Critical terms for media studies by W. J. T. Mitchell, Mark B. N. Hansen

By W. J. T. Mitchell, Mark B. N. Hansen

Communications, philosophy, movie and video, electronic tradition: media experiences straddles an wonderful array of fields and disciplines and produces a vocabulary that's in equivalent components rigorous and intuitive. Critical phrases for Media Studies defines, and from time to time, redefines, what this new and hybrid region goals to do, illuminating the main recommendations in the back of its liveliest debates and so much dynamic topics.

Part of a bigger dialog that engages tradition, expertise, and politics, this fascinating number of essays explores our most crucial language for facing the traits and modes of up to date media. Edited by way of impressive students within the box, W. J. T. Mitchell and Mark B. N. Hansen, the amount positive factors works through a group of uncommon individuals. those essays, commissioned expressly for this quantity, are equipped into 3 interrelated teams: “Aesthetics” engages with phrases that describe sensory studies and judgments, “Technology” deals access right into a extensive array of technological ideas, and “Society” opens up language describing the platforms that permit a medium to function.

A compelling reference paintings for the twenty-first century and the media that shape our event inside of it, Critical phrases for Media Studies will interact and deepen any reader’s wisdom of 1 of our most vital new fields.

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Our aim is to take the field back beyond the “digital revolution” of the last twenty years to its deeper origins in antiquity and early modernity, and to think of media history as highly differentiated both spatially and temporally. Thus, Alex Galloway’s article on Networks begins, not with the Internet, but with the net that Clytemnestra throws over Agamemnon. A more elusive reason for triangulating the topic of media has been our intuitive sense that media themselves are always and everywhere understood by way of tripartite models.

In dallying with media other than those abrogated to art for its specialized use, the argument went, art risked being overwhelmed, sold out, or lost in the rising tide of visual noise that clamored for attention in the streets, on the kiosks, and in the shopwindows of stationers, booksellers, and framers. One celebrated case exposed the way crucial questions regarding the definition of art were posed by uses of the new media of reproduction and publicity. When the renowned British painter John Everett Millais, a member of the Royal Academy, allowed his painting Bubbles to be used to advertise Pear’s soap, an enormous debate ensued.

Not surprisingly, in the wake of this work, “media studies” has emerged as a viable research area, under rubrics like Comparative Media Studies (at MIT) and Literature, Communication, and Culture (at Georgia Tech), and as the focus of an ever-expanding range of research initiatives across the globe. Despite this process of institutional consolidation, however, media studies remains an amorphous enterprise, more of a loosely associated set of approaches than a unified field. One can find practitioners who apply statistical methods to analyze audience response to media content and others who focus on the political impact of media consolidation and deregulation.

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