Download Always Already New: Media, History, and the Data of Culture by Lisa Gitelman PDF

By Lisa Gitelman

ISBN-10: 0262072718

ISBN-13: 9780262072717

Choice impressive educational name, 2007.

In Always Already New, Lisa Gitelman explores the novelty of latest media whereas she asks what it capability to do media historical past. utilizing the examples of early recorded sound and electronic networks, Gitelman demanding situations readers to consider the ways in which media paintings because the simultaneous matters and tools of old inquiry. proposing unique case reviews of Edison's first phonographs and the Pentagon's first dispensed electronic community, the ARPANET, Gitelman issues suggestively towards similarities that underlie the cultural definition of documents (phonographic and never) on the finish of the 19th century and the definition of records (digital and never) on the finish of the 20th. hence, Always Already New speaks to offer matters in regards to the humanities up to to the emergent box of recent media stories. files and files are kernels of humanistic suggestion, after all—part of and occasion to the cultural impulse to maintain and interpret. Gitelman's argument indicates artistic contexts for "humanities computing" whereas additionally supplying a brand new standpoint on such conventional humanities disciplines as literary history.

Making wide use of archival assets, Gitelman describes the ways that recorded sound and digitally networked textual content every one emerged as neighborhood anomalies that have been but deeply embedded in the reigning common sense of public lifestyles and public reminiscence. after all Gitelman turns to the area huge internet and asks how the background of the net is already being instructed, how the net may also face up to historical past, and the way utilizing the internet should be generating the stipulations of its personal historicity.

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Sample text

They made themselves fully its subjects, recording themselves by phonograph at the same time that they acknowledged its rote “memory” by comparing it to theirs. Something of the same carnival circulated in the press, where the phonograph was hailed sincerely as the most wondrous scientific invention of the age, but was also the source and butt of jokes. The most frequent were misogynist gibes, maintaining the masculinity of publics and public speech by assigning private and aberrant speech to women, gossips, harpers, nags, talking machines that never require any tinfoil, and so on.

S. newspapers. S. public, an “us,” with “our” “own” national tradition and aspirations. Along with the surrounding publicity, tinfoil records offered a profound and selfconscious experience of what “speaking” on paper might mean. Judging at least from the coincident popularity of verbal criticism, or the coincident quarrels between philologists and rhetoricians over the appropriate study of language, Edison’s invention was less a causal agent of change than it was fully symptomatic of its time. 18 This chapter tells the story of both a few, fragile sheets of tinfoil and then a short-lived nickel-in-the-slot amusement because these stories offer another, modest opportunity to look into the concerns of their time.

Black’s Phunnygraph, or Talking Machine. Frank Hockenbery’s (1886) skit offers a comment on the phonograph lectures that it lampoons. The term burlesque did not then denote striptease as much as it indicated a topical, risqué comedy, full of witticisms pointed at events of the day, and the butt of Hockenbery’s burlesque are the phonograph exhibitions of 1878. As a “colored” burlesque, Prof. Black’s Phunnygraph also taps fifty years of blackface minstrelsy in its makeup. This was the era of the so-called mammoth minstrel shows, touring troupes of forty to sixty performers, and Hockenbery’s Phunnygraph was probably intended as an interlude in one of these racist pageants, since its concluding stage directions call for a minstrel staple, “moving to half circle, [and as] soon as half circle is struck, begin negro chorus or plantation melody.

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