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The Long History of New Media

Technology, Historiography, and Contextualizing Newness


David W. Park, Nicholas W. Jankowski and Steve Jones

This volume examines the role of history in the study of new media and of newness itself, discussing how the ‘new’ in new media must be understood to be historically constructed. Furthermore, the new is constructed with an eye on the future, or more correctly, an eye on what we think the future will be.
Chapters by eminent scholars address the connection between historical consideration and new media. Some assess the historical descriptions of the development of new media; others hinge on the issue of newness as it relates to existing practices in media history. Remaining essays address the shifting patterns of storage at work in media inscription, as they relate to the practice of history, and to the past and contemporary cultural formations. Together they offer a ground-breaking assessment of the long history of new media, clearly recognizing that the new media of today will be the traditional media of tomorrow, and that an emphasis on the history of the future sheds light on what this newness can be said to represent.
Contents: David W. Park/Nicholas W. Jankowski/Steve Jones: Introduction: History and New Media – Devon Powers: The End of New Music? Digital Media, History, and the Idea of Attention – Noah Arceneaux: «All You’ll Need Is a Mobile Couch»: The History of Mobile Television in the United States – Stephanie Ricker Schulte: Cutting the Cord and «Crying Socialist Wolf»: Unwiring the Public and Producing the Third Place – Christian Thorsten Callisen/Barbara Adkins: Pre-digital Virtuality: Early Modern Scholars and the Republic of Letters – D. Travers Scott: Sound Studies for Historians of New Media – Zizi Papacharissi/Elaine J. Yuan: What if the Internet Did Not Speak English? New and Old Language for Studying Newer Media Technologies – Teresa M. Harrison: The Evolving Medium Is the Message: McLuhan, Medium Theory, and Cognitive Neuroscience – Dmitry Epstein: The Analog History of the «Digital Divide» – Michael Dick: Twenty Years of Unnecessary Forward Slashes: Critiquing Narratives of the Development of the Web – Peter Schaefer: Interface: History of a Concept, 1868-1888 – Brian O’Neill: The Long History of Digital Radio: Old Media in a New Century – Benjamin Peters/Deborah Lubken: New Media in Crises: Discursive Instability and Emergency Communication – Holly Kruse: Pipeline as Network: Pneumatic Systems and the Social Order – Gerard Goggin: Telephone Media: An Old Story – Meghan Dougherty/Steven M. Schneider: Web Historiography and the Emergence of New Archival Forms – Fernando Bermejo: The Evolution of Audience Labor: Appropriating Online Activities – Niels Brügger: Digital History and a Register of Websites: An Old Practice with New Implications – Adriana de Souza e Silva/Daniel M. Sutko: Placing Location-Aware Media in a History of the Virtual – Simon Popple: «It’s Not Really Our Content»: The Moving Image and Media History in the Digital Archive Age.