Darkness has a history and a uniquely modern form. Distinct from night, shadows, and artificial light, “artificial darkness” has been overlooked—until now. In fact, controlled darkness was essential to the rise of photography and cinema, science and spectacle, and a century of advanced art and film. Artificial Darkness is the first book to historicize and theorize this phenomenon and map its applications across a range of media and art forms.
In exploring how artificial darkness shaped modern art, film, and media, Noam M. Elcott addresses seminal and obscure works alongside their sites of production—such as photography darkrooms, film studios, and laboratories—and their sites of reception, including theaters, cinemas, and exhibitions. He argues that artists, scientists, and entertainers like Étienne-Jules Marey, Richard Wagner, Georges Méliès, and Oskar Schlemmer revolutionized not only images but also everything surrounding them: the screen, the darkness, and the experience of bodies and space. At the heart of the book is “the black screen,” a technology of darkness that spawned today’s blue and green screens and has undergirded numerous advanced art and film practices to this day.
Turning familiar art and film narratives on their heads, Artificial Darkness is a revolutionary treatment of an elusive, yet fundamental, aspect of art and media history.
What can Roger Rabbit tell us about the Second Gulf War? What can a woman married to the Berlin Wall tell us about posthumanism and inter-subjectivity? What can DJ Shadow tell us about the end of history? What can our local bus route tell us about the fortification of the West? What can Reality TV tell us about the crisis of contemporary community? And what can unauthorized pictures of Osama Bin Laden tell us about new methods of popular propaganda? These are only some of the thought-provoking questions raised in Avoiding the Subject, which highlights the feedback-loops between philosophy, technology, and politics in today's mediascape.
Over the past decade, the controversial issue of gay marriage has emerged as a primary battle in the culture wars and a definitive social issue of our time. The subject moved to the forefront of mainstream public debate in 2004, when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom began authorizing same-sex marriage licenses, and it has remained in the forefront through three presidential campaigns and numerous state ballot initiatives. In this thorough analysis, Leigh Moscowitz examines how prominent news outlets presented this issue from 2003 to 2012, a time when intense news coverage focused unprecedented attention on gay and lesbian life.
During this time, LGBT rights leaders sought to harness the power of media to advocate for marriage equality and to reform their community's public image. Building on in-depth interviews with activists and a comprehensive, longitudinal study of news stories, Moscowitz investigates these leaders' aims and how their frames, tactics, and messages evolved over time. In the end, media coverage of the gay marriage debate both aided and undermined the cause. Media exposure gave activists a platform to discuss gay and lesbian families. But it also triggered an upsurge in opposing responses and pressured activists to depict gay life in a way calculated to appeal to heterosexual audiences. Ultimately, The Battle over Marriage reveals both the promises and the limitations of commercial media as a route to social change.
Living in a segregated society, white Americans learn about African Americans not through personal relationships but through the images the media show them. The Black Image in the White Mind offers the most comprehensive look at the intricate racial patterns in the mass media and how they shape the ambivalent attitudes of Whites toward Blacks.
Using the media, and especially television, as barometers of race relations, Robert Entman and Andrew Rojecki explore but then go beyond the treatment of African Americans on network and local news to incisively uncover the messages sent about race by the entertainment industry-from prime-time dramas and sitcoms to commercials and Hollywood movies. While the authors find very little in the media that intentionally promotes racism, they find even less that advances racial harmony. They reveal instead a subtle pattern of images that, while making room for Blacks, implies a racial hierarchy with Whites on top and promotes a sense of difference and conflict. Commercials, for example, feature plenty of Black characters. But unlike Whites, they rarely speak to or touch one another. In prime time, the few Blacks who escape sitcom buffoonery rarely enjoy informal, friendly contact with White colleagues—perhaps reinforcing social distance in real life.
Entman and Rojecki interweave such astute observations with candid interviews of White Americans that make clear how these images of racial difference insinuate themselves into Whites' thinking.
Despite its disturbing readings of television and film, the book's cogent analyses and proposed policy guidelines offer hope that America's powerful mediated racial separation can be successfully bridged.
"Entman and Rojecki look at how television news focuses on black poverty and crime out of proportion to the material reality of black lives, how black 'experts' are only interviewed for 'black-themed' issues and how 'black politics' are distorted in the news, and conclude that, while there are more images of African-Americans on television now than there were years ago, these images often don't reflect a commitment to 'racial comity' or community-building between the races. Thoroughly researched and convincingly argued."—Publishers Weekly
"Drawing on their own research and that of a wide array of other scholars, Entman and Rojecki present a great deal of provocative data showing a general tendency to devalue blacks or force them into stock categories."—Ben Yagoda, New Leader
Winner of the Frank Luther Mott Award for best book in Mass Communication and the Robert E. Lane Award for best book in political psychology.
In The Body of War, Dubravka Žarkov analyzes representations of female and male bodies in the Croatian and Serbian press in the late 1980s and in the early 1990s, during the war in which Yugoslavia disintegrated. Žarkov proposes that the Balkan war was not a war between ethnic groups; rather, ethnicity was produced by the war itself. Žarkov explores the process through which ethnicity was generated, showing how lived and symbolic female and male bodies became central to it. She does not posit a direct causal relationship between hate speech published in the press during the mid-1980s and the acts of violence in the war. Instead, she argues that both the representational practices of the “media war” and the violent practices of the “ethnic war” depended on specific, shared notions of femininity and masculinity, norms of (hetero)sexuality, and definitions of ethnicity.
Tracing the links between the war and press representations of ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, Žarkov examines the media’s coverage of two major protests by women who explicitly identified themselves as mothers, of sexual violence against women and men during the war, and of women as militants. She draws on contemporary feminist analyses of violence to scrutinize international and local feminist writings on the war in former Yugoslavia. Demonstrating that some of the same essentialist ideas of gender and sexuality used to produce and reinforce the significance of ethnic differences during the war often have been invoked by feminists, she points out the political and theoretical drawbacks to grounding feminist strategies against violence in ideas of female victimhood.
Set against the background of Bolivia’s prominent urban festival parades and the country’s recent appearance on the front lines of antiglobalization movements, Circuits of Culture is the first social analysis of Bolivian film and television, their circulation through the social and national landscape, and the emergence of the country’s indigenous video movement.
At the heart of Jeff Himpele’s examination is an ethnography of the popular television program, The Open Tribunal of the People. The indigenous and underrepresented majorities in La Paz have used the talk show to publicize their social problems and seek medical and legal assistance from the show’s hosts and the political party they launched. Himpele studies the program in order to identify the possibilities of the mass media as a site for political discourse and as a means of social action.
Charting as well the history of Bolivia’s media culture, Himpele perceptively investigates cinematic media as sites for understanding the modernization of Bolivia, its social movements, and the formation of indigenous identities, and in doing so provides a new framework for exploring the circulation of culture as a way of creating publics, political movements, and producing media.
Jeff D. Himpele is associate director for the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning at Princeton University. He is an anthropologist and documentary filmmaker; his films include the award-winning Incidents of Travel in Chichen Itza and Taypi Kala: Six Visions of Tiwanaku.
From the Affordable Care Act to No Child Left Behind, politicians often face a puzzling problem: although most Americans support the aims and key provisions of these policies, they oppose the bills themselves. How can this be? Why does the American public so often reject policies that seem to offer them exactly what they want?
By the time a bill is pushed through Congress or ultimately defeated, we’ve often been exposed to weeks, months—even years—of media coverage that underscores the unpopular process of policymaking, and Mary Layton Atkinson argues that this leads us to reject the bill itself. Contrary to many Americans’ understandings of the policymaking process, the best answer to a complex problem is rarely self-evident, and politicians must weigh many potential options, each with merits and drawbacks. As the public awaits a resolution, the news media tend to focus not on the substance of the debate but on descriptions of partisan combat. This coverage leads the public to believe everyone in Washington has lost sight of the problem altogether and is merely pursuing policies designed for individual political gain. Politicians in turn exacerbate the problem when they focus their objections to proposed policies on the lawmaking process, claiming, for example, that a bill is being pushed through Congress with maneuvers designed to limit minority party input. These negative portrayals become linked in many people’s minds with the policy itself, leading to backlash against bills that may otherwise be seen as widely beneficial. Atkinson argues that journalists and educators can make changes to help inoculate Americans against the idea that debate always signifies dysfunction in the government. Journalists should strive to better connect information about policy provisions to the problems they are designed to ameliorate. Educators should stress that although debate sometimes serves political interests, it also offers citizens a window onto the lawmaking process that can help them evaluate the work their government is doing.
The past decade has seen the medium of comics reach unprecedented heights of critical acclaim and commercial success. Comics & Media reflects that, bringing together an amazing array of contributors--creators and critics alike--to discuss the state, future, and potential of the medium.
Loaded with full-color reproductions of work by such legends as R. Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Alison Bechdel, Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, and Lynda Barry, the book addresses the place of comics in both a contemporary and historical context. Essays by such high-profile figures as Tom Gunning, N. Katherine Hayles, Patrick Jagoda, and W. J. T. Mitchell address a stunning range of topics, including the place of comics in the history of aesthetics, changes to popular art forms, digital humanities, and ongoing tensions between new and old media. The result is a substantial step forward for our understanding of what comics are and can be, and the growing place they hold in our culture.
Filling in a key chapter in communications history, Dwayne R. Winseck and Robert M. Pike offer an in-depth examination of the rise of the “global media” between 1860 and 1930. They analyze the connections between the development of a global communication infrastructure, the creation of national telegraph and wireless systems, and news agencies and the content they provided. Conventional histories suggest that the growth of global communications correlated with imperial expansion: an increasing number of cables were laid as colonial powers competed for control of resources. Winseck and Pike argue that the role of the imperial contest, while significant, has been exaggerated. They emphasize how much of the global media system was in place before the high tide of imperialism in the early twentieth century, and they point to other factors that drove the proliferation of global media links, including economic booms and busts, initial steps toward multilateralism and international law, and the formation of corporate cartels.
Drawing on extensive research in corporate and government archives, Winseck and Pike illuminate the actions of companies and cartels during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth, in many different parts of the globe, including Africa, Asia, and Central and South America as well as Europe and North America. The complex history they relate shows how cable companies exploited or transcended national policies in the creation of the global cable network, how private corporations and government agencies interacted, and how individual reformers fought to eliminate cartels and harmonize the regulation of world communications. In Communication and Empire, the multinational conglomerates, regulations, and the politics of imperialism and anti-imperialism as well as the cries for reform of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth emerge as the obvious forerunners of today’s global media.
In this innovative new study, Sean Franzel charts the concurrent emergence of German Romantic pedagogy, the modern research university, and modern visions of the politically engaged scholar. At the heart of the pedagogy of Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, K. P. Moritz, A. W. Schlegel, Adam Müller, and others was the lecture, with its ability to attract listeners and to model an ideal discursive community, reflecting an era of revolution, reform, and literary, philosophical, and scientific innovation.
Along with exploring the striking preoccupation of Romantic thinkers with the lecture and with its reverberations in print, Franzel argues that accounts of scholarly speech from this period have had a lasting impact on how the pedagogy, institutions, and medial manifestations of modern scholarship continue to be understood.
"Sean Franzel’s archaeology illuminates both the bourgeois public sphere and discourse network 1800 by showing the romantic lecture to be the key cultural form in a pivotal moment of German intellectual history, a history long obsessed with the mediation of oral discourse and written text."—John Durham Peters, author of Speaking into the Air
From the frontiers of cyberspace to Tibetans in exile, from computer bulletin boards to faxes, film, and videotape, the ongoing and often startling evolution of media continues to generate fresh new avenues for cultural criticism, political activism, and self-reflection. How is contemporary life affected by this stunning proliferation of information technologies? How does the Internet influence, and perhaps alter, users' experience of community and their sense of self? In what way are giant media conglomerates implicated in these far-reaching developments?
Connected, the third volume in the groundbreaking and highly acclaimed Late Editions series, confronts these provocative questions through unique experiments with the interview format. It explores both the new pathways being forged through media and the predicaments of those struggling to find their way in the twilight of the twentieth century.
Images of the assassination of John F. Kennedy are burned deeply into the memories of millions who watched the events of November 1963 unfold live on television. Never before had America seen an event of this magnitude as it happened. But what is it we remember? How did the near chaos of the shooting and its aftermath get transformed into a seamless story of epic proportions? In this book, Barbie Zelizer explores the way we learned about and came to make sense of the killing of the president.
Covering the Body (the title refers to the charge given journalists to follow a president) is a powerful reassessment of the media's role in shaping our collective memory of the assassination—at the same time as it used the assassination coverage to legitimize its own role as official interpreter of American reality. Of the more than fifty reporters covering Kennedy in Dallas, no one actually saw the assassination. And faced with a monumentally important story that was continuously breaking, most journalists had no time to verify leads or substantiate reports. Rather, they took discrete moments of their stories and turned them into one coherent narrative, blurring what was and was not "professional" about their coverage.
Through incisive analyses of the many accounts and investigations in the years since the shooting, Zelizer reveals how journalists used the assassination not just to relay the news but to address the issues they saw as central to the profession and to promote themselves as cultural authorities. Indeed, argues Zelizer, these motivations are still alive and are at the core of the controversy surrounding Oliver Stone's movie, JFK.
At its heart, Covering the Body raises serious questions about the role of the media in defining our reality, and shaping our myths and memories. In tracing how journalists attempted to answer questions that still trouble most Americans, Zelizer offers a fascinating analysis of the role of the media as cultural authorities.
The most comprehensive portrait of a presidential campaign in more than a decade, Crosstalk focuses on the 1992 U.S. presidential race and looks at how citizens use information in the media to make their voting decisions and how politicians and the media interact to shape that information.
Examining political advertisements, news coverage, ad watches, and talk shows in Los Angeles, Boston, Winston-Salem, and Fargo/Moorhead, the authors chart the impact of different information environments on citizens and show how people developed images of candidates over the course of the campaign. Crosstalk presents persuasive evidence that campaigns do matter, that citizens are active participants in the campaign process, and their perceptions of a candidate's character is the central factor in the voting process.
This innovative study contributes significantly to our understanding of the 1992 presidential campaign and of campaigns in general, and shows how election campaigns can play an important role in the long-term vitality of democracy.
Medicine and the media exist in a unique symbiosis. Increasingly, health-care consumers turn to media sources—from news reports to Web sites to tv shows—for information about diseases, treatments, pharmacology, and important health issues. And just as the media scour the medical terrain for news stories and plot lines, those in the health-care industry use the media to publicize legitimate stories and advance particular agendas. The essays in Cultural Sutures delineate this deeply collaborative process by scrutinizing a broad range of interconnections between medicine and the media in print journalism, advertisements, fiction films, television shows, documentaries, and computer technology.
In this volume, scholars of cinema studies, philosophy, English, sociology, health-care education, women’s studies, bioethics, and other fields demonstrate how the world of medicine engages and permeates the media that surround us. Whether examining the press coverage of the Jack Kevorkian–euthanasia controversy; pondering questions about accessibility, accountability, and professionalism raised by such films as Awakenings, The Doctor, and Lorenzo’s Oil; analyzing the depiction of doctors, patients, and medicine on E.R. and Chicago Hope; or considering the ways in which digital technologies have redefined the medical body, these essays are consistently illuminating and provocative.
Contributors. Arthur Caplan, Tod Chambers, Stephanie Clark-Brown, Marc R. Cohen, Kelly A. Cole, Lucy Fischer, Lester D. Friedman, Joy V. Fuqua, Sander L. Gilman, Norbert Goldfield, Joel Howell, Therese Jones, Timothy Lenoir, Gregory Makoul, Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, Faith McLellan, Jonathan M. Metzl, Christie Milliken, Martin F. Norden, Kirsten Ostherr, Limor Peer, Audrey Shafer, Joseph Turow, Greg VandeKieft, Otto F. Wahl
In recent years, stories of reckless lawyers and greedy citizens have given the legal system, and victims in general, a bad name. Many Americans have come to believe that we live in the land of the litigious, where frivolous lawsuits and absurdly high settlements reign.
Scholars have argued for years that this common view of the depraved ruin of our civil legal system is a myth, but their research and statistics rarely make the news. William Haltom and Michael McCann here persuasively show how popularized distorted understandings of tort litigation (or tort tales) have been perpetuated by the mass media and reform proponents. Distorting the Law lays bare how media coverage has sensationalized lawsuits and sympathetically portrayed corporate interests, supporting big business and reinforcing negative stereotypes of law practices.
Based on extensive interviews, nearly two decades of newspaper coverage, and in-depth studies of the McDonald's coffee case and tobacco litigation, Distorting the Law offers a compelling analysis of the presumed litigation crisis, the campaign for tort law reform, and the crucial role the media play in this process.
Always connect—that is the imperative of today’s media. But what about those moments when media cease to function properly, when messages go beyond the sender and receiver to become excluded from the world of communication itself—those messages that state: “There will be no more messages”? In this book, Alexander R. Galloway, Eugene Thacker, and McKenzie Wark turn our usual understanding of media and mediation on its head by arguing that these moments reveal the ways the impossibility of communication is integral to communication itself—instances they call excommunication.
In three linked essays, Excommunication pursues this elusive topic by looking at mediation in the face of banishment, exclusion, and heresy, and by contemplating the possibilities of communication with the great beyond. First, Galloway proposes an original theory of mediation based on classical literature and philosophy, using Hermes, Iris, and the Furies to map out three of the most prevalent modes of mediation today—mediation as exchange, as illumination, and as network. Then, Thacker goes boldly beyond Galloway’s classification scheme by examining the concept of excommunication through the secret link between the modern horror genre and medieval mysticism. Charting a trajectory of examples from H. P. Lovecraft to Meister Eckhart, Thacker explores those instances when one communicates or connects with the inaccessible, dubbing such modes of mediation “haunted” or “weird” to underscore their inaccessibility. Finally, Wark evokes the poetics of the infuriated swarm as a queer politics of heresy that deviates from both media theory and the traditional left. He posits a critical theory that celebrates heresy and that is distinct from those that now venerate Saint Paul.
Reexamining commonplace definitions of media, mediation, and communication, Excommunication offers a glimpse into the realm of the nonhuman to find a theory of mediation adequate to our present condition.
The history of industrial films - an orphan genre of twentieth-century cinema composed of government-produced and industrially sponsored movies that sought to achieve the goals of their sponsors, rather than the creative artists involved - seems to have left no trace in filmic cultural discourse. At its height the industrial film industry employed thousands, produced several trade journals and festival circuits, engaged with giants of twentieth-century industry like Shell and AT & T, and featured the talents of iconic actors and directors such as Buster Keaton, John Grierson and Alain Resnais. This is the first full-length book, anthology, and annotated bibliography to analyze the industrial film and its remarkable history.
Exploring the potential of the industrial film to uncover renewed and unexplored areas of media studies, this remarkable volume brings together renowned scholars such as Rick Prelinger and Thomas Elsaesser in a discussion of the radical potential and new possibilities in considering the history of this unexplored corporate medium.
This volume focuses on how the far right’s views of Islam have been increasingly co-opted by both liberal and conservative parties and woven into the policies of Western governments over the past two decades. The unprecedented influence of xenophobic and Islamophobic parties, whether in coalition with governments or recipients of the popular vote, reflects a major realignment of forces and a danger to the Western core values of human rights and equality. From the Far Right to the Mainstream explores how Islamophobia has moved to the mainstream of Western policy making, and the role that the media has played.
This timely, necessary collection of essays provides feminist analyses of a recession-era media culture characterized by the reemergence and refashioning of familiar gender tropes, including crisis masculinity, coping women, and postfeminist self-renewal. Interpreting media forms as diverse as reality television, financial journalism, novels, lifestyle blogs, popular cinema, and advertising, the contributors reveal gendered narratives that recur across media forms too often considered in isolation from one another. They also show how, with a few notable exceptions, recession-era popular culture promotes affective normalcy and transformative individual enterprise under duress while avoiding meaningful critique of the privileged white male or the destructive aspects of Western capitalism. By acknowledging the contradictions between political rhetoric and popular culture, and between diverse screen fantasies and lived realities, Gendering the Recession helps to make sense of our postboom cultural moment.
Contributors. Sarah Banet-Weiser, Hamilton Carroll, Hannah Hamad, Anikó Imre, Suzanne Leonard, Isabel Molina-Guzmán, Sinéad Molony, Elizabeth Nathanson, Diane Negra, Tim Snelson, Yvonne Tasker, Pamela Thoma
On September 21, 2011, David Roberts participated in The National Climate Seminar, a series of webinars sponsored by Bard College’s Center for Environmental Policy. The online seminars provide a forum for leading scientists, writers, and other experts to talk about critical issues regarding climate change. The series also opens a public conversation, inviting participants to ask questions and contribute their own thoughts.
Roberts is a Senior Staff Writer at Grist, one of the web’s most popular sites for environmental news and commentary, so he is distinctively qualified to discuss the relationship between global warming, politics, and the media. In his lecture, Roberts argued that environmentalists’ traditional criticism of climate change coverage—namely that journalists describe global warming as a debatable theory rather than as fact—is no longer the issue. Most media accept the reality of climate change—but it is treated as a specialty issue, rather than as a phenomenon that affects myriad aspects of life. The seminar focused on how to change that perception—how to make climate a backdrop to the political debates that affect real change.
This E-ssential is an edited version of Roberts’ talk and the subsequent question and answer session. While some material has been cut and some language modified for clarity, the intention was to retain the substance of the original discussion.
From organic produce and clothing to socially conscious investing and eco-tourism, the lifestyles of health and sustainability, or LOHAS, movement encompasses diverse products and practices intended to contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle for people and the planet. In The Gospel of Sustainability, Monica M. Emerich explores the contemporary spiritual expression of this green cultural shift at the confluence of the media and the market.
This is the first book to qualitatively study the LOHAS marketplace and the development of a discourse of sustainability of the self and the social and natural worlds. Emerich draws on myriad sources related to the notions of mindful consumption found throughout the LOHAS marketplace, including not just products and services but marketing materials, events, lectures, regulatory policies, and conversations with leaders and consumers. These disparate texts, she argues, universally project a spiritual message about personal and planetary health that is in turn reforming capitalism by making consumers more conscious.
The ideal of a neutral, objective press has proven in recent years to be just that—an ideal. In Governing with the News, Timothy E. Cook goes far beyond the single claim that the press is not impartial to argue that the news media are in fact a political institution integral to the day-to-day operations of our government. This updated edition includes a new afterword by the author, which pays close attention to two key developments in the twenty-first century: the accelerating fragmentation of the mass media and the continuing decline of Americans' confidence in the press.
"Provocative and often wise. . . . Cook, who has a complex understanding of the relationship between governing and the news, provides a fascinating account of the origins of this complicity."—James Bennet, Washington Monthly
"[Governing with the News] addresses central issues of media impact and power in fresh, illuminating ways. . . . Cook mines a wealth of historical and organizational literature to assert that the news media are a distinct political institution in our democratic system."—Robert Schmuhl, Commonweal
The ideal of a neutral, objective press has proven in recent years to be just that—an ideal. But while everyone talks about the political biases and influences of the news, no one has figured out whether and how the news media exert power. In Governing with the News, Timothy E. Cook goes far beyond the single claim that the press is not impartial to argue that the news media are in fact a political institution integral to the day-to-day operations of the three branches of our government.
The formation of the press as a political institution began in the early days of the republic when newspapers were sponsored by political parties; the relationship is now so central that press offices are found wherever one turns. Cook demonstrates not only how the media are structured as an institution that exercises collective power but also how the role of the media has become institutionalized within the political process, affecting policy and instigating, rather than merely reflecting, political actions. Cook's analysis is a powerful and fascinating guide to our age when newsmaking and governing are inseparable.
"This is a wonderful analysis of a highly important topic. Tim Cook is resoundingly right that we need to look at the media as political institutions and their operatives as political actors."—David R. Mayhew, author of Divided We Govern
"This meticulously researched and well reasoned work proposes to take seriously a thesis which flies in the face of both journalistic lore and political myth. Governing with the News is an innovative contribution to our understanding of media."—W. Lance Bennett, author of News: The Politics of Illusion
"This book should be read by journalists . . . by mass communication faculty teaching courses in media structure or effects and journalism faculty as a supplemental text to courses in media history and media management."—Benjamin J. Burns, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly
Media attention can play a profound role in whether or not officials act on a policy issue, but how policy issues make the news in the first place has remained a puzzle. Why do some issues go viral and then just as quickly fall off the radar? How is it that the media can sustain public interest for months in a complex story like negotiations over Obamacare while ignoring other important issues in favor of stories on “balloon boy?”
With Making the News, Amber Boydstun offers an eye-opening look at the explosive patterns of media attention that determine which issues are brought before the public. At the heart of her argument is the observation that the media have two modes: an “alarm mode” for breaking stories and a “patrol mode” for covering them in greater depth. While institutional incentives often initiate alarm mode around a story, they also propel news outlets into the watchdog-like patrol mode around its policy implications until the next big news item breaks. What results from this pattern of fixation followed by rapid change is skewed coverage of policy issues, with a few receiving the majority of media attention while others receive none at all. Boydstun documents this systemic explosiveness and skew through analysis of media coverage across policy issues, including in-depth looks at the waxing and waning of coverage around two issues: capital punishment and the “war on terror.”
Making the News shows how the seemingly unpredictable day-to-day decisions of the newsroom produce distinct patterns of operation with implications—good and bad—for national politics.
Drawing on methods and approaches from anthropology, media studies, film theory, and cultural studies, the contributors to Media, Erotics, and Transnational Asia examine how mediated eroticism and sexuality circulating across Asia and Asian diasporas both reflect and shape the social practices of their producers and consumers. The essays in this volume cover a wide geographic and thematic range, and combine rigorous textual analysis with empirical research into the production, circulation, and consumption of various forms of media.
Judith Farquhar examines how health magazines serve as sources of both medical information and erotic titillation to readers in urban China. Tom Boellstorff analyzes how queer zines produced in Indonesia construct the relationship between same-sex desire and citizenship. Purnima Mankekar examines the rearticulation of commodity affect, erotics, and nation on Indian television. Louisa Schein describes how portrayals of Hmong women in videos shot in Laos create desires for the homeland among viewers in the diaspora. Taken together, the essays offer fresh insights into research on gender, erotics, media, and Asia transnationally conceived.
Contributors. Anne Allison, Tom Boellstorff, Nicole Constable, Heather Dell, Judith Farquhar, Sarah L. Friedman, Martin F. Manalansan IV, Purnima Mankekar, Louisa Schein, Everett Yuehong Zhang
The end of apartheid brought South Africa into the global media environment. Outside companies invested in the nation's newspapers while South African conglomerates pursued lucrative tech ventures and communication markets around the world. Many observers viewed the rapid development of South African media as a roadmap from authoritarianism to global modernity. Herman Wasserman analyzes the debates surrounding South Africa's new media presence against the backdrop of rapidly changing geopolitics. His exploration reveals how South African disputes regarding access to, and representation in, the media reflect the domination and inequality in the global communication sphere. Optimists see post-apartheid media as providing a vital space that encourages exchanges of opinion in a young democracy. Critics argue the public sphere mirrors South Africa's past divisions and privileges the viewpoints of the elite. Wasserman delves into the ways these simplistic narratives obscure the country's internal tensions, conflicts, and paradoxes even as he charts the diverse nature of South African entry into the global arena.
In Media in New Turkey, Bilge Yesil unlocks the complexities surrounding and penetrating today's Turkish media. Yesil focuses on a convergence of global and domestic forces that range from the 1980 military coup to globalization's inroads and the recent resurgence of political Islam. Her analysis foregrounds how these and other forces become intertwined, and she uses Turkey's media to unpack the ever-more-complex relationships.
Yesil confronts essential questions regarding: the role of the state and military in building the structures that shaped Turkey's media system; media adaptations to ever-shifting contours of political and economic power; how the far-flung economic interests of media conglomerates leave them vulnerable to state pressure; and the ways Turkey's politicized judiciary criminalizes certain speech.
Drawing on local knowledge and a wealth of Turkish sources, Yesil provides an engrossing look at the fault lines carved by authoritarianism, tradition, neoliberal reform, and globalization within Turkey's increasingly far-reaching media.
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.
Outside of music, the importance of sound and listening have been greatly overlooked in Latin American history. Visual media has dominated cultural studies, affording an incomplete record of the modern era. This edited volume presents an original analysis of the role of sound in Latin American and Caribbean societies, from the late nineteenth century to the present. The contributors examine the importance of sound in the purveyance of power, gender roles, race, community, religion, and populism. They also demonstrate how sound is essential to the formation of citizenship and nationalism.
Sonic media, and radio in particular, have become primary tools for contesting political issues. In that vein, the contributors view the control of radio transmission and those who manipulate its content for political gain. Conversely, they show how, in neoliberal climates, radio programs have exposed corruption and provided a voice for activism.
The essays address sonic production in a variety of media: radio; Internet; digital recordings; phonographs; speeches; carnival performances; fireworks festivals, and the reinterpretation of sound in literature. They examine the bodily experience of sound, and its importance to memory coding and identity formation.
This volume looks to sonic media as an essential vehicle for transmitting ideologies, imagined communities, and culture. As the contributors discern, modern technology has made sound ubiquitous, and its study is therefore crucial to understanding the flow of information and influence in Latin America and globally.
"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
In The Metaphysics of Media, award-winning media critic Peter K. Fallon tackles the complicated question of how a succession of dominant forms of media have supported—and even to some extent created—different conceptions of reality. To do so, he starts with the basics: a critical discussion of the very idea of objective reality and the various postmodern responses that have tended to dominate recent philosophical approaches to the subject. From there, he embarks on a survey of the evolution of communication through four major eras: orality; literacy; print; and electricity.
Within each era, Fallon argues, the dominant form of media supported particular ways of understanding the world, from the ascendance of reason that followed the development of alphabets to the obliteration of space and time that we associate with electronic communications. Fallon concludes with a hard look at the mass ignorance that prevails today despite (or perhaps because of) the sea of information with which contemporary life is surrounded.
A stirring, philosophically rich investigation, The Metaphysics of Media offers not only a clear picture of where our society has been but also a road map to a more engaged, informed, and fully human future.
Peru’s ancient Moche culture is represented in a magnificent collection of artifacts at Harvard’s Peabody Museum. In this richly illustrated volume, Jeffrey Quilter presents a fascinating introduction to this intriguing culture and explores current thinking about Moche politics, history, society, and religion.
Neighborhood Technologies expands upon sociologist Thomas Schelling’s well-known study of segregation in major American cities, using this classic work as the basis for a new way of researching social networks across many different disciplines. Up to now, research has focused on macro-level behaviors that, together, form rigid systems of neighborhood relations. But can neighborhoods conversely affect larger, global dynamics? What relationships can be found between micro- and macro- perspectives?
To answer these and related questions, this volume introduces the concept of “neighborhood technologies” as a model for intermediate, or meso-level, research into the links between local agents and neighborhood relations. Bridging the gap between the sciences and humanities, Tobias Harks and Sebastian Vehlken have assembled a group of contributors who are either natural scientists with an interest in interdisciplinary research or technology-savvy humanists. With insights into computer science, mathematics, sociology, media and cultural studies, theater studies, and architecture, the book will inform new research.
Presenting a vivid social history of “the new woman” who emerged in Japanese culture between the world wars, The New Japanese Woman shows how images of modern women burst into Japanese life in the midst of the urbanization, growth of the middle class, and explosion of consumerism resulting from the postwar economic boom, particularly in the 1920s. Barbara Sato analyzes the icons that came to represent the new urban femininity—the “modern girl,” the housewife, and the professional working woman. She describes how these images portrayed in the media shaped and were shaped by women’s desires. Although the figures of the modern woman by no means represented all Japanese women, they did challenge the myth of a fixed definition of femininity—particularly the stereotype emphasizing gentleness and meekness—and generate a new set of possibilities for middle-class women within the context of consumer culture. The New Japanese Woman is rich in descriptive detail and full of fascinating vignettes from Japan’s interwar media and consumer industries—department stores, film, radio, popular music and the publishing industry. Sato pays particular attention to the enormously influential role of the women’s magazines, which proliferated during this period. She describes the different kinds of magazines, their stories and readerships, and the new genres the emerged at the time, including confessional pieces, articles about family and popular trends, and advice columns. Examining reactions to the images of the modern girl, the housewife, and the professional woman, Sato shows that while these were not revolutionary figures, they caused anxiety among male intellectuals, government officials, and much of the public at large, and they contributed to the significant changes in gender relations in Japan following the Second World War.
In this book, five leading scholars of media and communication take on the difficult but important task of explicating the role of journalism in democratic societies. Using Fred S. Siebert, Theodore Peterson, and Wilbur Schramm's classic Four Theories of the Press as their point of departure, the authors explore the philosophical underpinnings and the political realities that inform a normative approach to questions about the relationship between journalism and democracy, investigating not just what journalism is but what it ought to be.
The authors identify four distinct yet overlapping roles for the media: the monitorial role of a vigilant informer collecting and publishing information of potential interest to the public; the facilitative role that not only reports on but also seeks to support and strengthen civil society; the radical role that challenges authority and voices support for reform; and the collaborative role that creates partnerships between journalists and centers of power in society, notably the state, to advance mutually acceptable interests. Demonstrating the value of a reconsideration of media roles, Normative Theories of the Media provides a sturdy foundation for subsequent discussions of the changing media landscape and what it portends for democratic ideals.
The O. J. Simpson case captured the attention of the public like no other event in media history, and the Simpson criminal trial is arguably the most notable example of the media's ability to transform litigation. This collection of original essays provides a critical analysis of the Simpson criminal and civil trials. Edited by communications professor Janice Schuetz and professional trial consultant Lin S. Lilley, the book focuses on telelitigation, the media's transformation of sensational trials, with celebrity defendants and victims, into telemediated forms.
The contributors—Ann Burnett, Patricia M. Ganer, Ann M. Gill, Diane Furno-Lamude, Lin S. Lilley, and Janice Schuetz—describe media spectacles, analyze the opening statements of trial attorneys in both cases, investigate the testimony of Mark Fuhrman in the criminal trial and O. J. Simpson in the civil trial, analyze the summations of trial attorneys in both cases, look at the processes of jury decision making, and identify the unique legal and social outcomes of the trials.
The discussions focus on five "hot button" legal issues sparked by the Simpson trials: the perceived unfairness of the jury system; unprecedented calls for jury reform in both civil and criminal arenas; the fairness issues of jury nullification, wherein a jury disregards the law in a criminal case in favor of leniency; wealth and the question of "buying" justice; and ethical questions about the ways the Simpson trials were conducted, in particular the ways in which Simpson attorney Johnnie Cochran and the "Dream Team" repeatedly nudged and occasionally crossed the ethical line.
In the last three decades, the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos has commanded the close scrutiny of scholars. These studies have focused on the political repression, human rights abuses, debt-driven growth model, and crony capitalism that defined Marcos’ so-called Democratic Revolution in the Philippines. But the relationship between the media and the regime’s public culture remains underexplored.
In Passionate Revolutions, Talitha Espiritu evaluates the role of political emotions in the rise and fall of the Marcos government. Focusing on the sentimental narratives and melodramatic cultural politics of the press and the cinema from 1965 to 1986, she examines how aesthetics and messaging based on heightened feeling helped secure the dictator’s control while also galvanizing the popular struggles that culminated in “people power” and government overthrow in 1986.
In analyzing news articles, feature films, cultural policy documents, and propaganda films as national allegories imbued with revolutionary power, Espiritu expands the critical discussion of dictatorships in general and Marcos’s in particular by placing Filipino popular media and the regime’s public culture in dialogue. Espiritu’s interdisciplinary approach in this illuminating case study of how melodrama and sentimentality shape political action breaks new ground in media studies, affect studies, and Southeast Asian studies.
This timely collaboration by three prominent scholars of media-based performance presents a new model for understanding and analyzing theater and performance created and experienced where time-based, live events, and mediated technologies converge–particularly those works conceived and performed explicitly within the context of contemporary digital culture.
Performance and Media introduces readers to the complexity of new media-based performances and how best to understand and contextualize the work. Each author presents a different model for how best to approach this work, while inviting readers to develop their own critical frameworks, i.e., taxonomies, to analyze both past and emerging performances. Performance and Media capitalizes on the advantages of digital media and online collaborations, while simultaneously creating a responsive and integrated resource for research, scholarship, and teaching. Unlike other monographs or edited collections, this book presents the concept of multiple taxonomies as a model for criticism in a dynamic and rapidly changing field.
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.
This book addresses, as few books in English have, a broad range of topics pertaining to China's expanding media and telecommunications systems. American and Chinese experts in journalism, communication, government, and political science use fieldwork, including participant observations, surveys, and in-depth interviews conducted within media organizations, to provide richly detailed analyses of the issues and of the changing face of media in China.
How the negotiation between poetic and media discourses takes place is the subject of Marjorie Perloff's groundbreaking study. Radical Artifice considers what happens when the "natural speech" model inherited from the great Modernist poets comes up against the "natural speech" of the Donahue "talk show," or again, how visual poetics and verse forms are responding to the languages of billboards and sound bytes. Among the many poets whose works are discussed are John Ashbery, George Oppen, Susan Howe, Clark Coolidge, Lyn Hejinian, Leslie Scalapino, Charles Bernstein, Johanna Drucker, and Steve McCaffery. But the strongest presence in Perloff's book is John Cage, a "poet" better known as a composer, a philosopher, a printmaker, and one who understood, almost half a century ago, that from now on no word, musical note, painted surface, or theoretical statement could ever again escape "contamination" from the media landscape in which we live. It is under his sign that Radical Artifice was composed.
Colonialist, nationalist, and regionalist ideologies have profoundly influenced folk music and related musical practices among the Garhwali and Kumaoni of Uttarakhand. Stefan Fiol blends historical and ethnographic approaches to unlock these influences and explore a paradox: how the œfolk designation can alternately identify a universal stage of humanity, or denote alterity and subordination. Fiol explores the lives and work of Gahrwali artists who produce folk music. These musicians create art as both a discursive idea and as a set of expressive practices across strikingly different historical and cultural settings. Juxtaposing performance contexts in Himalayan villages with Delhi recording studios, Fiol shows how the practices have emerged within and between sites of contrasting values and expectations. Throughout, Fiol presents the varying perspectives and complex lives of the upper-caste, upper-class, male performers spearheading the processes of folklorization. But he also charts their resonance with, and collision against, the perspectives of the women and hereditary musicians most affected by the processes. Expertly observed, Recasting Folk in the Himalayas offers an engaging immersion in a little-studied musical milieu.
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.
Renaissance Drama, an annual and interdisciplinary publication, is devoted to drama and performance as a central feature of Renaissance culture. The essays in each volume explore traditional canons of drama, the significance of performance (broadly construed) to early modern culture, and the impact of new forms of interpretation on the study of Renaissance plays, theatre, and performance.
This issue of Renaissance Drama, devoted to the topic of "Media, Technology, and Performance" is co-edited by W.B. Worthen, Wendy Wall, and Jeffrey Masten. The various articles displayed here address the interface between drama and its various modes of production over the past four centuries. This volume explores the relationship of drama to other forms of early modern spectacle (pageantry, masques), to the specificities of typography and the economics of the book industry, to the intersection of drama with film and DVD production, and to the way that stage technologies and theatrical economies of the 16th, 17th and 20th centuries define plays and playing. Rather than thinking of the early modern text as something simply reconstituted in its different incarnations, these essays make clear that different media force a rethinking of the terms that we use to envision, conceptualize, and even to see the work of drama.
In 1989, the rape and beating of a white female jogger in Central Park made international headlines. Many accounts reported the incident as an example of “wilding”—episodes of poor, minority youths roaming the streets looking for trouble. Police intent on immediate justice for the victim coerced five African-American and Latino boys to plead guilty. The teenage boys were quickly convicted and imprisoned. Natalie Byfield, who covered the case for the New York Daily News, now revisits the story of the Central Park Five from her perspective as a black female reporter in Savage Portrayals.
Byfield illuminates the race, class, and gender bias in the massive media coverage of the crime and the prosecution of the now-exonerated defendants. Her sociological analysis and first-person account persuasively argue that the racialized reportage of the case buttressed efforts to try juveniles as adults across the nation.
Savage Portrayals casts new light on this famous crime and its far-reaching consequences for the wrongly accused and the justice system.
Saving the Media
Julia Cagé Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress P96.E25C3413 2016 | Dewey Decimal 338.4730223
Julia Cagé explains the economics and history of the media crisis and offers a solution: a nonprofit media organization, midway between a foundation and a joint stock company, supported by readers, employees, and innovative financing such as crowdfunding. Her business model is inspired by a central idea: that news, like education, is a public good.
The U.S. victims’ rights movement has transformed the way that violent crime is understood and represented in the United States. It has expanded the concept of victimhood to include family members and others close to direct victims, and it has argued that these secondary victims may be further traumatized through their encounters with insensitive journalists and the cold, impersonal nature of the criminal justice system. This concept of extended victimization has come to dominate representations of crime and the American criminal justice system. In Second Wounds, Carrie A. Rentschler examines how the victims’ rights movement brought about such a marked shift in how Americans define and portray crime. Analyzing the movement’s effective mobilization of activist networks and its implementation of media strategies, she interprets texts such as press kits, online victim memorials, and training materials for victims’ advocates and journalists. Rentschler also provides a genealogy of the victims’ rights movement from its emergence in the 1960s into the twenty-first century. She explains that while a “get tough on crime” outlook dominates the movement, the concept of secondary victimization has been invoked by activists across the political spectrum, including anti–death penalty advocates, who contend that the families of death-row inmates are also secondary victims of violent crime and the criminal justice system.
While we’ve long known that the strategies of terrorism rely heavily on media coverage of attacks, Selling Fear is the first detailed look at the role played by media in counterterrorism—and the ways that, in the wake of 9/11, the Bush administration manipulated coverage to maintain a climate of fear.
Drawing on in-depth analysis of counterterrorism in the years after 9/11—including the issuance of terror alerts and the decision to invade Iraq—the authors present a compelling case that the Bush administration hyped fear, while obscuring civil liberties abuses and concrete issues of preparedness. The media, meanwhile, largely abdicated its watchdog role, choosing to amplify the administration’s message while downplaying issues that might have called the administration’s statements and strategies into question. The book extends through Hurricane Katrina, and the more skeptical coverage that followed, then the first year of the Obama administration, when an increasingly partisan political environment presented the media, and the public, with new problems of reporting and interpretation.
Selling Fear is a hard-hitting analysis of the intertwined failures of government and media—and their costs to our nation.
Sex Scene suggests that what we have come to understand as the sexual revolution of the late 1960s and early 1970s was actually a media revolution. In lively essays, the contributors examine a range of mass media—film and television, recorded sound, and publishing—that provide evidence of the circulation of sex in the public sphere, from the mainstream to the fringe. They discuss art films such as I am Curious (Yellow), mainstream movies including Midnight Cowboy, sexploitation films such as Mantis in Lace, the emergence of erotic film festivals and of gay pornography, the use of multimedia in sex education, and the sexual innuendo of The Love Boat. Scholars of cultural studies, history, and media studies, the contributors bring shared concerns to their diverse topics. They highlight the increasingly fluid divide between public and private, the rise of consumer and therapeutic cultures, and the relationship between identity politics and individual rights. The provocative surveys and case studies in this nuanced cultural history reframe the "sexual revolution" as the mass sexualization of our mediated world.
Contributors. Joseph Lam Duong, Jeffrey Escoffier, Kevin M. Flanagan, Elena Gorfinkel, Raymond J. Haberski Jr., Joan Hawkins, Kevin Heffernan, Eithne Johnson, Arthur Knight, Elana Levine, Christie Milliken, Eric Schaefer, Jeffrey Sconce, Jacob Smith, Leigh Ann Wheeler, Linda Williams
In 1999, the Reverend Jerry Falwell outed Tinky-Winky, the purple character from TV's Teletubbies. Events such as this reinforced in many quarters the common idea that evangelicals are reactionary, out of touch, and just plain paranoid. But reducing evangelicals to such caricatures does not help us understand their true spiritual and political agendas and the means they use to advance them. Shaking the World for Jesus moves beyond sensationalism to consider how the evangelical movement has effectively targeted Americans—as both converts and consumers—since the 1970s.
Thousands of products promoting the Christian faith are sold to millions of consumers each year through the Web, mail order catalogs, and even national chains such as Kmart and Wal-Mart. Heather Hendershot explores in this book the vast industry of film, video, magazines, and kitsch that evangelicals use to spread their message. Focusing on the center of conservative evangelical culture—the white, middle-class Americans who can afford to buy "Christian lifestyle" products—she examines the industrial history of evangelist media, the curious subtleties of the products themselves, and their success in the religious and secular marketplace.
To garner a wider audience, Hendershot argues, evangelicals have had to carefully temper their message. But in so doing, they have painted themselves into a corner. In the postwar years, evangelical media wore the message of salvation on its sleeve, but as the evangelical media industry has grown, many of its most popular products have been those with heavily diluted Christian messages. In the eyes of many followers, the evangelicals who purvey such products are sellouts—hucksters more interested in making money than spreading the word of God.
Working to understand evangelicalism rather than pass judgment on it, Shaking the World for Jesus offers a penetrating glimpse into a thriving religious phenomenon.
Mainstream media and film theory are based on the ways that media technologies operate in Europe and the United States. In this groundbreaking work, Brian Larkin provides a history and ethnography of media in Nigeria, asking what media theory looks like when Nigeria rather than a European nation or the United States is taken as the starting point. Concentrating on the Muslim city of Kano in the north of Nigeria, Larkin charts how the material qualities of technologies and the cultural ambitions they represent feed into the everyday experiences of urban Nigeria.
Media technologies were introduced to Nigeria by colonial regimes as part of an attempt to shape political subjects and create modern, urban Africans. Larkin considers the introduction of media along with electric plants and railroads as part of the wider infrastructural project of colonial and postcolonial urbanism. Focusing on radio networks, mobile cinema units, and the building of cinema theaters, he argues that what media come to be in Kano is the outcome of technology’s encounter with the social formations of northern Nigeria and with norms shaped by colonialism, postcolonial nationalism, and Islam. Larkin examines how media technologies produce the modes of leisure and cultural forms of urban Africa by analyzing the circulation of Hindi films to Muslim Nigeria, the leisure practices of Hausa cinemagoers in Kano, and the dynamic emergence of Nigerian video films. His analysis highlights the diverse, unexpected media forms and practices that thrive in urban Africa. Signal and Noise brings anthropology and media together in an original analysis of media’s place in urban life.
Why the First Amendment fails to protect speech rights and what to do about it
The First Amendment is the principle guarantor of speech rights in the United States, but the court’s interpretations of it often privilege the interests of media owners over those of the broader citizenry. In Speech Rights in America, Laura Stein argues that such rulings prevent the First Amendment from performing its critical role as a protector of free speech, alienate citizens from their rights, and corrupt the essential workings of democracy.
Stein locates the source of clashes over First Amendment interpretations in the differing views of neoliberal and participatory democratic theory on the meaning of rights and the role of communication in democratic processes. Drawing on the best of the liberal democratic tradition, she develops a systematic and concise definition of democratic speech and compares this definition to legal understandings of speech rights in contemporary media law. She demonstrates that there is a significant gap between First Amendment law and the speech rights necessary to democratic communication, and proposes an alternative set of principles to guide future judicial, legislative, and cultural policy on old and new media.
Combining ethnography, history, and social theory, Dominic Boyer's Spirit and System exposes how the shifting fortunes and social perceptions of German intellectuals in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries influenced Germans' conceptions of modernity and national culture.
Boyer analyzes the creation and mediation of the social knowledge of "German-ness" from nineteenth-century university culture and its philosophies of history, to the media systems and redemptive public cultures of the Third Reich and the German Democratic Republic, to the present-day experiences of former East German journalists seeking to explain life in post-unification Germany. Throughout this study, Boyer reveals how dialectical knowledge of "German-ness"—that is, knowledge that emphasizes a cultural tension between an inner "spirit" and an external "system" of social life —is modeled unconsciously upon intellectuals' self-knowledge as it tracks their fluctuation between alienation and utopianism in their interpretations of nation and modernity.
During the worst years of apartheid, the most popular show on television in South Africa—among both Black and White South Africans—was The Cosby Show. Why did people living under a system built on the idea that Black people were inferior and threatening flock to a show that portrayed African Americans as comfortably mainstream? Starring Mandela and Cosby takes up this paradox, revealing the surprising impact of television on racial politics.
The South African government maintained a ban on television until 1976, and according to Ron Krabill, they were right to be wary of its potential power. The medium, he contends, created a shared space for communication in a deeply divided nation that seemed destined for civil war along racial lines. At a time when it was illegal to publish images of Nelson Mandela, Bill Cosby became the most recognizable Black man in the country, and, Krabill argues, his presence in the living rooms of white South Africans helped lay the groundwork for Mandela’s release and ascension to power.
Weaving together South Africa’s political history and a social history of television, Krabill challenges conventional understandings of globalization, offering up new insights into the relationship between politics and the media.
What is the place of materiality—the expression or condition of physical substance—in our visual age of rapidly changing materials and media? How is it fashioned in the arts or manifested in virtual forms? In Surface, cultural critic and theorist Giuliana Bruno deftly explores these questions, seeking to understand materiality in the contemporary world.
Arguing that materiality is not a question of the materials themselves but rather the substance of material relations, Bruno investigates the space of those relations, examining how they appear on the surface of different media—on film and video screens, in gallery installations, or on the skins of buildings and people. The object of visual studies, she contends, goes well beyond the image and engages the surface as a place of contact between people and art objects. As Bruno threads through these surface encounters, she unveils the fabrics of the visual—the textural qualities of works of art, whether manifested on canvas, wall, or screen. Illuminating the modern surface condition, she notes how façades are becoming virtual screens and the art of projection is reinvented on gallery walls. She traverses the light spaces of artists Robert Irwin, James Turrell, Tacita Dean, and Anthony McCall; touches on the textured surfaces of Isaac Julien’s and Wong Kar-wai’s filmic screens; and travels across the surface materiality in the architectural practices of Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Herzog & de Meuron to the art of Doris Salcedo and Rachel Whiteread, where the surface tension of media becomes concrete. In performing these critical operations on the surface, she articulates it as a site in which different forms of mediation, memory, and transformation can take place.
Surveying object relations across art, architecture, fashion, design, film, and new media, Surface is a magisterial account of contemporary visual culture.
In the most comprehensive study of the media and foreign policy, twenty distinguished scholars and analysts explain the role played by the mass media and public opinion in the development of United States foreign policy in the Gulf War.
Tracing the flow of news, public opinion, and policy decisions from Sadam Hussein's rise to power in 1979, to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, through the outbreak and conclusion of the war, the contributors look at how the media have become key players in the foreign policy process. They examine the pre-war media debate, news coverage during and after the war, how the news-gathering process shaped the content of the coverage, and the media's effect on public opinion and decision makers. We see what goes on behind the scenes in the high tech world of political communication, and are confronted by troubling questions about the ways the government managed coverage of the war and captured journalists at their own news game.
Taken by Storm also examines more general patterns in post-Cold war journalism and foreign policy, particularly how contemporary journalistic practices determine whose voices and what views are heard in foreign policy coverage. At stake are the reactions of a vast media audience and the decision of government officials who see both the press and the public and key elements of the policy game.
The first book to fully integrate our understanding of the news business, public opinion, and government action, Taken by Storm transcends the limits of the Gulf War to illuminate the complex relationship between the media, the public, and U.S. foreign policy in the late twentieth century.
Based on ethnographic research in Seoul and Los Angeles, Transnational Sport tells how sports shape experiences of global Koreanness, and how those experiences are affected by national cultures. Rachael Miyung Joo focuses on superstar Korean athletes and sporting events produced for transnational media consumption. She explains how Korean athletes who achieve success on the world stage represent a powerful, globalized Korea for Koreans within the country and those in the diaspora. Celebrity Korean women athletes are highly visible in the Ladies Professional Golf Association. In the media, these young golfers are represented as daughters to be protected within the patriarchal Korean family and as hypersexualized Asian women with commercial appeal. Meanwhile, the hard-muscled bodies of male athletes, such as Korean baseball and soccer players, symbolize Korean masculine dominance in the global capitalist arena. Turning from particular athletes to a mega-event, Joo discusses the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan, a watershed moment in recent Korean history. New ideas of global Koreanness coalesced around this momentous event. Women and youth assumed newly prominent roles in Korean culture, and, Joo suggests, new models of public culture emerged as thousands of individuals were joined by a shared purpose.
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.
Tackling one of the most volatile issues in contemporary politics, Martin Gilens's work punctures myths and misconceptions about welfare policy, public opinion, and the role of the media in both. Why Americans Hate Welfare shows that the public's views on welfare are a complex mixture of cynicism and compassion; misinformed and racially charged, they nevertheless reflect both a distrust of welfare recipients and a desire to do more to help the "deserving" poor.
"With one out of five children currently living in poverty and more than 100,000 families with children now homeless, Gilens's book is must reading if you want to understand how the mainstream media have helped justify, and even produce, this state of affairs." —Susan Douglas, The Progressive
"Gilens's well-written and logically developed argument deserves to be taken seriously." —Choice
"A provocative analysis of American attitudes towards 'welfare.'. . . [Gilens] shows how racial stereotypes, not white self-interest or anti-statism, lie at the root of opposition to welfare programs." -Library Journal
Though numerous studies have been conducted regarding perceived racial bias in newspaper reporting of violent crimes, few studies have focused on the intersections of race and gender in determining the extent and prominence of this coverage, and more specifically how the lack of attention to violence against women of color reinforces their invisibility in the social structure. This book provides an empirical study of media and law enforcement bias in reporting and investigating homicides of African American women compared with their white counterparts. The author discusses the symbiotic relationship between media coverage and the response from law enforcement to victims of color, particularly when these victims are reported missing and presumed to be in danger by their loved ones. Just as the media are effective in helping to increase police response, law enforcement officials reach out to news outlets to solicit help from the public in locating a missing person or solving a murder. However, a deeply troubling disparity in reporting the disappearance and homicides of female victims reflects racial inequality and institutionalized racism in the social structure that need to be addressed. It is this disparity this important study seeks to solve.