Department of Media, Culture, and Communication

Faculty - Media, Culture, and Communication

Books by MCC Faculty

Paper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of Documents
Lisa Gitelman
  Paper Knowledge is a remarkable book about the mundane: the library card, the promissory note, the movie ticket, the PDF (Portable Document Format). It is a media history of the document. Drawing examples from the 1870s, the 1930s, the 1960s, and today, Lisa Gitelman thinks across the media that the document form has come to inhabit over the last 150 years, including letterpress printing, typing and carbon paper, mimeograph, microfilm, offset printing, photocopying, and scanning. Whether examining late nineteenth century commercial, or "job" printing, or the Xerox machine and the role of reproduction in our understanding of the document, Gitelman reveals a keen eye for vernacular uses of technology.  Along the way, she discusses documentary matters such as the relation between twentieth-century technological innovation and the management of paper, and the interdependence of computer programming and documentation. 
It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens
danah boyd
  Boyd’s conclusions are essential reading not only for parents, teachers, and others who work with teens but also for anyone interested in the impact of emerging technologies on society, culture, and commerce in years to come. Offering insights gleaned from more than a decade of original fieldwork interviewing teenagers across the United States, boyd concludes reassuringly that the kids are allright. At the same time, she acknowledges that coming to terms with life in a networked era is not easy or obvious. In a technologically mediated world, life is bound to be complicated.
Media Technologies
Finn Brunton (Contributor) 
  In recent years, scholarship around media technologies has finally shed the assumption that these technologies are separate from and powerfully determining of social life, looking at them instead as produced by and embedded in distinct social, cultural, and political practices. Communication and media scholars have increasingly taken theoretical perspectives originating in science and technology studies (STS), while some STS scholars interested in information technologies have linked their research to media studies inquiries into the symbolic dimensions of these tools. In this volume, scholars from both fields come together to advance this view of media technologies as complex sociomaterial phenomena. The contributors first address the relationship between materiality and mediation, considering such topics as the lived realities of network infrastructure. The contributors then highlight media technologies as always in motion, held together through the minute, unobserved work of many, including efforts to keep these technologies alive.
Excommunication: Three Essays in Media and Mediation
Alexander Galloway 
  Excommunication: Three Essays in Media and Mediation examines 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. The authors of these linked essays—Alexander R. Galloway, Eugene Thacker, and McKenzie Wark—suggest that these moments reveal the ways the impossibility of communication is integral to communication itself, instances the authors call excommunication. In his essay, 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.
Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon
Ben Kafka (Contributor)
  This is an encyclopedic dictionary of close to 400 important philosophical, literary, and political terms and concepts that defy easy—or any—translation from one language and culture to another. Spanning the classical, medieval, early modern, modern, and contemporary periods, these are terms that influence thinking across the humanities. The entries, written by more than 150 distinguished scholars, describe the origins and meanings of each term, the history and context of its usage, its translations into other languages, and its use in notable texts. Originally published in French, this one-of-a-kind reference work is now available in English for the first time, with new contributions from Judith Butler, Daniel Heller-Roazen, Ben Kafka, Kevin McLaughlin, Kenneth Reinhard, Stella Sandford, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Jane Tylus, Anthony Vidler, Susan Wolfson, Robert J. C. Young, and many more. 
Shaping Immigration News
Rodney Benson 
  Drawing on interviews with leading journalists and analyses of an extensive sample of newspaper and television coverage since the early 1970s, Rodney Benson shows how the immigration debate has become increasingly focused on the dramatic, emotion-laden frames of humanitarianism and public order. Yet even in an era of global hypercommercialism, Benson also finds enduring French-American differences related to the distinctive societal positions, professional logics, and internal structures of their journalistic fields. In both countries, less commercialized media tend to offer the most in-depth, multi-perspective, and critical news. Benson challenges classic liberalism's assumptions about state intervention's chilling effects on the press, suggests costs as well as benefits to the current vogue in personalized narrative news, and calls attention to journalistic practices that can help empower civil society. This book offers new theories and methods for sociologists and media scholars and fresh insights for journalists, policy makers, and concerned citizens.
Race, Empire, and the Crisis of the Subprime
Paula Chakravartty 
  Predatory lending of subprime mortgages targeting the most economically vulnerable minority communities helped trigger the current global financial crisis. This special issue of the journal American Quarterly explores the ways in which "subprime" becomes a racial signifier in the current debate about the causes and fixes for a capitalism itself in crisis. It signifies both the accumulated dispossession of racial exclusion in the twenty-first century gilded age in the United States and Global North more broadly, as well as the imperial ambitions of three decades of U.S.-led neoliberal rule over the Global South. Essays are divided into sections: debt, discipline, and empire; the pathologies of debt; and security, space, and resistance in the post-racial urban setting. Focusing on race and empire, that is, on racial and global subjugation, the contributors expose the ethical-political underpinnings of the current global financial crisis.
Privacy, Due Process and the Computational Turn
Finn Brunton 
  Privacy, Due process and the Computational Turn: The Philosophy of Law Meets the Philosophy of Technology engages with the rapidly developing computational aspects of our world including data mining, behavioural advertising, iGovernment, profiling for intelligence, customer relationship management, smart search engines, personalized news feeds, and so on in order to consider their implications for the assumptions on which our legal framework has been built. The contributions to this volume focus on the issue of privacy, which is often equated with data privacy and data security, location privacy, anonymity, pseudonymity, unobservability, and unlinkability. Here, however, the extent to which predictive and other types of data analytics operate in ways that may or may not violate privacy is rigorously taken up, both technologically and legally, in order to open up new possibilities for considering, and contesting, how we are increasingly being correlated and categorizedin relationship with due process—the right to contest how the profiling systems are categorizing and deciding about us.
Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet
Finn Brunton 
  Winner of a PROSE Award

The vast majority of all email sent every day is spam, a variety of idiosyncratically spelled requests to provide account information, invitations to spend money on dubious products, and pleas to send cash overseas. Most of it is caught by filters before ever reaching an in-box. Where does it come from? As Finn Brunton explains in Spam, it is produced and shaped by many different populations around the world: programmers, con artists, bots and their botmasters, pharmaceutical merchants, marketers, identity thieves, crooked bankers and their victims, cops, lawyers, network security professionals, vigilantes, and hackers. Every time we go online, we participate in the system of spam, with choices, refusals, and purchases the consequences of which we may not understand. This is a book about what spam is, how it works, and what it means. Brunton provides a cultural history that stretches from pranks on early computer networks to the construction of a global criminal infrastructure. The history of spam, Brunton shows us, is a shadow history of the Internet itself, with spam emerging as the mirror image of the online communities it targets. Spam shows us how technologies, from email to search engines, are transformed by unintended consequences and adaptations, and how online communities develop and invent governance for themselves.

The Future as Cultural Fact: Essays on the Global Condition
Arjun Appadurai
  This major collection of essays, a sequel to Modernity at Large and Fear of Small Numbers, is the product of ten years’ research and writing, constituting an important contribution to globalization studies. Appadurai takes a broad analytical look at the genealogies of the present era of globalization through essays on violence, commodification, nationalism, terror and materiality. Alongside a discussion of these wider debates, Appadurai situates India at the heart of his work, offering writing based on firsthand research among urban slum dwellers in Mumbai, in which he examines their struggle to achieve equity, recognition and self-governance in conditions of extreme inequality. Finally, in his work on design, planning, finance and poverty, Appadurai embraces the “politics of hope” and lays the foundations for a revitalized, and urgent, anthropology of the future.
Raw Data is an Oxymoron
Lisa Gitelman (Editor)
  We live in the era of Big Data, with storage and transmission capacity measured not just in terabytes but in petabytes (where peta- denotes a quadrillion, or a thousand trillion). Data collection is constant and even insidious, with every click and every “like” stored somewhere for something. This book reminds us that data is anything but “raw,” that we shouldn’t think of data as a natural resource but as a cultural one that needs to be generated, protected, and interpreted. Contributors discuss the intellectual history of data as a concept; describe early financial modeling and some unusual sources for astronomical data; discover the prehistory of the database in newspaper clippings and index cards; and consider contemporary “dataveillance” of our online habits as well as the complexity of scientific data curation.
Essay authors:
 Geoffrey C. Bowker, Kevin R. Brine, Ellen Gruber Garvey, Lisa Gitelman, Steven J. Jackson, Virginia Jackson, Markus Krajewski, Mary Poovey, Rita Raley, David Ribes, Daniel Rosenberg, Matthew Stanley, Travis D. Williams
Media Capital: Architecture and Communications in New York City
Aurora Wallace
  With a unique focus on corporate headquarters as embodiments of the values of the press and as signposts for understanding media culture, Media Capital demonstrates the mutually supporting relationship between the media and urban space. Aurora Wallace considers how architecture contributed to the power of the press, the nature of the reading public, the commercialization of media, and corporate branding in the media industry. Tracing the rise and concentration of the media industry in New York City from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, Wallace analyzes physical and discursive space, as well as labor, technology, and aesthetics, to understand the entwined development of the mass media and late capitalism.
The Demon of Writing: Powers and Failures of Paperwork
Ben Kafka
  In The Demon of Writing, Ben Kafka offers a critical history and theory of one of the most ubiquitous, least understood forms of media: paperwork. States rely on records to tax and spend, protect and serve, discipline and punish. But time and again, this paperwork proves to be unreliable. Examining episodes that range from the story of a clerk who lost his job and then his mind in the French Revolution to an account of Roland Barthes’s brief stint as a university administrator, Kafka reveals the powers, the failures, and even the pleasures of paperwork. Many of its complexities, he argues, have been obscured by the comic-paranoid style that characterizes much of our criticism of bureaucracy. Kafka proposes a new theory of what Karl Marx called the “bureaucratic medium.” Moving from Marx to Freud, he argues that this theory of paperwork must include both a theory of praxis and of parapraxis.
The Interface Effect
Alexander R. Galloway
  Interfaces are back, or perhaps they never left. The familiar Socratic conceit from the Phaedrus, of communication as the process of writing directly on the soul of the other, has returned to center stage in today's discussions of culture and media. Indeed Western thought has long construed media as a grand choice between two kinds of interfaces. Following the optimistic path, media seamlessly interface self and other in a transparent and immediate connection. But, following the pessimistic path, media are the obstacles to direct communion, disintegrating self and other into misunderstanding and contradiction. In other words, media interfaces are either clear or complicated, either beautiful or deceptive, either already known or endlessly interpretable. Recognizing the limits of either path, Galloway charts an alternative course by considering the interface as an autonomous zone of aesthetic activity, guided by its own logic and its own ends: the interface effect. Grounded in philosophy and cultural theory and driven by close readings of video games, software, television, painting, and other images, Galloway seeks to explain the logic of digital culture through an analysis of its most emblematic and ubiquitous manifestation—the interface.
India's World: The Politics of Creativity in a Globalized Society
Arjun Appadurai
  India in the twenty-first century is perhaps more than at any other time in its history a place of contradictions. On the one hand, it is perceived as a rising superpower, on the other, it is classified as a third-world country. Indian writing in English is flourishing, but classical languages, such as Sanskrit, seem to find no takers anymore. While every Indian citizen has the right to vote during election time, Dalits have to often struggle for their rights and dignity, more than sixty years after untouchability was abolished. These issues and counter-issues, and more, are discussed in this anthology by some of the most informed and insightful commentators on India: Ajit Balakrishnan, Sheldon Pollock, Gopal Guru, Ranjani Mazumdar, and Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, among others. Taken together, the essays in this volume illustrate why the country's achievements should be seen only in the context of its problems, in order to get a complete picture of contemporary India.
The Right to Look: A Counterhistory of Visuality
Nicholas Mirzoeff
  Winner of the Anne Friedberg Innovative Scholarship Award

In The Right to Look, Nicholas Mirzoeff develops a comparative decolonial framework for visual culture studies, the field that he helped to create and shape. Casting modernity as an ongoing contest between visuality and countervisuality, or “the right to look,” he explains how visuality sutures authority to power and renders the association natural. An early-nineteenth-century concept, meaning the visualization of history, visuality has been central to the legitimization of Western hegemony. Mirzoeff identifies three “complexes of visuality”—plantation slavery, imperialism, and the present-day military-industrial complex—and explains how, within each, power is made to seem self-evident through techniques of classification, separation, and aestheticization. At the same time, he shows how each complex of visuality has been countered—by the enslaved, the colonized, and opponents of war, all of whom assert autonomy from authority by claiming the right to look. 

(Open) Utopia
Stephen Duncombe (Editor)
  Open Utopia is the first complete English language edition of Thomas More’s Utopia that honors the primary precept of Utopia itself: that all property is common property. Open Utopia, licensed under Creative Commons, is free to copy, to share, to use. But Utopia is more than the story of a far-off land with no private property. It is a text that instructs us how to approach texts, be they literary or political, in an open manner: open to criticism, open to participation, and open to re-creation. Utopia is no-place, and therefore it is up to all of us to imagine it. In this volume, and its accompanying website, Utopia is re-imagined and brought into the digital age as a participatory technology for undermining authority and facilitating new imagination.
International Perspectives on Youth Media
JoEllen Fisherkeller (Editor)
  This edited volume "documents and analyzes transnational research on youth media production and distribution projects both in and out of school. With comprehensive theoretical analyses, notes, and bibliographies, each chapter includes a case study, illuminating the variety and diversity of youth media projects around the world. Contributors span multiple disciplines and regions, and their perspectives provide a rich and comparative resource for readers. The information gathered here is a valuable tool in assessing the potential of youth media programs; the book intends to make positive contributions to youth media practices, scholarship, policy, and advocacy, and ultimately, to help young people around the world think, feel, and act like powerful and expressive participants in their local and global multi-mediated realities. 
Grey Room
Mara Mills (Editor & Contributer)
  Grey Room brings together scholarly and theoretical articles from the fields of architecture, art, media, and politics to forge a cross-disciplinary discourse uniquely relevant to contemporary concerns. Publishing some of the most interesting and original work within these disciplines, Grey Room has positioned itself at the forefront of the most current aesthetic and critical debates. Featuring articles, translations, interviews, dossiers, and academic exchanges, Grey Room's emphasis on aesthic practice and historical and theoretical discourse appeals to a wide range of readers, including architects, artists, scholars, students, and critics.
Race Appeal 
Charlton McIlwain (with Stephen R. Caliendo)
  Winner of the Ralph J. Bunche Award

In our evolving American political culture, whites and blacks continue to respond very differently to race-based messages and the candidates who use them. Race Appeal examines the use and influence such appeals have on voters in elections for federal office where one candidate is the member of a minority group. Charlton McIlwain and Stephen Caliendo use various methods of analysis for examining candidates “playing the race card” in political advertisements. They offer a compelling analysis of the construction of verbal and visual racial appeals, and how the news media covers campaigns involving candidates of color. Combining rigorous analyses with in-depth case studies—including an examination of race-based appeals in the historic 2008 presidential election—Race Appeal is a groundbreaking work that represents the most extensive and thorough treatment of race-based appeals in American political campaigns to date.

White Riot: Punk Rock and the Politics of Race
Stephen Duncombe (Editor)
    From the Clash to Los Crudos, skinheads to afro-punks, the punk rock movement has been obsessed by race. And yet the connections have never been traced in a comprehensive way. White Riot is the definitive study of the subject, collecting first-person writing, lyrics, letters to zines, and analyses of punk history from across the globe. This book brings together writing from leading critics such as Greil Marcus and Dick Hebdige, personal reflections from punk pioneers such as Jimmy Pursey, Darryl Jenifer and Mimi Nguyen, and reports on punk scenes from Toronto to Jakarta.
Circuits of Visibility
Radha Hegde
  Circuits of Visibility explores transnational media environments as a way to understand the gendered constructions and contradictions that support globalization, with special emphasis on women and a global feminist perspective. Exploring the ways in which gendered subjects are produced and defined in globally networked, media saturated environments, Circuits of Visibility presents sixteen essays that collectively promote discussion about sexual politics, mediated environments and globalization. Covering television, the internet, newspaper studies, and movement-oriented media work, the volume explores the ways in which gender and sexuality issues are constructed and mobilized across the world. Contributors' essays cover a diverse amount of countries, from Myanmar and Morocco to the Balkans, France, U.S., and China, and feature topics ranging from violence against women and anti-violence activism to political power deriving from representations of being single or married. 
The Routledge Companion to Race and Ethnicity
Charlton McIlwain (Editor)
  The Routledge Companion to Race and Ethnicity is a comprehensive guide to the increasingly relevant, broad and ever changing terrain of studies surrounding race and ethnicity. Comprising a series of essays and a critical dictionary of key names and terms written by respected scholars from a range of academic disciplines, this book provides a thought provoking introduction to the field. Fully cross referenced throughout, with suggestions for further reading and international examples, this book is indispensible reading for all those studying issues of race and ethnicity across the humanities and social and political sciences.
Communicating Power and Gender
Deborah J. Borisoff (with James W. Chesebro)
  As a perceptive and outstanding assessment, Communicating Power and Gender examines the relationships between gender and power and how they are linked to and transformed by the communication process. Within this discussion a host of correlations emerge, crossing social, cultural, historical, political, and racial spheres. In order to anchor their discussion Borisoff and Chesebro define the terms gender, power, and communication, which provides an operational platform from which to view fundamental issues such as the effects of stereotyping and verbal and nonverbal communication by gender. The authors also consider four contexts that shape and influence gender socialization and sex-role constructions: mediated communication and gender roles in various media systems, early socialization in the home, the educational landscape, and women and men in the workplace.
Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy, and the Integrity of Social Life 
Helen Nissenbaum
    Privacy is one of the most urgent issues associated with information technology and digital media. This book claims that what people really care about when they complain and protest that privacy has been violated is not the act of sharing information itself—most people understand that this is crucial to social life —but the inappropriate, improper sharing of information. Arguing that privacy concerns should not be limited solely to concern about control over personal information, Helen Nissenbaum counters that information ought to be distributed and protected according to norms governing distinct social contexts—whether it be workplace, health care, schools, or among family and friends. She warns that basic distinctions between public and private, informing many current privacy policies, in fact obscure more than they clarify. In truth, contemporary information systems should alarm us only when they function without regard for social norms and values, and thereby weaken the fabric of social life.
Always Already New: Media, History, and the Data of Culture
Lisa Gitelman
  In Always Already New, Lisa Gitelman explores the newness of new media while she asks what it means to do media history. Using the examples of early recorded sound and digital networks, Gitelman challenges readers to think about the ways that media work as the simultaneous subjects and instruments of historical inquiry. Presenting original case studies of Edison's first phonographs and the Pentagon's first distributed digital network, the ARPANET, Gitelman points suggestively toward similarities that underlie the cultural definition of records (phonographic and not) at the end of the nineteenth century and the definition of documents (digital and not) at the end of the twentieth. As a result, Always Already New speaks to present concerns about the humanities as much as to the emergent field of new media studies. Records and documents are kernels of humanistic thought, after all—part of and party to the cultural impulse to preserve and interpret. Gitelman's argument suggests inventive contexts for "humanities computing" while also offering a new perspective on such traditional humanities disciplines as literary history.
Reality TV: Remaking Television Culture
Susan Murray (Editor)
  Beginning by unearthing its historical roots in early reality shows like Candid Camera and wending its way through An American Family and The Real World to the most recent crop of reality programs, Reality TV, now updated with eight new essays, is one of the first books to address the economic, visual, cultural, audience, and new media dimensions of reality television and has become the standard in the field. The essays provide a complex and comprehensive picture of how and why this genre emerged, what it means, how it differs from earlier television programming, and how it engages societies, industries, and individuals. Topics range from the blending of fact and fiction, to the uses of viewer labor and “interactivity,” to issues of surveillance, gender performativity, hyper-commercialism, and generic parody. By spanning reality television’s origins in the late 1940s to its current overwhelming popularity, Reality TV demonstrates both the tenacity of the format and its enduring ability to speak to our changing political and social desires and anxieties.
Tourists of History
Marita Sturken
  In Tourists of History, cultural critic Marita Sturken argues that over the past two decades, Americans have responded to national trauma through consumerism, kitsch sentiment, and tourist practices in ways that reveal a tenacious investment in the idea of America’s innocence. Sturken investigates the consumerism that followed from the September 11th attacks; the contentious, ongoing debates about memorials and celebrity-architect designed buildings at Ground Zero; and two outcomes of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City: the Oklahoma City National Memorial and the execution of Timothy McVeigh.
Worship and Conflict under Colonial Rule
Arjun Appadurai
  Although temples have been important in South Indian society and history, there have been few attempts to study them within an integrated anthropological framework. Professor Appadurai develops such a framework in this ethnohistorical case study, in which he interprets the politics of worship in the Sri Partasarati Svami Temple, a famous ancient Sri Vaisnava shrine in India. The author uses the methods and concepts of both cultural anthropology and social history to construct a model of institutional change in South Asia under colonial rule. Focusing on the problem of authority as a cultural concept and as a managerial reality, Professor Appadurai considers some classic problems of South Asian anthropology: problems of deference, sumptuary symbolism, and religious organization. In addition, he addresses such issues as the nature of conflict under a hybrid colonial legal system, the political implications of sumptuary disputes, and the structure of relations between polity and religion in pre-modern South Asia. 
Selling War to America: From the Spanish American War to the Global War on Terror
Eugene Secunda and Terence P. Moran
  Selling War to America begins its examination with the U.S. Government's campaign to instigate a war with Spain and ends with a review of the methods the government is using now to encourage support for the War Against Terrorism. The book analyzes each of these wars within the context of the techniques that the government used to generate public support, also examining the results of propaganda efforts, both before and after each conflict. From these historical analyses, noting both the blunders and the triumphs of the past century, Selling War to America pinpoints the pitfalls and offers the keys to successfully persuading the American public to support wars that must be fought. This book analyzes each of these wars within the context of the techniques that the government used to generate public support. It also examines the results of these propaganda efforts both before and after each conflict. Selling War to America begins its examination with the U.S. Government's campaign to instigate a war with Spain and ends with a review of the methods it is using now to encourage support for the War Against Terrorism. 
Fooled Again
Mark Crispin Miller
  For Republicans, the 2004 presidential election was little short of miraculous: Behind in the Electoral College tally in the days leading up to the election, behind even on the very afternoon of the vote, the Bush ticket staged a stunning comeback. The exit polls, usually so reliable, turned out to be wrong by an unprecedented 5 percent in the swing states. Conservatives argued-and the media agreed-that "moral values" had made the difference. In his new book renowned critic and political commentator Mark Crispin Miller argues that it wasn't moral values that swung the election-it was theft.
Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture, Second Edition
Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright
  Visual culture is central to how we communicate. Our lives are dominated by images and by visual technologies that allow for the local and global circulation of ideas, information, and politics. In this increasingly visual world, how can we best decipher and understand the many ways that our everyday lives are organized around looking practices and the many images we encounter each day? Now in a new edition, Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture provides a comprehensive and engaging overview of how we understand a wide array of visual media and how we use images to express ourselves, to communicate, to play, and to learn. Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright--two leading scholars in the emergent and dynamic field of visual culture and communication--examine the diverse range of approaches to visual analysis and lead students through key theories and concepts.
Fear of Small Numbers
Arjun Appadurai
  The period since 1989 has been marked by the global endorsement of open markets, the free flow of finance capital and liberal ideas of constitutional rule, and the active expansion of human rights. Why, then, in this era of intense globalization, has there been a proliferation of violence, of ethnic cleansing on the one hand and extreme forms of political violence against civilian populations on the other? Fear of Small Numbers is Arjun Appadurai’s answer to that question. A leading theorist of globalization, Appadurai turns his attention to the complex dynamics fueling large-scale, culturally motivated violence, from the genocides that racked Eastern Europe, Rwanda, and India in the early 1990s to the contemporary “war on terror.” Providing a conceptually innovative framework for understanding sources of global violence, he describes how the nation-state has grown ambivalent about minorities at the same time that minorities, because of global communication technologies and migration flows, increasingly see themselves as parts of powerful global majorities.
Hitch Your Antenna to the Stars: Early Televison and Broadcast Stardom
Susan Murray
  Hitch Your Antenna to the Stars! is the first cultural and industrial history of early television stardom. Susan Murray argues that television stars were central to the growth and development of American broadcasting. They were used not only to promote programs and the sale of television sets and advertised consumer goods, but also to established network identities. Through profiles of well-known performers including Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Jackie Gleason, and Lucille Ball, she shows how the television industry gave birth to the idea of TV stars and established a system of star production and management notably different from the Hollywood star system of the studio era.
Newspapers and the Making of Modern America
Aurora Wallace
  By investigating specific cases of newspapers in their communities, Newspapers and the Making of Modern America shows the newspaper as an agent of change in the construction and maintenance of community. It develops the theme of a newspaper as a prime mover in enacting policy, supporting development, building neighborhoods, and generally modifying the physical and built environment.
Bourdieu and the Journalistic Field
Rodney Benson
  Bourdieu and the Journalistic Field is an exciting new text which builds on and extends Pierre Bourdieu's impassioned critique of our media-saturated culture. Presenting for the first time in English the work of influential scholars who worked with or were influenced by Bourdieu, this volume is the one and only book for Anglophone scholars seeking a more detailed elaboration of field theory in relation to the mass media.
When Death Goes Pop: Death, Media and the Remaking of Community
Charlton McIlwain
  Scholars, educators, health professionals, and activists from a variety of fields have struggled with one of the most significant questions of contemporary life: How do we rescue the experience of death and dying from the mire of fear, denial, and secrecy that it has been associated with for the better part of a century? In When Death Goes Pop, Charlton D. McIlwain describes a striking emerging shift in the way that death is represented in such omnipresent forms of media as television--a shift that seems to be moving the American discourse on death and dying from the private sphere to the public.
Academy and the Internet
Helen Nissenbaum
  This book explores the impact of the Internet on scholarly research across and beyond the social sciences. The contributors - leading figures in a broad spectrum of disciplines - explain how their fields of inquiry are being redefined, and what issues of social change are salient as new information technologies increasingly become the subject of scholarly analysis. They have rendered a conceptual photograph of how their disciplines are coping with the impact of information technology by covering policy approaches, empirical research, and theoretical questions. Academy and the Internet highlights significant zones of inquiry and provides a critical perspective on the direction each discipline is traveling.
Growing Up with Television: Everyday Learning Among Young Adolescents
JoEllen Fisherkeller
  Fisherkeller studies the experiences of adolescents watching TV and talking about TV at home, at school, and with their peers. They discuss their hopes for the future as well as the challenges they currently face, and reveal how television plays a role in their everyday life. These young individuals, who come from a wide range of backgrounds, literally grow up with television, as the author follows them from middle school to high school and then on to college. As the most significant cultural symbol in the US, television is a powerful educational and socializing force. Fisherkeller examines how youth are attracted to TV programs and persona that help them work through personal and social dilemmas. TV stories teach them about conflicts of gender, race and class that parallel the lessons they learn from real life and the system of television show them how image creation is a real means of "making it" in an image-conscious society.
Globalization
Arjun Appadurai
  Edited by one of the most prominent scholars in the field and including a distinguished group of contributors, this collection of essays makes a striking intervention in the increasingly heated debates surrounding the cultural dimensions of globalization. While including discussions about what globalization is and whether it is a meaningful term, the volume focuses in particular on the way that changing sites—local, regional, diasporic—are the scenes of emergent forms of sovereignty in which matters of style, sensibility, and ethos articulate new legalities and new kinds of violence.
Politics after Television
Arvind Rajagopal
  In January 1987, the Indian state-run television began broadcasting a Hindu epic in serial form, The Ramayana, to nationwide audiences, violating a decades-old taboo on religious partisanship. What resulted was the largest political campaign in post-independence times, around the symbol of Lord Ram, led by Hindu nationalists. The complexion of Indian politics was irrevocably changed thereafter. In this book, Arvind Rajagopal analyses this extraordinary series of events. While audiences may have thought they were harking back to an epic golden age, Hindu nationalist leaders were embracing the prospects of neoliberalism and globalisation. Television was the device that hinged these movements together, symbolising the new possibilities of politics, at once more inclusive and authoritarian. Simultaneously, this study examines how the larger historical context was woven into and changed the character of Hindu nationalism.
Women and Men Communicating: Challenges and Changes
Deborah J. Borisoff
  Understanding and effectively addressing the impact that differences have on our lives is important in promoting fairness and equitability. Arliss and Borisoff have enlisted the expertise of the best scholars to explore the effects of gender differences with regard to individuals, interpersonal relationships, and professional environments. Contributors have updated their original chapters and added questions for further discussion for this new edition. New chapters on gay men, race and gender, and employment interviewing have been added to strengthen an already highly regarded study of gender communication. The broad scope of topics covered in this volume reflects the challenges faced by both men and women communicating on a variety of fronts. While some readers may discover new perspectives, all readers will relate to and learn from the experts exploration of gender and communication, gaining insights that are most important in the twenty-first century.
The Nervous Liberals: Propaganda Anxieties from World War I to the Cold War
Brett Gary
  The Nervous Liberals explores how following World War I the social sciences (especially political science and the new field of mass communications) identified propaganda as the object of urgent "scientific" study. From there his narrative moves to the eve of WW II as mainstream journalists, clerics, and activists demanded greater government action against fascist propaganda, in response to which Congress and the Justice Department sought to create a prophylaxis against foreign or antidemocratic communications. Finally, Gary explores how free speech liberalism was further challenged by the national security culture, whose mobilization before World War II to fight the propaganda threat lead to much of the Cold War anxiety about propaganda. Gary's account sheds considerable light not only on the history of propaganda, but also on the central dilemmas of liberalism in the first half of the century: the delicate balance between protecting national security and protecting civil liberties, including freedom of speech; the tension between public centered versus expert centered theories of democracy; and the conflict between social reform and public opinion control as the legitimate aim of social knowledge.
Tangled Memories: The Vietnam War, the AIDS Epidemic, and the Politics of Remembering 
Marita Sturken
  Analyzing the ways U.S. culture has been formed and transformed in the 80s and 90s by its response to the Vietnam War and the AIDS epidemic, Marita Sturken argues that each has disrupted our conventional notions of community, nation, consensus, and "American culture." She examines the relationship of camera images to the production of cultural memory, the mixing of fantasy and reenactment in memory, the role of trauma and survivors in creating cultural comfort, and how discourses of healing can smooth over the tensions of political events.
Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization
Arjun Appadurai
  Offering a new framework for the cultural study of globalization, Modernity at Large shows how the imagination works as a social force in today's world, providing new resources for identity and energies for creating alternatives to the nation-state, whose era some see as coming to an end. Appadurai examines the current epoch of globalization, which is characterized by the twin forces of mass migration and electronic mediation, and provides fresh ways of looking at popular consumption patterns, debates about multiculturalism, and ethnic violence. He considers the way images-of lifestyles, popular culture, and self-representation-circulate internationally through the media and are often borrowed in surprising (to their originators) and inventive fashions.
Canada's Hollywood: The Canadian State and Feature Films
Ted Magder
  The development of the feature film industry in Canada has been uncertain and difficult, with problems usually attributed to the country's small population and US domination of the movie industry. Ted Magder goes beyond these obvious influences in his examination of Canada's state policies as they affected the production of Canadian feature films from the First World War to the present. He presents a study focusing on the interplay between government policy and the dynamics of the industry, and undertakes an examination of cultural dependency in Canada. State policies, Magder points out, are related to domestic forces that impinge upon and set limits to policy decisions and their implementation.
Formations of Violence: The Narrative of the Body and Political Terror in Northern Ireland
Allen Feldman
  "A sophisticated and persuasive late-modernist political analysis that consistently draws the reader into the narratives of the author and those of the people of violence in Northern Ireland to whom he talked. . . . Simply put, this book is a feast for the intellect"—Thomas M. Wilson, American Anthropologist
The Social Life of Things
Arjun Appadurai
  The meaning that people attribute to things necessarily derives from human transactions and motivations, particularly from how those things are used and circulated. The contributors to this volume examine how things are sold and traded in a variety of social and cultural settings, both present and past. Focusing on culturally defined aspects of exchange and socially regulated processes of circulation, the essays illuminate the ways in which people find value in things and things give value to social relations. By looking at things as if they lead social lives, the authors provide a new way to understand how value is externalized and sought after. As the editor argues in his introduction, beneath the seeming infinitude of human wants, and the apparent multiplicity of material forms, there in fact lie complex, but specific, social and political mechanisms that regulate taste, trade, and desire. Containing contributions from American and British social anthropologists and historians, the volume bridges the disciplines of social history, cultural anthropology, and economics, and marks a major step in our understanding of the cultural basis of economic life and the sociology of culture.