In his celebrated manifesto, "Aircraft" (1935), the architect Le Corbusier presented more than 100 photographs celebrating airplanes either in imperious flight or elegantly at rest. Dwelling on the artfully abstracted shapes of noses, wings, and tails, he declared : "Ponder a moment on the truth of these objects! Clearness of function!"
In Aircraft, David Pascoe follows this lead and offers a startling new account of the form of the airplane, an object that, in the course of a hundred years, has developed from a flimsy contraption of wood, wire and canvas into a machine compounded of exotic materials whose wings can touch the edges of space.
Tracing the airplane through the twentieth century, he considers the subject from a number of perspectives: as an inspiration for artists, architects and politicians; as a miracle of engineering; as a product of industrialized culture; as a device of military ambition; and, finally, in its clearness of function, as an instance of sublime technology.
Profusely illustrated and authoritatively written, Aircraft offers not just a fresh account of aeronautical design, documenting, in particular, the forms of earlier flying machines and the dependence of later projects upon them, but also provides a cultural history of an object whose very shape contains the dreams and nightmares of the modern age.
"For me, a truly compelling, fact-packed read all about how guitars are made, look, sound, and play. Atkinson admirably recounts a century of history, invention, and experimentation by experts and amateurs of a revolutionary instrument. Highly recommended for anyone who has a guitar, and for anyone who wants one."—KT Tunstall, singer-songwriter and guitarist
"Atkinson has put a fantastically exhaustive amount of work into this book for all of us global guitar nerds to enjoy. It’s so much fun to dive into it full immersion, and glean everything from details on iconic artist guitars to strange inventions from creatives on the fringe!"—Jennifer Batten, guitarist (Michael Jackson, Jeff Beck)
“A great resource for all guitar players, tinkerers, and enthusiasts. Atkinson’s well-researched book provides essential and fascinating facts of this unique instrument’s development over the course of more than a century.”—Paul Brett, rock guitarist, journalist, guitar designer
“Atkinson has dug deep into the history of the electric guitar to create a detailed view of the ways in which makers and musicians have tried—and in many cases succeeded—to move its design forward. This engaging new book will be required reading for anyone interested in the development of one of the most popular and revolutionary instruments ever created.”—Tony Bacon, guitar historian and author
An in-depth look at the invention and development of the electric guitar, this book explores how the electric guitar’s design has changed and what its design over the years has meant for its sound. A heavily illustrated history with amps turned up to eleven, Amplified celebrates this beloved instrument and reveals how it has evolved through the experiments of amateur makers and part-time tinkerers. Digging deep into archives and featuring new interviews with makers and players, it will find admirers in all shredders, luthiers, and fans of electric sound.
Blending architecture, design, and technology, a visual tour through futures past via the objects we have replaced, left behind, and forgotten.
So-called extinct objects are those that were imagined but were never in use, or that existed but are now unused—superseded, unfashionable, or simply forgotten. Extinct gathers together an exceptional range of artists, curators, architects, critics, and academics, including Hal Foster, Barry Bergdoll, Deyan Sudjic, Tacita Dean, Emily Orr, Richard Wentworth, and many more. In eighty-five essays, contributors nominate “extinct” objects and address them in a series of short, vivid, sometimes personal accounts, speaking not only of obsolete technologies, but of other ways of thinking, making, and interacting with the world. Extinct is filled with curious, half-remembered objects, each one evoking a future that never came to pass. It is also a visual treat, full of interest and delight.
In How Writing Faculty Write, Christine Tulley examines the composing processes of fifteen faculty leaders in the field of rhetoric and writing, revealing through in-depth interviews how each scholar develops ideas, conducts research, drafts and revises a manuscript, and pursues publication. The book shows how productive writing faculty draw on their disciplinary knowledge to adopt attitudes and strategies that not only increase their chances of successful publication but also cultivate writing habits that sustain them over the course of their academic careers. The diverse interviews present opportunities for students and teachers to extrapolate from the personal experience of established scholars to their own writing and professional lives.
Tulley illuminates a long-unstudied corner of the discipline: the writing habits of theorists, researchers, and teachers of writing. Her interviewees speak candidly about overcoming difficulties in their writing processes on a daily basis, using strategies for getting started and restarted, avoiding writer’s block, finding and using small moments of time, and connecting their writing processes to their teaching. How Writing Faculty Write will be of significant interest to students and scholars across the spectrum—graduate students entering the discipline, new faculty and novice scholars thinking about their writing lives, mid-level and senior faculty curious about how scholars research and write, historians of rhetoric and composition, and metadisciplinary scholars.
From monocles to pince-nez and goggle-eyes, a cultural and technological history of glasses in fact and fiction.
This book examines those who wore glasses through history, art, and literature, from the green emerald through which Emperor Nero watched gladiator fights to Benjamin Franklin’s homemade bifocals, and from Marilyn Monroe’s cat-eye glasses to the famed four-eyes of Emma Bovary and Harry Potter. Spectacles are objects that seem commonplace, but In the Blink of an Eye shows that because they fundamentally changed people’s lives, glasses were the wellspring of a quiet social, cultural, and economic revolution. Indeed, one can argue that modernity itself began with the paradigm shift that transformed poor eyesight from a severely limiting disease—treated with pomades and tinctures—into a minor impairment that can be remedied with mechanisms constructed from lenses and wire.
The last forty years have seen the rise of the personal computer, a device that has enabled ordinary individuals to access a tool that had been exclusive to laboratories and corporate technology centers. During this time, computers have become smaller, faster, more powerful, and more complex. So much has happened with so many products, in fact, that we often take for granted the uniqueness of our experiences with different machines over time.
The Interface Experience surveys some of the landmark devices in the history of personal computing—including the Commodore 64, Apple Macintosh Plus, Palm Pilot Professional, and Microsoft Kinect—and helps us to better understand the historical shifts that have occurred with the design and material experience of each machine. With its spiral-bound design reminiscent of early computer user manuals and thorough consideration of the cultural moment represented by each device, The Interface Experience is a one-of-a-kind tour of modern computing technology.
The degree to which shopping, or, more broadly, consumerism, is both critiqued and defended in American society confirms the role that commercial goods play in our daily lives. This collection of essays provides case studies depicting selected aspects of this engaging activity. The authors include several historians with diverging specialties: an art historian, an anthropologist, an environmental journalist, a geographer and urban planner, and practicing artists. Each author demonstrates how a material culture perspective—a focus on the relationship between people and their things—can illuminate a specific corner of consumption. Connecting the essays are concerns about the spaces in which shopping occurs; about the experience of shopping itself, both individual and social; and about its economic, environmental, and personal downsides. Collectively, these essays demonstrate how a material culture perspective on shopping yields insights into multiple aspects of American culture.
Published by University of Delaware Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.