, and programmed—as technical objects
With the ascent of digital culture, new forms of literature and literary production are thriving that include multimedia, networked, conceptual, and other as-yet-unnamed genres while traditional genres and media—the lyric, the novel, the book—have been transformed. Word Toys: Poetry and Technics is an engaging and thought-provoking volume that speculates on a range of poetic, novelistic, and programmed works that lie beyond the language of the literary and which views them instead as technical objects.
Brian Kim Stefans considers the problems that arise when discussing these progressive texts in relation to more traditional print-based poetic texts. He questions the influence of game theory and digital humanities rhetoric on poetic production, and how non-digital works, such as contemporary works of lyric poetry, are influenced by the recent ubiquity of social media, the power of search engines, and the public perceptions of language in a time of nearly universal surveillance.
Word Toys offers new readings of canonical avant-garde writers such as Ezra Pound and Charles Olson, major successors such as Charles Bernstein, Alice Notley, and Wanda Coleman, mixed-genre artists including Caroline Bergvall, Tan Lin, and William Poundstone, and lyric poets such as Harryette Mullen and Ben Lerner. Writers that trouble the poetry/science divide such as Christian Bök, and novelists who have embraced digital technology such as Mark Z. Danielewski and the elusive Toadex Hobogrammathon, anchor reflections on the nature of creativity in a world where authors collaborate, even if unwittingly, with machines and networks. In addition, Stefans names provocative new genres—among them the nearly formless “undigest” and the transpacific “miscegenated script”—arguing by example that interdisciplinary discourse is crucial to the development of scholarship about experimental work.
In The World Computer Jonathan Beller forcefully demonstrates that the history of commodification generates information itself. Out of the omnipresent calculus imposed by commodification, information emerges historically as a new money form. Investigating its subsequent financialization of daily life and colonization of semiotics, Beller situates the development of myriad systems for quantifying the value of people, objects, and affects as endemic to racial capitalism and computation. Built on oppression and genocide, capital and its technical result as computation manifest as racial formations, as do the machines and software of social mediation that feed racial capitalism and run on social difference. Algorithms, derived from for-profit management strategies, conscript all forms of expression—language, image, music, communication—into the calculus of capital such that even protest may turn a profit. Computational media function for the purpose of extraction rather than ameliorating global crises, and financialize every expressive act, converting each utterance into a wager. Repairing this ecology of exploitation, Beller contends, requires decolonizing information and money, and the scripting of futures wagered by the cultural legacies and claims of those in struggle.
Does youth participation hold the potential to change entrenched systems of power and to reshape civic life? In Youth Power in Precarious Times Melissa Brough examines how the city of Medellín, Colombia, offers a model of civic transformation forged in the wake of violence and repression. She responds to a pressing contradiction in the world at large, where youth political participation has become a means of commodifying digital culture amid the ongoing disenfranchisement of youth globally. Brough focuses on how young people's civic participation online and in the streets in Medellín was central to the city's transformation from having the world's highest homicide rates in the early 1990s to being known for its urban renaissance by the 2010s. Seeking to distinguish commercialized digital interactions from genuine political participation, Brough uses Medellín's experiences with youth participation—ranging from digital citizenship initiatives to the voices of community media to the beats of hip-hop culture—to show how young people can be at the forefront of fostering ecologies of artistic and grassroots engagement in order to reshape civic life.