With the first Fulbright grant for research in Iran to be awarded since the Iranian revolution in 1979, Roxanne Varzi returned to the country her family left before the Iran-Iraq war. Drawing on ethnographic research she conducted in Tehran between 1991 and 2000, she provides an eloquent account of the beliefs and experiences of young, middle-class, urban Iranians. As the first generation to have come of age entirely in the period since the founding of the Islamic Republic of Iran, twenty-something Iranians comprise a vital index of the success of the nation’s Islamic Revolution. Varzi describes how, since 1979, the Iranian state has attempted to produce and enforce an Islamic public sphere by governing behavior and by manipulating images—particularly images related to religious martyrdom and the bloody war with Iraq during the 1980s—through films, murals, and television shows. Yet many of the young Iranians Varzi studied quietly resist the government’s conflation of religious faith and political identity.
Highlighting trends that belie the government’s claim that Islamic values have taken hold—including rising rates of suicide, drug use, and sex outside of marriage—Varzi argues that by concentrating on images and the performance of proper behavior, the government’s campaign to produce model Islamic citizens has affected only the appearance of religious orthodoxy, and that the strictly religious public sphere is partly a mirage masking a profound crisis of faith among many Iranians. Warring Souls is a powerful account of contemporary Iran made more vivid by Varzi’s inclusion of excerpts from the diaries she maintained during her research and from journal entries written by Iranian university students with whom she formed a study group.
Public deliberation is essential to democracy, but the public can be fooled as well as enlightened. In three case studies of media coverage in the 1990s, Benjamin Page explores the role of the press in structuring political discussion.
Page shows how the New York Times presented a restricted set of opinions on whether to go to war with Iraq, shutting out discussion of compromises favored by many Americans. He then examines the media's negative reaction to the Bush administration's claim that riots in Los Angeles were caused by welfare programs. Finally, he shows how talk shows overcame the elite media's indifference to widespread concern about Zoe Baird's hiring of illegal aliens. Page's provocative conclusion identifies the conditions under which media outlets become political actors and actively shape and limit the ideas and information available to the public.
Arguing persuasively that a diversity of viewpoints is essential to true public deliberation, this book will interest students of American politics, communications, and media studies.
This collection looks at the post–network television industry’s heady experiments with new forms of interactive storytelling—or wired TV—that took place from 2005 to 2010 as the networks responded to the introduction of broadband into the majority of homes and the proliferation of popular, participatory Web 2.0 companies like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
Contributors address a wide range of issues, from the networks’ sporadic efforts to engage fans using transmedia storytelling to the production inefficiencies that continue to dog network television to the impact of multimedia convergence and multinational, corporate conglomeration on entrepreneurial creativity. With essays from such top scholars as Henry Jenkins, John T. Caldwell, and Jonathan Gray and from new and exciting voices emerging in this field, Wired TV elucidates the myriad new digital threats and the equal number of digital opportunities that have become part and parcel of today’s post-network era. Readers will quickly recognize the familiar television franchises on which the contributors focus— including Lost, The Office, Entourage, Battlestar Gallactica, The L Word, and Heroes—in order to reveal their impact on an industry in transition.
While it is not easy for vast bureaucracies to change course, executives from key network divisions engaged in an unprecedented period of innovation and collaboration with four important groups: members of the Hollywood creative community who wanted to expand television’s storytelling worlds and marketing capabilities by incorporating social media; members of the Silicon Valley tech community who were keen to rethink television distribution for the digital era; members of the Madison Avenue advertising community who were eager to rethink ad-supported content; and fans who were enthusiastic and willing to use social media story extensions to proselytize on behalf of a favorite network series.
In the aftermath of the lengthy Writers Guild of America strike of 2007/2008, the networks clamped down on such collaborations and began to reclaim control over their operations, locking themselves back into an aging system of interconnected bureaucracies, entrenched hierarchies, and traditional partners from the past. What’s next for the future of the television industry? Stay tuned—or at least online.
Contributors: Vincent Brook, Will Brooker, John T. Caldwell, M. J. Clarke, Jonathan Gray, Henry Jenkins, Derek Johnson, Robert V. Kozinets, Denise Mann, Katynka Z. Martínez, and Julie Levin Russo
Edited by Marta Boni Amsterdam University Press, 2017 Library of Congress P96.G46W67 2017 | Dewey Decimal 302.23
Thanks to modern technology, we are now living in an age of multiplatform fictional worlds, as television, film, the Internet, graphic novels, toys and more facilitate the creation of diverse yet compact imaginary universes, which are often recognisable as brands and exhibit well-defined identities. This volume, situated at the cutting edge of media theory, explores this phenomenon from both theoretical and practical perspectives, uncovering how the construction of these worlds influences our own determination of values and meaning in contemporary society.
As new media mature, the changes they bring to writing in college are many and suggest implications not only for the tools of writing, but also for the contexts, personae, and conventions of writing. An especially visible change has been the increase of visual elements-from typographic flexibility to the easy use and manipulation of color and images. Another would be in the scenes of writing-web sites, presentation "slides," email, online conferencing and coursework, even help files, all reflect non-traditional venues that new media have brought to writing. By one logic, we must reconsider traditional views even of what counts as writing; a database, for example, could be a new form of written work.
The authors of Writing New Media bring these ideas and the changes they imply for writing instruction to the audience of rhetoric/composition scholars. Their aim is to expand the college writing teacher's understanding of new media and to help teachers prepare students to write effectively with new media beyond the classroom. Each chapter in the volume includes a lengthy discussion of rhetorical and technological background, and then follows with classroom-tested assignments from the authors' own teaching.